July 07, 2009

26 Gun Rights Leaders Call for Sotomayor No Vote

In a letter released today and attached below, more than two dozen leaders of the Second Amendment community from across the nation urged senators "not to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court," citing their "grave concern" over her Second Amendment record.

The individual signers include 14 members of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors and Executive Council, including two past presidents of the NRA. Another five signers head the NRA state affiliate in their respective states - Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The signers also include the heads of other leading national Second Amendment organizations, including the Second Amendment Foundation, the Gun Owners' Action League, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Notably, many of the signers represent red and purple states with one or more Democratic senators. Those signers including Sheriff Jay Printz of Montana, Wayne Anthony Ross of Alaska, Jon Standridge of Arkansas, Robert Sanders of North Carolina, John Lee of Pennsylvania, Tom Gresham of Louisiana, Ken Blackwell of Ohio, and Evan Nappen and Rep. Jennifer Coffey of New Hampshire. Given Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D - NY) proud trumpeting of her 100% voting record with the NRA, the presence of two signers from New York - including the President of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association - is also significant.

Curt Levey, Executive Director of the Committee for Justice, commented today on the significance of the letter, especially for red and purple state Democrats:
"Today's letter is a game changer politically. For the first time in the history of judicial confirmation fights, the Second Amendment community is playing a big role. Because it's the one community that can send red state Democrats running for cover, this letter and the grassroots opposition to Sotomayor that it represents put her confirmation in doubt. Red and purple state Democratic senators know that if they vote to confirm Sotomayor, they will face a lot of unhappy constituents back home. Those senators will have to explain to their constituents why they endangered their fundamental rights by putting someone so hostile to the Second Amendment on the Supreme Court. And that's after they finish explaining away Sotomayor's embrace of racial preferences and disdain for property rights."
The following signers have provided their contact information and invite reporters to contact them:

Sandra Froman, Esq. - (520) 906-5587
Ken Blackwell - (614) 946-1908
Grover Norquist - (202) 785-0266
Sheriff Jay Printz - (406) 381-0485
Alan Gottlieb - (425) 454-4911
Tom King - (518) 424-1349
Tom Gresham - (318) 663-1358


July 7, 2009

Dear Senators:

As Americans who have dedicated themselves to protecting the Second Amendment right of U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms, we urge you not to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

It is extremely important that a Supreme Court justice understand and appreciate the origin and meaning of the Second Amendment, a constitutional guarantee permanently enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Judge Sotomayor's record on the Second Amendment causes us grave concern over her treatment of this enumerated constitutional right.

Last year, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that the Second Amendment guarantees to all law-abiding, responsible citizens the individual right to keep and bear arms, particularly for self-defense. Following Heller, the Supreme Court is almost certain to decide next year whether the Second Amendment applies to states and local governments, as it does to the federal government (see NRA v. Chicago and McDonald v. Chicago.)

While on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor revealed her views on the right to keep and bear arms in Maloney v. Cuomo, a case decided after Heller, yet holding that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right, that it does not apply to the states, and that if an object is "designed primarily as a weapon" that is a sufficient basis for total prohibition even within the home. Earlier in a 2004 case, United States v. Sanchez-Villar, Sotomayor and two colleagues perfunctorily dismissed a Second Amendment claim holding that "the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right." Imagine if such a view were expressed about other fundamental rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, such as the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Surprisingly, Heller was a 5-4 decision, with some justices arguing that the Second Amendment does not apply to private citizens or that if it does, even a total gun ban could be upheld if a "legitimate governmental interest" could be found. The dissenting justices also found D.C.'s absolute ban on handguns within the home to be a "reasonable" restriction. If this had been the majority view, then any gun ban could be upheld, and the Second Amendment would be meaningless.

The Second Amendment survives today by a single vote in the Supreme Court. Both its application to the states and whether there will be a meaningfully strict standard of review remain to be decided by the High Court. Judge Sotomayor has already revealed her views on these issues and we believe they are contrary to the intent and purposes of the Second Amendment and Bill of Rights. As Second Amendment leaders deeply concerned about preserving all fundamental rights for current and future generations of Americans, we strongly oppose this nominee, and urge the Senate not to confirm Judge Sotomayor.


Sandra S. Froman, Esq.
Former President, National Rifle Association of America
NRA Board of Directors and Executive Council

Landis Aden
President, Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association

Scott L. Bach, Esq.
President, Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs

The Honorable Bob Barr
Former Congressman, 7th District of Georgia
NRA Board of Directors

Ken Blackwell
Senior Fellow, Family Research Council
NRA Board of Directors

Rep. Jennifer R. Coffey, NREMT-I
Representative, New Hampshire State House of Representatives
Representative, New Hampshire General Court
Director and National Coordinator, Second Amendment Sisters, Inc.
Advisor, New Hampshire Pro-Gun Advisory Council

Robert K. Corbin, Esq.
Former Attorney General, State of Arizona
Former President of NRA and current member of NRA Executive Council

Jim Dark
Former Executive Director, Texas State Rifle Association
NRA Board of Directors

Alan M. Gottlieb
Chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Tom Gresham
Host of “Gun Talk”
Nationally syndicated radio talk show

Gene Hoffman, Jr.
Chairman, The Calguns Foundation

Susan Howard
NRA Board of Directors

Tom King
President, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association
NRA Board of Directors

John T. Lee
President, The Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association

Owen P. Buz Mills
President, Gunsite Academy, Inc.
NRA Board of Directors

Evan F. Nappen, Esq.
Corporate Counsel and Director, Pro-Gun New Hampshire, Inc.

Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform
NRA Board of Directors

Sheriff Jay Printz
Retired Sheriff and Coroner, Ravalli County, Montana
Successful plaintiff in U.S. Supreme Court case Printz vs. U.S.
NRA Board of Directors

Todd J. Rathner
President, T. Jeffrey Safari Company
NRA Board of Directors

Wayne Anthony Ross, Esq.
President, Alaska Gun Collectors Association
Former Attorney General, State of Alaska
NRA Board of Directors

Don Saba, Ph.D.
Sierra Bioresearch
NRA Board of Directors

Robert E. Sanders, Esq.
Former Assistant Director (Law Enforcement), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
NRA Board of Directors

Jon A. Standridge
Brigadier General (USA Ret.)

Joseph P. Tartaro
President, Second Amendment Foundation

Jim Wallace
Executive Director, Gun Owners’ Action League

Current and past affiliations are for identification purposes only.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home