Senate Vote on Sotomayor This Week: Gun Rights At Risk

Sotomayor’s nomination was opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). In a July 23, 2009 letter to senate leaders, Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, and Chris Cox, Vice President and Executive Director of the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action, noted that,

“From the outset, the National Rifle Association respected the confirmation process and hoped for mainstream answers to bedrock questions. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor’s judicial record and testimony during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.”

That hostility was found in various judicial rulings. For example,

“Judge Sotomayor was a member of the panel in the case of United States v. Sanchez-Villar, where (in a summary opinion) the Second Circuit dismissed a Second Amendment challenge to New York State’s pistol licensing law. That panel, in a terse footnote, cited a previous Second Circuit case to claim, ‘the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.’”

LaPierre and Cox’s letter concluded, “We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Given the importance of this issue, the vote on Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation will be considered in NRA’s future candidate evaluations.”

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