July 16th, 2009
02:07 PM ET
11 years ago

NRA opposes Sotomayor nomination to Supreme Court

 The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it opposes Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land," said a joint statement by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA executive vice president, and Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Reform.

Opposition to Sotomayor by the powerful gun lobby reflects conservative unease with President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, but is considered unlikely to prevent her confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

On Wednesday, Sotomayor strongly rejected a Republican senator's contention that she had pre-judged the issue of gun control, insisting at her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that wasn't true.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, asked if she would recuse herself from future gun control cases because she ruled in the past that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment does not apply to state gun control laws.

"I have not made up my mind. I didn't say that I didn't believe it was fundamental," Sotomayor shot back.

She explained that the word "fundamental" in legal terms refers to whether a federal statute applies to the states. Her ruling cited by Sessions referred to a prior case that made the determination, Sotomayor said, so she was following the precedent.

The NRA statement said Sotomayor relied on an improper precedent.

"Sotomayor's judicial record and testimony clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution," the statement said. "It is only by ignoring history that any judge can say that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states."

Previously in the confirmation hearing that started Monday, Sotomayor said she recognizes an individual right to bear arms as recently identified by Supreme Court in the ruling District of Columbia v. Heller.

The recent Supreme Court 5-4 ruling concluded that a sweeping handgun ban in the nation's capital violated the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms."

Filed under: NRA • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Larry

    The only way we can lose the right to bear arms is to amend the Contitution and take that right away.

    July 16, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Necie in OKC

    SO! Leave the woman alone already! She is obviously more qualilfied than these gun toting, bible thumpin hypocrites.

    July 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Michigan

    ...the nra needs to get over themselves....

    July 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. Nathan,

    The NRA would oppose anyone who didn't believe that we had the right to have bazookas sticking out our front windows at our neighbors in the event they play their music loud. These guys are just as radical as PETA and more dangerous. Some of us right thinking people see "self defense" as being able to walk down the streets without having people, law abiding or not, carry concealed weapons under there coat. Even law abiding citizens react differently to situations when they have a gun. Why not let a marginal confrontational not escalate into something more if you know that your packing a gun.

    The NRa is right about one thing: Its not guns who kill people. Its the NRA and its radical stance on guns that do.

    July 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Lee

    I'm tired of people twisting the Constitution's meaning. When the founding fathers wrote that, as the states must maintain a militia, the right of the people to bear arms must not be abridged, the obviously meant that any American had the right to own and carry a muzzle-loading, ball-and-powder flintlock rifle or pistol. I think they also assumed that Americans could carry a sword.

    "Arms" to the founding fathers meant those weapons a man could carry and which existed at the time. It did not include rocket launchers, assault rifles, grenades, automatic pistols, revolvers, poison gas, nuclear weapons, tear gas, flame throwers, dive bombers, or fighter jets.

    Let's get back to Constitutional basics. I have a right to carry a musket anywhere I want to: Walmart, my kid's school, my job, a theme park, whatever. The Constitution says what it says and it means what the authors meant. Case closed.

    July 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Chris - Albany, NY

    Geez...just for that IM all for her!!!

    July 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    Good, I would worry about our country if this bunch of gun-toten; lunatics supported her

    July 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. eric

    Now there's a shocker... Really. A GOP run organization opposing something... GO AWAY NRA and GOP..... There SHOULD be a ban on asult weapons... it should be tougher now a days to obtain a gun. You should have the right to own one,but you have to PROVE your right!!!!


    July 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. changing my screen name to see if it helps getting my comments posted

    It is not our god given right, it is our Constitutional given right. God is supposed to be staying out of our politics.

    July 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. phyllis

    All I have to say on this is GO SONIA SOTOMAYOR GO. You have my support. thank you.

    July 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. CF

    The NRA isn't happy unless everybody constantly has a gun aimed at everybody else.... this is what they consider a "safe America."

    July 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Mike K

    Let's just say that anyone the NRA opposes I am strongly in favor of.

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Willy

    This is a good technique to sell more guns! I love it!

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Hmmmm – seems to be turning into the Good Ole White Boy's Gun Club.

    Guess it might be time to cancel my membership and save a few bucks.

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Pete

    So in summary, to conservatives health care is a frivolous perk, a gun is directly from God himself. Yet they are surprised that they lose election after election.

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. I Support the Right to Carry Nukes, I'm the NRA



    Support the Right to ARM BEARS

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. JD from Moraga, CA

    Yes please – let's derail the nomination because a bunch of rednecks need fully automatic weapons to kill squirrels.

    Any first-year law school student knows that Constitutional guarantees are not absolute (otherwise, if free speech were absolute there would be no grounds for court cases related to slander or libel, right?).

    The gun lobby needs to find something constructive to do with its time.

    July 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. J Farrow

    The NRA leadership has been and is now the biggest bunch of fanatics in the country. I was in a bookstore where Wayne LaPierre was signing his book and he had more bodyguards around him than the President. They have nothing to worry about. Even if Obama were to appointment all nine justices the second amendment will not be repealed.

    July 16, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    LaPierre is a world class crackpot. He is a tool of the right-wing Republican party.

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. A. Goodwin

    *Hostile* view? Nothing could be more hostile than the NRA's views. Not to mention, they have misrepresented her words. Ask the kids/family's at Columbine what they think of the NRA...

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Royster

    It is so wrong in my opinion how the NRA extrapolates four words in the Constitution ('keep and bear arms') into wanting assualt weapons to remain legal, wanting concealed weapons to be carried into National Parks and now bars in Arizona, and basically equating 'self-defense' into the easy and convenient ability to shoot and kill anyone, anytime, anywhere....just because the NRA member happened to 'feel threatened' at the moment.

    How large of a 'killing by gun tragedy' in this country (ala Columbine) will it take before the NRA realizes just how wrong its position is?
    Lest we forget, when this country began, slavery was also a 'norm'....are we bound by some tradition to keep ALL these obsolete practices alive because they existed when our country was founded?

    That said, all guns are not bad...but the NRA fighting against banning assualt weapons and concealed weapons is basically ludricrous and will never get any votes from ME or anyone else I know. And you can bluster all you want about taking your gun from 'your cold dead hands'...in the end someone WILL be doing that. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    July 16, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. geecee

    No kidding? I am shocked. So what else is new? They would oppose anything Obama does and everyone Obama nominates. The NRA is full of Rethuglicans, among other stuff they are "full" of. Too bad they can wield so much power in Washington, D.C. They must have a ton of Obstructionist Party members in their pockets, or should I say, a ton of Obstructionist Party members have NRA money in their pockets! In any case, keep up the bad work NRA. You are doing this country a great disservice. We are sick of hearing about the nearly daily shootings of innocent people across ths country because you refuse to allow gun control in any form. So, sure, let the psychos and criminals have them. What have we got to lose? Certainly not our guns, just our lives, right?

    July 16, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. fortydam

    The NRA continues to use this format to sell their products at all time prices.

    July 16, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Jim

    Stick a sock in it.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. rice, bryan

    and this surprises anyone. they think 1 person can change the constitution. they will pray to the white gods to not let this woman through. these are the same people that think that a president can alone pass a ammunition tax. they scare their followers into this crap, and without any research the dumbas@ fall for it hook line and sinker.

    July 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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