By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Barack Obama today nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the Supreme Court vacancy resulting from the death of Antonin Scalia. Garland, appointed to his current position by Bill Clinton, has a record that does not bode well for gun owners.
The Judicial Crisis Network, an advocacy group committed “to the Constitution and the Founders’ vision of a nation of limited government,” warns Garland “has a very liberal view of gun rights,” The Washington Times reports.
“JCN chief counsel Carrie Severino said in a blog post that Judge Merrick’s record on the bench since 1997 ‘leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms,’” The Times explains.
It doesn’t actually “confer” anything, but that’s a different argument.
That the nomination is calculated to be used by Democrats in their political campaigns leading to the November elections is obvious. By recounting how prominent establishment Republicans supported Garland’s confirmation to the DC court, by presenting arguments for confirmation as a noble idealistic goal above political considerations, by claiming the Constitutional high ground and popular support, and by then asserting he has done his duty and the ball is now in the Senate’s court, Obama threw a political grenade to blast Republicans as obstructionist.
Supportive media will, of course, use more of those grenades. And the GOP “leadership” is not exactly famous for standing on principles in the face of risk.
Garland wasn’t picked because he’ll disappoint “progressives” on guns. The question now is, will Republicans get scared and figure a critical mass of gun owner will let them get away with caving because they have nowhere else to turn?
That’s one thing gun owners can’t give them a pass on. If Garland doesn’t get confirmed, the next president’s (Hillary’s?) pick will. If they want continued support, senators counting on the gun vote must only confirm nominees who are acceptable. That means the job applicant (that’s what hopeful nominees are, you know) must agree that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, that all Second Amendment cases be considered under strict scrutiny, and that the legal concept “in common use at the time” must, at a minimum, apply to weaponry carried by soldiers for battlefield use, in addition to those commonly used for self-defense and sport.
In the furor following Scalia’s passing, there’s one other danger that can’t be ignored, and that’s been rarely even mentioned: Remaining SCOTUS justices aren’t getting any younger. Filling one vacancy might be something than can be stalled. What happens if another robe goes empty?
Also see: “Disorder in the Court”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.