POLUMBO: Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination Is a Win For the Second Amendment


Thursday, July 12, 2018

On July 9, President Trump announced that he will be nominating D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. As a Yale Law graduate and Harvard professor, Kavanaugh is extremely qualified—but that didn’t stop the gun-control lobby from melting down at the mention of his name.

The Giffords Law Center called the judge’s views on guns “dangerous.” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy denounced Kavanaugh’s views on gun policy as “radical,” and rallied against his nomination. The Washington Post even compared Judge Kavanaugh’s views on the Second Amendment to those of Thomas Hardiman, who they allege is an “extremist.”

But you can ignore the outrage, because if anything, Judge Kavanaugh’s support for gun rights is cause for celebration. After months of a vicious gun control debate dominating the news cycle, we’ve seen the Democratic party move radically to the left and pursue an anti-gun agenda. This includes banning semi-automatic weapons or “assault weapons,” and raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21, while many Democrats even support repealing the Second Amendment altogether. So Second Amendment supporters should take solace in the fact that Judge Kavanaugh’s record suggests he will defend our rights from the Supreme Court’s bench should the Left’s new gun restrictions become law.

States across the country are already starting to roll back gun rights. Florida recently passed a law raising the age to buy a gun to 21, needlessly stripping thousands of law-abiding young adults of their constitutional right to bear arms. City officials in Deerfield, Illinois passed an Orwellian measure not only banning the future sale of all “assault weapons,” but also punishing any resident who failed to hand over such guns to the government. Countless states and localities have banned gun accessories, added age restrictions, or imperiled the sale of certain types of firearms. This is just the beginning.

Gun rights are under attack — but with “radical” Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, our Second Amendment rights can be protected from the true extremists, those who would legislate away the rights of law-abiding Americans.

In a 2011 case, Kavanaugh dissented when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld D.C.’s ban on loosely-defined “assault weapons,” and the city’s rule requiring the registration of all guns. He strongly signaled his support for D.C. v. Heller, an infamous Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal handgun ban and established the Second Amendment as an individual right. Kavanaugh applied the Heller precedent to D.C.’s more recent restrictions and found them illegitimate. Because these laws would arbitrarily restrict access to weapons that everyday Americans rely on for self-defense, and allow the government to track firearms in a database (potentially paving the way for forced recollection), it’s heartening to see that Kavanaugh’s support for the Second Amendment was on full display.

The judge’s record on concealed carry laws is less clear, but still promising. When D.C. tried to restrict the right of law-abiding residents to carry a concealed firearm to only those who could prove a “good reason” that they needed to exercise their rights, Kavanaugh was quick to signal his skepticism. In fact, it’s hard to find any major examples where he hasn’t supported gun rights.

None of this is to say that Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will be the perfect Supreme Court justice. On a few issues his record is suspect, like protecting 4th Amendment privacy rights, but overall, Kavanaugh is an extremely qualified and competent judge, whose philosophy is rooted in conservative principles and originalism. So Kavanaugh’s nomination is great news for any American who believes in the Second Amendment, because we can trust that he will interpret the Constitution literally — especially when it says that the people’s “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

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About Bradley Polumbo

Brad Polumbo is a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is an outspoken critic of PC culture and a free-speech advocate. His focus is on cultural issues and civil liberties.

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