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Brett Kavanaugh Sworn in as Supreme Court Justice

Brett Kavanaugh Sworn in as Supreme Court Justice

Originally published in the December 2018 Official Journals of the National Rifle Association

Supreme Court
Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But the journey from nomination to confirmation was anything but good. In fact, it was quite an embarrassing spectacle.

America watched in shock as the Left did everything it could to tear down an honorable man with a stellar judicial track record spanning more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the end, though, Kavanaugh was successfully confirmed on Oct. 6.

Had the Kavanaugh confirmation been completely derailed, the Supreme Court would have remained with only eight justices until a new nominee could be confirmed. And those eight justices are evenly split when it comes to the Second Amendment. In other words, four respect the original intent of our Founding Fathers and support our individual right to keep and bear arms, while the other four support virtually unfettered restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. Without Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Second Amendment-related cases heard by the Supreme Court would have likely received a 4-4 split decision, leaving intact previous rulings. Thus, an anti-Second Amendment ruling handed down by a lower court would remain in effect in the jurisdiction covered by that court.

Because many firearm-related cases could soon be taken up by the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s confirmation came not a moment too soon.

One such case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. City of New York, challenges the constitutionality of Title 38 of the Rules of the city of New York. The lawsuit states that the rules infringe upon the Second Amendment by denying the right to possess and carry a firearm for personal defense, as well as by prohibiting residents from practicing at a firearms range or participating in shooting events located outside the borders of the city of New York. The rules were upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit earlier this year, and an appeal to the Supreme Court has been filed.

Another important case, Rogers v. Grewal, challenges New Jersey’s “may-issue” carry permit system, which requires permit applicants to show a “justifiable need” before they will be issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Rogers argued the “justifiable need” standard for carry permits was declared unconstitutional in Wrenn v. District of Columbia in 2017, so New Jersey’s standard should also be held as unconstitutional.

Wrenn, however, was decided in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and New Jersey falls under the purview of the 3rd Circuit. The Rogers case was dismissed due to the precedent in another case ruled on by the 3rd Circuit in 2013, Drake v. Filko, where the court held that the “justifiable need” standard was found to be constitutional. Rogers is on appeal to the Supreme Court, which will hopefully take up the case due to the conflicting rulings at the circuit court level.

Finally, there is Worman v. Baker, which challenges the constitutionality of the Massachusetts law that bans countless semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines. A federal judge has already ruled against the challenge, using a tortured misreading of the landmark Heller case, and the case could very well make it to the Supreme Court next year.

During his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh had an exchange with anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that made clear just how important it was to the pro-gun community that he ascend to the Supreme Court. Feinstein questioned Kavanaugh’s dissent in a case that upheld a D.C. “assault weapon” ban, where he argued that such firearms are “in common use” and therefore protected under the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment precedent in Heller.

Feinstein made the ridiculous claim that “assault weapons” might be commonly owned but are not in common use. Kavanaugh calmly pointed out that so-called “assault weapons” are, in fact, in common use, explaining that they are in the homes of millions of law-abiding Americans, and that there is no legal distinction between ownership and use.

It is because of such views that the NRA—and all law-abiding gun owners—needed Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. We should all be thankful he was willing to endure the unprecedented personal smear campaign launched against him by those who will clearly do anything in order to oppose our constitutional freedoms.

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