Kavanaugh Presses Texas on Abortion Law as Path to Restrict Guns

Kavanaugh Presses Texas on Abortion Law as Path to Restrict Guns

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sharply questioned Texas over the prospect that the legal machinery of its new abortion law could be used against other freedoms, including gun rights. “Can I ask you about the implications of your position for other federal rights?” Kavanaugh said Monday as the court heard arguments on the abortion law. He referred to a brief filed by a firearms rights group expressing concern that the law’s design to avoid judicial review could be copied by a measure threatening Second Amendment rights. “We can assume that this will be across the board, equally applicable as the Firearms Policy Coalition says, to all constitutional rights?” Kavanaugh pressed Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone, citing free speech rights and other liberties that could be infringed. “Your Honor, in several of those circumstances, individuals who were concerned that a lack of immediate pre-enforcement federal court access would cause them ruinous liability or otherwise suppress their ability to exercise those rights have turned to Congress and succeeded,” Stone responded. “For some of those examples, I think it would be quite difficult to get legislation through Congress,” Kavanaugh said. He asked Stone to suppose that a law was enacted letting anyone sue a person for using an AR-15 rifle and hold them liable for $1 million. Stone responded that “whether or not federal court review is available does not turn on the nature of the right.” — With assistance by David Yaffe-Bellany

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