Editorial: Kavanaugh has extreme views on gun rights

Editorial: Kavanaugh has extreme views on gun rights

Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images North America Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s conservative views on abortion are coming under intense scrutiny. So is his position on whether a sitting president can be the subject of a criminal investigation. But another troubling concern is Kavanaugh’s stance on gun rights. The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist called Kavanaugh an "outstanding choice" with "an impressive record that demonstrates his strong support for the Second Amendment." No wonder. As an appellate judge, Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in 2011 that said he would strike down a ban in Washington, D.C., on some assault weapons as well as a requirement that firearms be registered. The 2-1 majority upheld the assault ban and some of the registration rules. Both judges in the majority were Republican appointees, underscoring how Kavanaugh’s dissenting views on guns are to the right of his conservative colleagues. The two judges in the majority said the D.C. laws were consistent with the Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller that said the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms in the home for lawful purposes, including self-defense. The 5-4 ruling was written by then-Justice Antonin Scalia and joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh would replace. While that ruling was a radical departure from previous interpretations of the Second Amendment, Scalia added that gun rights are "not unlimited" and that certain restrictions are permissible, including bans on "dangerous and unusual weapons." Given Kavanaugh’s dissenting view, it […]

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