President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he had nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy after his retirement.
Liberals wasted no time in attacking Kavanaugh on a host of issues, but mostly over his pro-life beliefs and their suspicion that he would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion rights.
But while there may be some justification for liberal fears over the future of abortion rights in America, anti-gun liberals should also be concerned about the future of Democrat-pushed gun control laws in various parts of the country, as Kavanaugh is not a fan of such legislation.
According to Fox News, the gun control lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety — which has the financial backing of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — released a statement slamming Kavanaugh for his support for the Second Amendment.
“Judge Kavanaugh has applied an extreme and dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment when determining whether a law is constitutional, one that does not take into account a law’s impact on public safety,” stated the anti-gun group in opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Conversely, the pro-gun National Shooting Sports Foundation — a trade association for the firearms industry — praised the nomination of Kavanaugh as a great development in the fight to defend and expand gun rights in America.
“We are confident that Judge Kavanaugh will serve our nation with distinction as an associate justice of our nation’s highest court and that he will make decisions that will serve to protect the Second Amendment and other Constitutionally guaranteed rights of law-abiding Americans,” stated Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the NSSF.
Perhaps the best example of where Kavanaugh stands on the issue of gun rights and the Second Amendment came during a dissenting opinion he wrote while on a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In that case, which was a follow-up to 2008’s landmark DC v. Heller decision that protected the Constitutional right to own handguns, Kavanaugh differed from the other two judges on the panel and voted to strike down as unconstitutional a regulation in D.C. that banned the possession of semi-automatic rifles, often mischaracterized by the left as “assault weapons.”
“In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns — the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic — are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens.
There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles,” Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent.
“Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semiautomatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are,” he continued.
“It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional,” he concluded, a clear sign that he would rule against similar “assault weapons bans” if such a case should make it to the Supreme Court during his tenure on the bench.
The libertarian-leaning Reason also noted that Kavanaugh took exception to the seemingly arbitrary nature D.C.’s “assault weapons” ban, which had compiled a list of specific firearms that were impermissible for residents to possess, and was largely based off of cosmetic appearances involving a variety of “prohibited” features, such as collapsible stocks, pistol grips, detachable magazines and other common features.
“The list appears to be haphazard,” Kavanaugh wrote. “It bans certain semi-automatic rifles but not others — with no particular explanation or rationale for why some made the list and some did not.”
In that same dissent, Kavanaugh also took issue with D.C.’s gun registry, which the judge deemed to be unconstitutional, and wrote that such a registry would not qualify as one of the few “longstanding” gun restrictions that had been excepted by the Heller decision, such as licensing of gun owners or concealed carriers.
“Because the vast majority of states have not traditionally required and even now do not require registration of lawfully possessed guns, D.C.’s registration law — which is the strictest in the Nation and mandates registration of all guns — does not satisfy the history- and tradition-based test set forth in Heller,” Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears to be a solid Constitutional conservative on a whole host of issues that are likely to come before the Supreme Court at one point or another, but one area where conservatives should feel great and liberals should be concerned is that of the Second Amendment and gun rights, which the judge has wholeheartedly supported and defended in the past.