If we want gun safety in America, Brett Kavanaugh will not help us

If we want gun safety in America, Brett Kavanaugh will not help us

Gun Rights

© Greg Nash Much of the focus surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has been on his views on abortion, health care, and presidential power and impeachment. But with his confirmation hearing in the Senate next week, people should be deeply concerned about his troubling and dangerous position on firearms and the Second Amendment. Unlike some other constitutional questions, we do not have to guess how Judge Kavanaugh would approach challenges to gun regulations, because he laid out his views in a dissenting opinion in a 2011 case known as Heller II. Those views are outside the mainstream of judicial thought about the Second Amendment. If they prevail on the Supreme Court, they threaten to invalidate a wide range of some of the most important and effective gun safety regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. To determine whether a gun law is constitutional, Judge Kavanaugh asks only one question: Is the law “sufficiently rooted in text, history, and tradition”? In other words, if a gun regulation is “longstanding” or “analogous” to a longstanding regulation, Judge Kavanaugh would likely uphold it. If not, he would likely strike it down. What this means is that, to Judge Kavanaugh, all that seems to matter under the Second Amendment is what happened in the past. The sole question he asks precludes any consideration by the court of the impact a gun law would have on public safety. Judge Kavanaugh is upfront about this and states that his […]

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