Barrett grilled on views about felons’ right to own guns — and to vote

Barrett grilled on views about felons' right to own guns — and to vote

During day two of her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced scrutiny over one of her most noteworthy past opinions on whether felons should be banned from owning firearms. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., asked Barrett about what he described as her belief that banning felons from voting is permissible under the Constitution, but prohibiting them from owning firearms is unacceptable. “I think the right to vote should be given at least as much respect as the 2A right,” Durbin said. “Do you?” Barrett pushed back at the premise of Durbin’s question, telling him and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that she has expressed no view on whether states are right or wrong to ban felons from voting. The questioning stems from Barrett’s dissenting opinion in a 2019 appeals court case in which she disagreed with a ruling that prohibited a felon from owning a firearm in Wisconsin. The 2019 gun rights case, Kanter v. Barr , in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit centered on the right of a Wisconsin man, Rickey Kanter, to own a firearm after he had served a sentence for a mail-fraud conviction. In that case, the appeals court agreed with the district court that keeping felons from possessing firearms is related to the “important governmental objective of keeping firearms away from those convicted of serious crimes,” the decision said. Barrett dissented in the case, writing that while legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous […]

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