Despite his impressive judicial credentials, many liberals have responded with outrage to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
His past statements on Americans’ Second Amendment rights might explain why.
In his dissent in the Heller v. District of Columbia case, which centered around draconian D.C. gun laws, Kavanaugh argued semi-automatic rifles, firearms that Democrats refer to as so-called "assault rifles," are protected by the Second Amendment.
"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,” he wrote. “There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semiautomatic 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.”
He continued, “Moreover, semiautomatic 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.”
Should Kavanaugh be confirmed by the Senate, the Second Amendment would likely be protected for decades to come. Kavanaugh would join fellow Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch as another true constitutionalist on the bench.
That fact isn’t lost on Democrats.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) claimed Kavanaugh was a “Second Amendment radical.”
“Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. He believes assault weapon bans are unconstitutional, a position way out of the judicial mainstream, far to the right of even late Justice Scalia,” he tweeted.
Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh without the support of any Democrats, making his confirmation likely.