Kavanaugh’s staunch gun-rights defense among hundreds of decisions in spotlight

Kavanaugh's staunch gun-rights defense among hundreds of decisions in spotlight

Hundreds of Brett Kavanaugh’s decisions are now in the spotlight after President Trump formally selected him Monday night to fill retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. Kavanaugh, 53, formerly clerked for Kennedy and was elevated to the powerful federal appeals court in the District of Columbia by former President George W. Bush, under whom he had also served as a White House lawyer and staff secretary. In his 12 years as a judge, Kavanaugh has issued approximately 300 opinions and delivered numerous speeches and legal arguments. Among them is his dissenting opinion on a pivotal gun ban in 2001. In Heller v. District of Columbia , the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the District’s ordinance banning most semi-automatic rifles. But in that case, Kavanaugh wrote the dissenting opinion, arguing the Supreme Court had already decided handguns – “the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic” – are constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment. He said despite gun violence in the area, “our task is to apply the Constitution and the precedents of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the result is one we agree with as a matter of first principles or policy.” The Supreme Court eventually took the case and struck down the ordinance; it held that the Second Amendment protects the possession of semi-automatic weapons for purposes unrelated to militia use. Judge Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the federal bench by former President George W. Bush. The National Rifle Association applauded Kavanaugh’s nomination as its president, Chris […]

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