A gun rights decision provides a preview of the justice Amy Coney Barrett might be, both liberals and conservatives agree

A gun rights decision provides a preview of the justice Amy Coney Barrett might be, both liberals and conservatives agree

President Donald Trump walks with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after announcing her nomination to the Supreme Court on Sept. 26. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) Judge Amy Coney Barrett acknowledges that the decision she considers most significant in her relatively short time as a judge “sounds kind of radical”: She doesn’t believe the Constitution gives government the authority to ban all felons from owning guns. One gun law expert calls the opinion an “audition tape” for the Supreme Court nomination she received, and Democrats plan to argue at Barrett’s confirmation hearings beginning Monday that it puts her far outside the mainstream. Even, they say, to the right of her conservative former boss, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. “She is extreme on this issue,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “She would go much farther than her mentor Scalia did in striking down common sense measures.” Supporters are enthusiastic about Barrett’s 37-page dissent in Kanter v. Barr , in which she argues only those shown to be dangerous may be stripped of their Second Amendment rights to guns, and that simply being convicted of a felony is not enough. The opinion “shows that she takes the Constitution’s text and history seriously,” said Ilya Shapiro of the libertarian Cato Institute, and is committed to “holding the government’s feet to the fire” when individual rights are at stake. The opinion — even some liberals who worry about its implications praise its craftsmanship — provides a preview of […]

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