Hershel Walker is a football legend. His play at the University of Georgia is still talked about in hushed, reverent tones around these parts. I tell people I saw Hershel play in person once upon a time and revel in the envy on their faces.
Unfortunately, Walker may have won on the field, but Raphael Warnock won the runoff election last night.
Now, there was no chance the Republican Party would take control of the Senate by this point. The best they could hope for is to hold the lines as they currently were, which would give them the filibuster and an even split on committees.
With Warnock’s victory, though, that goes out the window, and that can be a problem for the Second Amendment.
See, as things stand in the Senate, there’s no risk of gun control being passed–especially since there’s even less chance of the incoming House passing any–but that’s far from the only threat to our right to keep and bear arms.
The reason? The courts.
With a 51-49 edge in the Senate, committees will be controlled by Democrats. That means there will be a leftward slant on the judicial committee that approves judicial nominees. Pretty much anyone Biden nominates has a strong chance of getting through that process.
Further, there’s no more filibustering judicial nominees. That’s been gone for a while. Now, it just takes 51 votes to confirm a nominee, which is exactly how many votes the Democrats have.
“But with Bruen, that shouldn’t be a problem,” you might think. Frankly, you should be right if you did.
However, we also know that the world doesn’t work that way. While Justice Clarence Thomas laid down a new standard that should short-circuit any gun control efforts, we’ve already seen the creative ways anti-gunners can rationalize things like training requirements. You’re deluding yourself if you don’t think judges will use those rationalizations as well.
While I have little doubt where the Supreme Court would come down on such cases, the truth is that there’s no guarantee that they’d even hear the case.
So that means we could see the Second Amendment still gutted all across the nation, all because of the outcome of last night’s runoff election.
And we know Warnock isn’t a fan of the Second Amendment.
Yet it’s not all doom and gloom.
You see, those 51 votes require every Democrat to vote in lockstep with the party. As we’ve seen over the last couple of years, that’s not necessarily going to happen. Sens. Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema have forged a bit of a reputation as mavericks within their own party, which could well prevent some of the most radical nominees from getting confirmation.
If even one of those two joins Republicans to oppose a nominee, his or her hopes of being confirmed evaporate like a puddle on a Georgia August afternoon.
With it, the risk also evaporates.
Then again, that also assumes Republicans don’t cross the aisle on a given nominee, which isn’t an automatic either.
So while Warnock is a relatively minor senator in the grand scheme of things, his re-election upsets all kinds of apple carts.
Dig in. It’s going to be a bumpy couple of years.