Joint Statement by Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President & CEO, and Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action
There may be no vote a United States Senator casts that is more important than a vote to confirm a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now that the Court has clearly stated that the Second Amendment is a fundamental, individual right that applies to all law-abiding Americans, NRA members and gun owners expect a nominee to the Court to fully support, defend and preserve that freedom.
We have carefully examined the career, written documents and public statements of nominee Elena Kagan and have found nothing to indicate any support for the Second Amendment. On the contrary, the facts reveal a nominee who opposes Second Amendment rights and is clearly out of step with mainstream Americans.
Therefore, the NRA is strongly opposed to Kagan’s confirmation to the Court.
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In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she refused to declare support for the Second Amendment, saying only that the matter was “settled law.”
This was eerily similar to the scripted testimony of Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, prior to her confirmation to the Court. When pressed on the Second Amendment then, Sotomayor also referred to the issue as “settled law.”
But in the recently decided case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, Sotomayor ignored the “settled law” of the Heller decision and signed a dissenting opinion that declared, “I can find nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history, or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as ‘fundamental’ insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes.”
It has become obvious that “settled law” is the scripted code of an anti-gun nominee’s confirmation effort. The NRA is not fooled. No member of the U.S. Senate should be either.
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With no judicial record, only Kagan’s political career can be reviewed. And this provides no reason to trust her with Americans’ firearms freedom. Throughout her career, she has repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility to the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution.
As a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, Kagan said she was “not sympathetic” to a challenge to Washington, DC’s ban on firearms. As a domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, a colleague described her as “immersed” in Clinton’s aggressive assaults on the Second Amendment. She was involved in Clinton’s scheme to ban more than 50 types of commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms – an effort described as “…taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.”
As U.S. Solicitor General, Kagan chose not to file a brief last year in the landmark McDonald case, thus taking the position that incorporating the Second Amendment and applying it to the states was of no interest to the Obama Administration or the federal government.
These are not the positions of a person who supports the Second Amendment and, in fact, represent a clear and present danger to the right to keep and bear arms.
Kagan’s record clearly reveals that she does not believe that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right. In her recent testimony, she refused to acknowledge respect for the God-given right of self-defense.
She should not serve on any court, let alone be confirmed to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land.
The NRA is strongly opposed to the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. This vote matters and will be a part of future candidate evaluations.