Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee led by perennial anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California made it clear in their opening statements Monday in the first confirmation hearing of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment is in their crosshairs.
Nominating Judge Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by last year’s death of Justice Antonin Scalia underscored why November’s election mattered. Monday’s remarks by Feinstein and colleagues Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island set things in concrete.
Many people, including conservative Democrats in Washington State’s Mason and Grays Harbor counties, will justifiably argue that all Democrats shouldn’t be judged by the remarks of Feinstein and her Capitol Hill colleagues. Keep that in perspective, as the Gorsuch hearings continue this week.
The Fox News “live blog” of Mondays’ hearing noted, “Feinstein indicates she will focus on Gorsuch’s views on abortion, same-sex marriage, health care rights and 2nd Amendment during the hearing…When speaking about the Second Amendment, Feinstein warns against originalism, and says the founders intention to make the constitution a framework ‘intended to evolve as our country evolves.’”
LifeZette.com also noted, “Feinstein, long an advocate of strict gun control, said the Supreme Court will have ultimate say on efforts by the ‘extremist’ National Rifle Association to allow use of military-style rifles.”
And Breitbart.com provided a CSPAN 2 clip in which Feinstein noted that, “It is the Supreme Court that will have final word … [on] whether the NRA and other extreme organizations will be able to block common sense gun regulations, including those that keep military-style assault weapons off our streets.”
Many conservative gun owners argue that liberals insist that the Constitution is a “living document” rather than a “legal document.” This is particularly the case with the Second Amendment, which Scalia defined in detail in the 2008 Heller ruling.
When Leahy had the microphone, according to the Fox blog, he slammed “Republicans for obstructing President Obama’s nominee last year.
“This was an extraordinary blockade,” he says and again calls it unprecedented.
“A furious Leahy slams Gorsuch as a judge “selected by extreme interest groups” and “selected by a president who lost the popular vote,” the Fox blog noted.
Subsequently, Whitehouse rambled off a list of 5-4 decisions by the high court, and he characterized the two Second Amendment cases in 2008 and 2010 as beneficial to the firearms industry.
“Whitehouse is angry and sarcastic as he blasts conservative justices for conceding to the gun lobby,” the Fox narrative stated. “‘Their findings of fact were factually wrong,’ he says about one ruling and describes the Roberts Court as a ‘delivery service.’”
The November election brought many Second Amendment activists out of lethargy and into the political fray. Given a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton – and the Supreme Court nominations they would offer – gun owners went with Trump in key states, giving him the Electoral College, and the White House.
This week’s hearings on Gorsuch show better than any other example why that was of utmost importance to gun rights.