Senators: Kavanaugh court may expand gun rights

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on gun rights may push the court to expand Second Amendment protections, say senators and activists on both sides of the debate. A 2011 Kavanaugh opinion, arguing for striking down the District of Columbia’s assault-weapons ban, suggests that he would be a stronger gun-rights advocate than the justice President Donald Trump has chosen him to replace, Anthony Kennedy. “Judge Kavanaugh is the worst nightmare for any advocate of common-sense gun violence prevention,” said Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. “Any measure preventing gun violence is at risk if it’s Justice Kavanaugh.” Where Democrats are fearful, pro-gun conservatives are optimistic that a Supreme Court with Kavanaugh in place of Kennedy would expand gun rights. The court hasn’t taken up a gun-rights case since 2010, and it has bypassed numerous chances to do so despite calls from some conservative justices. “If some state has banned semi-automatic weapons, they could rule that the Second Amendment trumps that state law,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “Once the case gets there, I hope he’ll listen to both sides of the story. Is he more conservative than Justice Kennedy on some issues? I think so.” “This was all part of an election. President Trump said he would put constitutional conservative judges who would protect the Second Amendment. That’s what he’s doing,” Graham said. Praise from NRA The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist Chris Cox praised Kavanaugh as an “outstanding choice” with “an impressive record that demonstrates […]

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