While it has only been days since the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, it appears that president Trump is leaning toward appointing someone to the vacant seat right away.
Further, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said the Senate would move to confirm Trump’s pick.
Luckily, Ginsberg’s health has been known to be bad for some time, which is probably why the president has already had a short list of candidates available. The question is whether the name at the top of that list will be good for guns and gun rights.
Amy Coney Barrett, a front-runner for the open U.S. Supreme Court seat President Donald Trump is pushing to fill, is a favorite among religious conservatives.
As a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett, 48, has voted in favor of one of Trump’s hardline immigration policies and shown support for expansive gun rights. Here are some of her most notable opinions.
Barrett indicated support for gun rights in a March 2019 dissenting opinion.
She was part of a three-judge panel that considered a challenge to a federal law that bars people convicted of felonies from owning firearms. A businessman who had pleaded guilty to mail fraud argued the law was unconstitutional as applied to him.
The two other judges, both appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, said the federal law and a similar Wisconsin one were constitutional.
In a dissent, Barrett said that, absent evidence the man was violent, permanently disqualifying him from owning a gun violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns,” Barrett wrote. “But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.”
Not going to lie, that’s pretty pro-gun. In fact, a lot of people who consider themselves pro-gun wouldn’t go that far, but Barrett did. That’s quite interesting and it’s a good signal for the Second Amendment community.
Barrett on the Court may actually pressure the other justices to actually hear Second Amendment cases, and that’s something we desperately need.
With the Supreme Court issued the landmark Heller decision, it laid out some ground rules. However, those ground rules aren’t being observed by numerous lower courts throughout the nation. The fact that so-called “assault weapon” bans can stand proves that they’re not adhering to the Heller test.
If Barrett is confirmed, she’ll provide yet another pro-gun voice on the bench. There’s some indications that Chief Justice John Roberts is the holdup, not one of the more liberal members of the Court. That means Barrett might just be the vote that changes the Court’s apathy toward Second Amendment rights.
Of course, it’s still early. We don’t know if the president will nominate her or not. If so, it’s at least unlikely that she’ll get quite the same treatment as Justice Brett Kavanaugh did, though I don’t foresee her confirmation process being any easier. It’ll just be a different flavor of train wreck.
Still, if she’s confirmed, there’s reason to feel hopeful for gun rights. Especially if we’re facing a potential Biden/Harris administration.