July 16th, 2009
04:44 PM ET
12 years ago

NRA, RNC target Sotomayor over gun rights

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee and Second Amendment advocates came down hard on Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday for not directly answering a question on whether or not Americans have a right to bear arms.

More than seven weeks after President Obama named her as his Supreme Court pick, and nearly a week into her confirmation hearings, the National Rifle Association issued an official statement Thursday opposing her nomination.

The announcement came the same day the RNC released a new Web video showing an exchange between Sotomayor and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn over the "right to self-defense." Sotomayor told the Oklahoma senator that she didn't know if "that legal question has been ever presented" and called it an "abstract question."

"Judge Sotomayor, The Right To Bear Arms Isn't An Abstract Question," reads the screen in the video. "Do You Believe That Americans Have A Right To Bear Arms? Stop Evading, And Start Answering The Question."

Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association said Sotomayor has a "hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense."

"Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people," LaPierre and Cox said in a statement. "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."

But Sotomayor got a nod from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which called her answers related to the Second Amendment "clear and responsible."

"The NRAs statement opposing Judge Sotomayor represents a shameful misrepresentation of her testimony as well as the law," Paul Helmke, the organization's president, said in a statement.

Filed under: NRA • RNC • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Sara

    Its over already. Lets move on. People are not going to lose their carry permit sover Sotomayor being on the SCOTUS. Gun & ammo sales are up and thats about the only thing Obama has done for the economy.

    July 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    They are selling after the market.,

    July 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Steph

    Oh shut up! She will be confirmed, and you will be just fine.

    July 16, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Andi

    May I just say, I support a citizen's right to own a handgun or rifle, but I could care less what the NRA has to say. They don't speak for me.

    July 16, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Res ipsa loquitur

    Talk about a waste of time...it's got about the same chance of success as Ron Paul's campaign to end the income tax...

    July 16, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Moderate Democrat

    Let's not forget:
    Guns don't kill people....the NRA and the GOP kill people.

    side note: don't forget to take your tin foil hats off before sitting down to eat tonight, all you gun nuts that think we are out to take your guns. We're too busy trying to protect our "Right to Privacy" that your heroe's Bush and Cheney took from everyone. (And for the record: no, it's not ok that Obama is still using the policy).

    July 16, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. sandino

    Typical knee jerk (and I do mean jerk) reaction from these two groups. What a bunch of pansies!

    July 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I guess the NRA doesn't care that guns kill. Have they forgotten the massacres at Columbine, Va Tech, today in New Jersey.

    It's the National RIFLE Association.

    It's not the National HANDGUN/Shotgun/Assault Rifle Association.

    I love guns, but these idiots act like the government is going to strip away their carrying permit. The Assault Weapons Ban needs to be brought back.

    July 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Abdul

    Thank you Allah for the NRA.

    July 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. LKM

    The announcement came the same day the RNC released a new Web video showing an exchange between Sotomayor and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn over the "right to self-defense." Sotomayor told the Oklahoma senator that she didn't know if "that legal question has been ever presented" and called it an "abstract question."

    The question was indeed abstract–Coburn was trying to get Sotomayor to say that people have the right to self defense, but what he meant was do people have a right to carry a firearm.

    The NRA's propaganda arm immediately took what she did say and concluded she is anti-2nd amendment which is far from what she did say. The NRA is radical, Sotomayor is not. Coburn had to drill her on gun rights if he wanted any chance of re-election. End of story.

    July 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. P.O. Levesque

    I wonder if the judge walks the streets of DC without an armed escort?

    July 16, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Slowhand

    This woman is wrong for the country, she has danced around every major question that has been put to her without telling her true beliefs.She's just like obama, will say anything to get in office, then her true colors will shine. Say what you believe in and stand by it. We have enough weak freaks in office now. I don't belong to the NRA but I am thinking about it, looks like they are the only ones that will stand up for our constitutional rights against the Bradys, million mom march and all the other anti gun idiots running around.

    July 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Larry

    The right to bear arms is in the Constitution. Our forefathers didn't have automatic weapons, and that is a big part of the controversy.

    You don't use automatic weapons to hunt, and you don't need them for self-defense, unless you're facing down an army.

    July 16, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Why are these loons still talking so much about guns. Don't they know this is the number killing weapons in the U.S. Bunch of idiots!!!!

    July 16, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Sick of the NRA

    Who cares about the NRA, an organization apt to put guns in every home in America. Sure, I an advocate for the 2nd Amendment, but these people are just ughhhh.......NRA can stick their opinion where the sun dosen't shine.

    July 16, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Larry

    You hit the nail on the head! Took the words right out of my mouth.

    July 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Janet

    But the "right to bear arms" and the right to self defense are not necessarily the same thing. You can defend yourself in other ways and you can have a gun just because you like having guns – as in the case of a replica or a target shooting pistol – so the two are not mutually exclusive. Anyway, Judge Sotomayor's personal beliefs about the second amendment are not relative to her ability to judge a case. As she has been pointing out to all the bozo republican senators that are trying to goad her into making some extreme policy/belief statement, judges look at the specific rules of the case before them and make rulings based on LAW, not on personal beliefs. Persoanl beliefs should not be a litmus test for judges. Well at least that's how they are supposed to do it. The conservative activist judges currently on the SC that are trying to take the law back to the dark ages seem to have forgotten that.

    July 16, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. seebofubar

    The day that the government outlaws guns is the day that your childrens future is doomed. This woman is a train wreck. When 60% of here rullings have been overturned by higher courts and 4 out of 5 of here rullings that have made it to the Supreme Court have been over rulled, doesn't that tell you something? She's a bad judge.

    July 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Gator

    You can tell from her actions that she is anti gun. As a hunter, competition shooter and a responsible American, I can assure you none of my weapons will ever be used to commit a crime or harm anyone unless it is a life threatening situation with no other recourse. There are thousands of gun owners who are the backbone of this country that are not gun nuts as some of you would describe them.Yet when some fruitcake cracks and shoots someone, all the anti gun freaks start yelling bring back the assault weapons ban or ban all handguns. A .22 caliber is just as deadly as a an AR15 when used properly.

    July 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    2nd Amendment – the worst Law ever.

    the NRA are a bunch of yellow bellied little men, who think a gun makes up for a lack of their manhood. Fools, there is way greater chance that you'll probably end up shooting one of your family members than somebody trying to break into your trailer to steal your TV with a typewriter on it.

    ...or you'll probably end up shooting your neighbors wife because you mistook her for a bear.

    Fools, all of you.

    July 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    What if the right to bear arms meant that you just got to keep your arms with you (arms meaning limbs)?

    July 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Janet –

    So suppose someone breaks into your home and threatens you with physical harm. What are you going to defend yourself with? A water pistol?

    There's an old saying about someone of little wit – "So-and-so would bring a knife to a gunfight".

    July 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. txleadhead

    They will never get our guns in Texas. If they do, it will be the buisness end.

    July 16, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. JohnnyR

    Doesn't matter to me what the law is- I will keep my weapons and the ammo for those weapons. It makes no difference what Washington or my state capitol has to say about it.

    Easy enough. Confirm who you like, elect who you like.

    July 16, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. JohnnyR

    Darth Vadik- you clearly belong in California.

    July 16, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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