By Roger J. Katz, Attoney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli
Part 2 (Read part 1 here.)
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- Democrat Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s position on the Second Amendment is no secret. For years Leahy pushed Obama’s antigun agenda. The New York Times reported on Leahy’s strategy in 2013.
It said, “The view of Mr. Leahy, a Democrat . . . is crucial because the work of his Judiciary Committee will be central to advancing any new gun legislation.” The Committee “will hold hearings on potential gun legislation this month [January] proceed[ing] with Mr. Obama’s request to push legislation that includes a renewal of an assault weapons ban, a limit on magazine size and universal background checks.”
Sheldon Whitehouse also signals hostility toward the Second Amendment. During Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican-Oklahoma tried to get her to issue an opinion on whether gun owners have a fundamental right to bear arms.”
She wouldn’t make a pronouncement.” Sheldon Whitehouse came to her defense. He said, “he was worried that the judge had been pushed too far, perhaps, in a lobbying way, to expound on an issue that is probably going to come before the Supreme Court. He suggested that a message was being sent that nominees need to signal how they will rule on gun-rights cases. He called it almost unseemly to seek commitments on future cases.”
As you might expect, Wednesday, May 18, 2016 U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings are a charade. Leahy isn’t kidding anyone.
If Garland received a confirmation hearing, he would say nothing to reveal his antipathy toward the Second Amendment. We know U.S. Supreme Court candidates hide their personal jurisprudential and philosophical predilections during confirmation hearings, as coached, to avoid offending anyone, strengthening their chance at confirmation. Justice Sotomayor hid her antipathy toward the Second Amendment at her confirmation hearing. Judge Garland would do so at his confirmation hearing, were a hearing scheduled. Senator Grassley isn’t planning one. For, if a confirmation hearing were in the offing, Senators Whitehouse, Leahy, Feinstein, Schumer and others would come to his aid, lest he reveal his aversion toward the Second Amendment. Senator Grassley knows this.
Senator Leahy’s intimation that confirmation hearings are effective at eliciting truth is dubious and disingenuous.
At the May 23, 2016 hearing, Leahy asserted, “what bothers me is because he [Merrick Garland] does not have a hearing and they’re not allowing him to have a hearing, his record is being smeared by outside groups, some of these Pacs, and others. Senate Republicans are denying a distinguished public hearing and a fair opportunity.”
“No,” Senator Leahy. Judge Garland’s record as revealed in our letter to you isn’t a smear. It’s the plain, unadulterated truth–truth the American public would not learn at a public hearing. That’s why Garland won’t receive a confirmation hearing; and that’s why Garland shouldn’t receive one. No person deserves a seat on the high Court who does not respect and revere our Bill of Rights–all Ten Amendments.
Obama and the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats’ Trifecta bet is: Sotomayor, Kagan, and Garland. Obama is two for three. He aims for all three. For these three the Second Amendment is an anathema. Obama knows this. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have considered them. He wouldn’t have considered them if they were merely neutral on the Second Amendment, much less a proponent of the Second Amendment. Obama wants fanatics on the U.S. Supreme Court. He wants individuals on the U.S. Supreme Court who share his hostility toward the continued existence of our Nation’s Second Amendment. Ranking member Senator Leahy and his fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee also want fanatics on the U.S. Supreme Court. These cohorts of Senator Leahy willingly support and do their part to promote Obama’s antigun agenda.
If Garland secures a seat on the high Court, the liberal-wing gains a fifth vote. The liberal-wing then has its majority. The liberal-wing of the U.S. Supreme Court strenuously opposes the fundamental right codified in the Second Amendment.
Let’s consider Senator Dianne Feinstein’s position on the Second Amendment. Does the American public truly harbor any doubt? Feinstein’s resentment toward the Second Amendment is well-known, her remarks against gun ownership, legion. She took personally the failure of her bill to ban over two thousand types of firearms but continued undeterred.
Charles Schumer also attacks the Second Amendment with passion. In 1994, then “Representative” Schumer, with the late Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Democrat-Ohio, “introduced a ‘kitchen-sink’ bill that covered everything from licensing to lists of weapons to be prohibited. It proved politically ahead of its time.”
Richard Blumenthal uses sporadic shooting sprees to couch attacks on the Second Amendment. He said, “he hoped that the latest [2014 Santa Barbara] shooting would ‘provide an impetus to bring back measures that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who are severely troubled or deranged, like this young man was.’”
Blumenthal’s remark may sound sensible. But, the remark carries dangerous implications. Millions of American’s would lose their Second Amendment rights. Even if Legislators carefully tailored a law, can Americans trust the federal government to interpret the law narrowly? Not likely! Consider, too, the difficulties in defining English words. How do we define the word, ‘severely,’ as a modifier for the word, ‘troubled’? How do we define the word, ‘deranged?’ Medical doctors don’t use these words. They are not medical terms of art. Lawyers don’t use these words either. They aren’t legal terms of art. They are rhetorical words. They merely suggest but point to nothing.
Before we exclude a group of Americans from exercising their Second Amendment rights, give the matter thought. Millions of law-abiding Americans may lose their Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms” simply because their doctors prescribe an antidepressant for them.
What can we glean from Al Franken’s record on the Second Amendment? Franken is cagey, but his contempt for the Second Amendment is obvious. Sure, he sounds like a supporter of the Second Amendment. He says, “Minnesota has a long tradition of gun ownership, and I support Minnesotans’ right to own a gun for collection, protection, and sport. I also believe that the Second Amendment protects that right against both the federal government and the states. But the right to own a firearm is not one to be taken lightly. I believe Minnesota has struck the proper balance, for example, by requiring background checks and live firearms training for carry permits.” Let’s parse one phrase in that passage.
We ask, “what does Al Franken mean here by ‘proper balance’ as applied to law-abiding Minnesota residents?” What does Al Franken mean by ‘proper balance’ as applied to all law-abiding Americans? Franken means strict gun control Consider: Al Franken “voted YES on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.”
In 2008 Franken said he supports a federal ‘assault weapons’ ban but then oddly claims he supports the Second Amendment. The claim means nothing. It’s a trick. Antigun zealots employ it, continuously, to keep proponents of the Second Amendment at bay, guessing. But Americans recognize the ploy. Antigun zealots won’t rest until the Second Amendment ceases to exist. Franken reiterates antigun sentiment through rehearsed talking points, lacking substance.
Senator Klobuchar sponsored an antigun bill, heralded by Michael Bloomberg’s antigun group, “Everytown for Gun Safety.”
Klobuchar suggests she, too, supports the Second Amendment. But, she doesn’t. She asserts, “I would do nothing to hurt hunting” but she also says she voted for bans on “assault weapons” and on “high-capacity magazines”—those magazines holding over ten rounds.
Senator Richard Durbin fiercely attacks the Second Amendment. His distaste for the Second Amendment is as virulent and venomous as Feinstein’s.
To his shame Senator Durbin defends U.N. efforts to repeal our Country’s unique and sacred Second Amendment. He voted, “no,” on “Amendment SA 2774 to H.R. 2764, the Department of State’s International Aid bill: To prohibit the use of funds by international organizations, agencies, and entities (including the United Nations) that require the registration of, or taxes guns owned by citizens of the United States.” Previously cited.
Senator Vitter, Republican-Louisiana, pointed out, that SA 2774 “is about an effort in the United Nations to bring gun control to various countries through that international organization. Unfortunately, that has been an ongoing effort which poses a real threat, back to 1995. In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a program of action designed to infringe on second amendment rights. The Vitter amendment simply says we are not going to support any international organization that requires a registration of US citizens’ guns or taxes US citizens’ guns.” Previously cited.
Plainly, the UN’s bold attack on America’s Bill of Rights doesn’t offend Senator Durbin. He supports UN efforts to undermine our Bill of Rights.
Last, let’s not forget, Senator, Chris Coons position on the Second Amendment. Coons urges President Obama to use executive action to undermine the Second Amendment. Imagine, Coons would sacrifice the Second Amendment and Congressional Article 1, Section 1 Legislative authority to the U.S. President simply to continue a partisan antigun agenda.
In Part 3, the last segment in this series we look at the implications of certain remarks coming out of Leahy’s Judiciary Committee Hearing.
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