The Washington Times has reported President Donald Trump’s 150th judicial confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and the liberal establishment is freaking out.
Since taking office 2 ½ years ago, the president has appointed 105 judges to the lower federal courts, 43 circuit court judges and filled two critical seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. All of this is alarming to the left, which adores activist judges and justices, so long as they are liberals, but becomes venomous when a conservative jurist ascends to the federal bench because they just might want to stick to the Constitution.
Nowhere does this come into play more than where the Second Amendment is involved. As The Economist observed, when it discussed the controversy surrounding a challenge to a New York City gun control law, “With Justice Brett Kavanaugh having replaced the more moderate Anthony Kennedy on the court it seemed that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ could soon be enhanced. Firearm regulations would be harder to sustain against constitutional challenges.”
This is serious stuff to anti-gunners, who seem bent on regulating the Second Amendment into history’s dust bin. As Congress returned to work days ago, they brought forth several gun control measures, all pushed in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, California and Ohio over the summer.
Writing at USA Today, Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), cautioned against exploiting those incidents, especially one in Odessa, Texas where the killer used a firearm obtained in a private purchase, sans a background check. As Gottlieb noted, this was an anomaly because nearly all mass shooters have bought guns at retail and passed background checks.
He asserted that “gun control zealots want a sweeping and invasive new national mandate.”
But with more conservative judges and justices on the federal bench, the odds are slowly increasing that federal courts will begin to invalidate extremist gun laws as unconstitutional, and the gun prohibition lobby is terrified. Anti-gunners have had a good thing going for decades because nobody had the finances or the legal background to challenge restrictive gun control laws. That began changing with the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald Supreme Court rulings, the latter involving a SAF case that nullified the Chicago handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. Since McDonald, which was a SAF case, that organization has been slowly building a mound of Second Amendment court precedents upon which future cases could be decided.
New York officials have been scrambling to keep their case out of the Supreme Court, which agreed in February to review it. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, challenged the city’s law that prohibited handgun owners from traveling outside the city with their legally-owned sidearms. The city moved quickly to amend the law, a signal that the city knew the requirement to be constitutionally-challenged, but never figured anyone would fight back.
According to CommonDreams.org, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), considers the 150 judicial confirmations to be a major accomplishment.
“These conservative judicial appointments will impact our nation for years to come,” Graham stated, and he was not over-stating the situation.
Federal appointments are for life, so judges and justices cannot be swayed by the kind of politics New York City is now playing to keep itself out of the Supreme Court chambers.
Critics of Trump’s judicial appointments are already playing the race and gender cards. CommonDreams quoted Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference, who stated, “Many have disturbing civil rights records. Dozens wouldn’t affirm Brown v. Board. They’re overwhelmingly white and male. Decades of progress are at stake. We must keep fighting.”
Marge Baker, executive vice president of the People for the American Way, was quoted by the Washington Times asserting, “As of today’s confirmation votes, Trump and (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell have confirmed 150 judges to the federal bench — a group that can overwhelmingly be described as narrow-minded and elitist, favoring corporations and the powerful over the interests of all Americans.”
But what about the interests of an estimated 100 million American gun owners? Do they count? With the federal court balancing out, they just might count a bit more than they have, which is a great concern to anti-gunners who have been pushing such things as “red flag” laws in an effort to legally disarm, even if only temporarily, as many people as possible, rights activists contend.
They worry that such laws fly in the face of Due Process, and even Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano recently wrote that such laws are unconstitutional.
What worries the anti-gun crowd more than anything is Trump’s potential re-election next year. That could give him the opportunity to fill one or two more seats on the Supreme Court, and continuing to balance lower court benches with judges who are not afraid of reading the Second Amendment as the founders intended. That would set back the public disarmament crusade by decades, if not derail it forever.