U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Before last Friday, it was urgent for every gun owner in the country to vote in the November election, and now with the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it is critical for the survival of the Second Amendment to retain the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and for Donald Trump to be elected to a second term, many in the gun rights community are saying today.
That much is clear, thanks to some observations over the weekend by John Lott during his presentation for the virtual Gun Rights Policy Conference, and strong hints from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about impeachment to prevent a Trump nomination to fill Ginsburg’s seat. The president told Fox News Monday he has narrowed the list of potential nominees to five individuals, and he promised to “announce his pick by Friday or Saturday.”
Trump also suggested that if Pelosi does try to launch an impeachment effort, it would propel him to a second term.
As reported by Reuters, “The passing of Ginsburg upended the November election contests, energizing both Trump's conservative base – eager to see the court overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide – and presenting new complications in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.”
Reportedly on the president’s shortlist are Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barbara Logoa, 52, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and Judge Allison Jones Rushing, 38, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Fox News reported.
Were one of them to be appointed to the high court vacancy, it would provide a certain constitutional majority, one that would likely uphold the Second Amendment as a fundamental, individual right.
That’s where Lott’s remarks at the Gun Rights Conference become so important.
During his online appearance at the 35th annual event, Lott discussed the federal courts and the failure of the high court to take any of the ten cases that were on the table for possible review.
“The problem,” Lott asserted, “has been John Roberts, the chief justice. From people I’ve been able to talk to…It seems clear to the (conservative) justices that if they were to go and bring one of these cases—and it only takes four justices to…grant cert—John Roberts would go and vote the other way just as he’s voted the other way on a range of issues from religious freedom, DACA to Obamacare, and if he did that, that would create a horrible precedent. In fact, it could be used to make sure that any gun control law could get passed.”
Ginsburg died Friday following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The 87-year-old jurist is being remembered as a pioneer and liberal icon, while also being criticized by gun rights activists on social media for her history of voting against recognizing the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Democrats do not want a pro-Second Amendment majority on the nation’s highest court, and they are making it clear they will fight to prevent it. How much help they may get from a few Senate Republicans remains to be seen, but there is much at stake in November, including the rights of an estimated 100 million-plus American gun owners.
Reuters and other news agencies have reported at least two Republicans are shying away from a quick appointment. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski reportedly doesn’t support filling the high court vacancy before the November election, and neither does Maine Sen. Susan Collins. She is currently locked in a tight re-election battle, Reuters noted, but it is not clear whether her reluctance to support a fast replacement will help or hurt her chances of getting conservatives to the polls in seven weeks.
Replacing Ginsburg is already being made a campaign issue in Arizona, where anti-gun Democrat former astronaut Mark Kelly is running hard to defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally. If Kelly wins, he could take office in late November, according to the New York Times.
“If Mark Kelly, the Democratic nominee, wins, he could be seated in the Senate as early as Nov. 30, six weeks before the other winners are sworn in, according to elections experts from both parties,” the Times reported. “Mr. Kelly currently leads Senator Martha McSally, a Republican, in the polls.
“There are many ifs,” the Times acknowledged. “If the Arizona results can be rapidly certified, and if Senate Republicans hold a confirmation vote in the postelection lame-duck session and if three Republicans defect, Mr. Kelly could cast the deciding vote to defeat Mr. Trump’s as-yet unnamed pick to the high court.”
This provides Republicans all the more reason to turn out the vote in Arizona, and to defend their Senate majority elsewhere as well.
Democrats were quick to recall how the Senate stalled filling Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat in 2016, instead waiting until after the election of Trump to succeed Barack Obama.
But as Reuters noted, “Republican Senator John Barrasso on NBC's ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday brushed off Democratic complaints about the nomination process.” A check of the program's transcription confirms this.
“Let's be very clear,” Barrasso said, “if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats had the White House and the Senate, they would right now be trying to confirm another member of the Supreme Court.”
Expect Democrats to pull out all the stops between now and November, not just to defeat Trump—which they’ve been trying to do since before he was inaugurated in January 2017—but now to also prevent him from installing a Second Amendment majority on the Supreme Court.
Perhaps the situation is best summed up by Robert Romano, vice president of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. Writing over the weekend in The Daily Torch, Romano stated, “Make no mistake, if Democrats had maintained a Senate majority in 2014, they would have easily confirmed Garland in 2016. But, they lost nine seats — and elections have consequences.”
And rest assured, this year’s elections will have consequences as well. This is all the more reason for gun owners to make sure they vote, say many rights activists.
About Dave Workman