As is the duty of many presidents, whenever a Supreme Court Justice vacancy opens up in the highest court in the land, a new Justice must be chosen. As it so happens, President Trump has just gone through this process for the second time in his presidency and his choice is Brett Kavanaugh from Washington D.C.
So who is Brett Kavanaugh? What are his stances, specifically on the important subject of gun rights? Well let's take a look to see what our fellow gun lovers might like about this new nominee and if there is anything that might be considered a red flag to the second amendment.
THE HELLER DECISION
Brett Kavanaugh has a long history of vocal gun rights opinions, most of which came into play during the Heller decision when he was an appellate judge for the District of Columbia and continued in the following years of gun control attempts by the D.C. and Federal Governments.
Perhaps his biggest moment that left no thoughts as to where Kavanaugh's Second Amendment sympathies lie was in 2011 when Judge Kavanaugh was voted down 2-1 in a case that has come to be known as “Heller II.” This case brought about incredibly stringent semi-automatic rifle bans on D.C. and Judge Kavanaugh was none too happy about it.
Kavanaugh believed that this round of gun control was unconstitutional and actually cited the earlier Heller decision as a reason for why the new law shouldn't go into place. His statement reads as follows.
In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns—the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic—are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi-automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. It follows from Heller's protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.'s ban on them is unconstitutional. (By contrast, fully automatic weapons, also known as machine guns, have traditionally been banned and may continue to be banned after Heller.)
You can definitely see where the judge is coming from here. Holding rifles to a higher standard than pistols just lacks the common sense that Kavanaugh has forged his career on upholding.
KAVANAUGH'S OTHER STANCES
While Kavanaugh's biggest gun-related cases were regarding Heller, he has also used his dissents and other cases to make further pro-gun statements. Kavanaugh believes that AR-15's should not be banned, magazine capacity limits should not be implemented, and strongly disagrees with even the language of “Assault Rifle” stating “[I]t is the person, not the gun, who determines whether use of the gun is offensive or defensive.”
Kavanaugh also believes that few government objectives are more important than fighting violent crime. He added in making this statement that there are some laws while not included in the constitution, have been added to help rid the country of this scourge, including the original Heller Decision as Kavanaugh noted in his statement.
All things considered, Kavanaugh appears to be a fellow who is going to fight for gun rights, but even he has stated that he is still beholden to the constitution and his decisions must be based off of the document itself. Why not let the Judge explain it himself?
“The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.”
So what do you think of what you're hearing of Brett Kavanaugh? Do you think he's going to make a good Supreme Court Justice or do you want the Senate to get together and attempt to block him? Let us know what you think in the comments below.