Supreme Court candidate Thomas Hardiman: An ‘extremist’ on gun rights

Supreme Court candidate Thomas Hardiman: An ‘extremist’ on gun rights

Gun Rights

Judge Thomas Hardiman, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) In the wake of mass shootings that have divided the country, President Trump is considering nominating to the Supreme Court an appellate judge who has argued that Americans have a constitutional right not only to keep guns at home — as the high court has ruled — but also to carry them in public. U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas M. Hardiman has also written that convicted criminals, including some felons, should be able to recover their right to own and carry guns, as long as their crimes were not violent. Constitutional law scholars and advocates on both sides of the gun debate say that Hardiman, a federal appeals court judge in Pittsburgh, holds a more expansive view of the Second Amendment than the Supreme Court has articulated to date. His nomination and confirmation would push the court to the right, they say, making it more likely that justices would agree to hear cases challenging gun laws — and perhaps to strike them down. Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who has written extensively about gun laws, said that if Hardiman’s view were law, gun restrictions in states such as California, New York and New Jersey would be struck down, potentially leading to a vast expansion in legal gun ownership. “He believes the government has very little leeway in regulating guns. He […]

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