The questioning of Amy Coney Barrett by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will wrap up on Wednesday, though a vote by the committee likely won’t take place until next Thursday, and the full Senate isn’t expected to vote on her confirmation until the waning days of October. Already, though, Second Amendment advocates are envisioning a Supreme Court with Barrett on the bench, and they like what they see.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb joins me to talk about what he’s seen from the Barrett hearings, as well as an update on a Second Amendment-related case that was turned away by the Supreme Court earlier this week.
When it comes to Barrett, Gottlieb says he’s been impressed by her command of the issues, and he was thrilled to see Barrett’s handling of questions over her dissenting opinion in the case Kanter vs. Barr, in which she opined that a non-violent felony conviction shouldn’t automatically result in a lifetime prohibition on the right to keep and bear arms.
Gottlieb notes that Barrett clearly understands that the Second Amendment protects a natural right, one that predates the Constitution. The arguments at the time of the Constitution’s ratification didn’t revolve around whether or not Americans possessed the right to keep and bear arms, but whether or not that right, along with several others, should be specifically protected in a Bill of Rights.
While that doesn’t guarantee that a Justice Barrett would move to strike down every gun control law that came before the Supreme Court, it does tell us that Amy Coney Barrett views the Second Amendment as protecting a fundamental right of Americans as opposed to an anachronism or constitutional anomaly that can be ignored at will by governments. That alone would be a sea change from the position taken by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who declared that the Second Amendment had no function any more because “we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home”.
As for the current makeup of the Supreme Court and its reluctance to hear any Second Amendment challenges, Gottlieb says he was incredibly disappointed by the Court’s decision this week not to grant cert to a case called Rodriguez vs. San Jose, which involved a woman suing the city of San Jose, California over the seizure of her lawfully owned firearms. Lower courts had concluded in essence that Rodriguez was legally eligible to go out and purchase new firearms to replace the ones seized by police in the city, but that the city wasn’t required to give her guns back to her.
The Second Amendment Foundation supported the case almost from its inception, and Gottlieb says they’re not done yet. You’ll have to watch today’s show to find out the organization’s next step, but suffice it to say that Lori Rodriguez may ultimately get her day before the Supreme Court, and if she does, it’s likely that Amy Coney Barrett will there to weigh in.