- Created: Thursday, 05 August 2010 19:05
- Written by Craig Fields
-- Time to help GOA hold the turncoats accountable
"After reviewing Ms. Kagan's record and testimony at her confirmation hearing, the GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA concluded that, 'The available evidence portrays her as a forceful advocate of restrictive gun laws and driven by political considerations rather than rule of law.'" -- Sen. John Thune (R-SD), August 5, 2010
ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE TODAY
Senator Thune quoted GOA accurately. Elena Kagan is going to be a disaster on the Supreme Court.
Our gun rights are hanging by a thread. Prior to the vote in the U.S. Senate today, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama sounded the alarm: "Most Americans are totally unaware [that] the Second Amendment hangs by a mere thread [by] two 5-4 decisions recently...."
He was referring, of course, to the two gun-related decisions over the past couple of years where the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of gun rights.
With this in mind, several Senators spent almost an hour today talking exclusively about the Second Amendment, its importance to all Americans across the country, and the danger that President Obama's most recent pick to the U.S. Supreme Court poses to our gun rights.
Sadly, the Senate today voted 63-37 to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. While this is disappointing, you need to realize that we got more votes against Kagan than we have ever gotten against a Supreme Court Justice that we've opposed -- more than we garnered against Justices Sotomayor or Ginsburg. (Imagine, Justice Gingsburg only received three negative votes!)
Today, we gained tremendous ground. There were Senators who voted against Kagan today who had NEVER before voted against a Supreme Court Justice. And come this November, we plan to gain even more ground when a new batch of candidates take their seats in the U.S. Senate... when we will probably be able to filibuster (and defeat) any future U.S. Supreme Court Justice that President Obama nominates.
So thank you for all your help in fighting this nominee. Now, it is time for us to shift into high gear and hold the turncoats in Congress accountable. But more on that -- and on today's vote -- below.
STAND WITH GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA
While today's loss on the Kagan nomination was disappointing, don't forget that we won a VERY KEY battle last week against legislation to squelch our voice 60 days prior to a general election -- legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act.
This victory means that we will be able to hold accountable those Senators who stabbed gun owners in the back and voted for Elena Kagan today -- and we'll be able to hold them accountable all the way up to Election Day.
So gun owners need to stay engaged in the battle to retain and reclaim our rights. Even though Congress will be out of session this month, you can help us INCREASE our voice in Congress -- and INCREASE our ability to reach more gun owners -- by renewing your membership with GOA and encouraging others to do the same.
You can go to http://gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm and join Gun Owners of America for the cost of a box of ammunition.
As you already know, GOA will NOT be compromising your rights. We will not compromise on your Second Amendment freedoms... nor will we compromise on your First Amendment freedoms which are necessary to defend those liberties.
During debate over the DISCLOSE Act last month, Senator Mitch McConnell praised GOA's uncompromising approach on the floor of the Senate when he said that the legislation was "not about the Democrats' affinity for the Second Amendment. If it were, they would have carved out an exception for the Gun Owners of America as well. As it is, the GOA vehemently opposes this bill. Why? Because they know it restricts First Amendment rights."
We only have a little less than three months before the election. We need you now more than ever! Please go to http://gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm and renew today.
HOLD YOUR SENATORS' FEET TO THE FIRE
Many of you have Senators who pride themselves as being independent thinkers. They claim they are "Blue Dog" Democrats who support the Second Amendment.
But guess what: Virtually every single Blue Dog voted IN FAVOR of Kagan today. To see how your Senators voted, please go to: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=2&vote=00229
Senators Harry Reid of Nevada, Jim Webb of Virginia, Max Baucus and John Tester of Montana, and many more... all the Blue Dogs voted for Elena Kagan, with the exception of Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
You need to realize: These so-called Blue Dogs can't claim they didn't know Kagan's record on gun control. Nor can Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and the other four Republicans who voted for Kagan. They can't claim that Kagan's record is silent on the gun issue. They can't claim she might support gun owner rights in the future.
Senator after Senator sounded the alarm on the floor of the Senate. Just take a look at what a dozen Senators had to say about Elena Kagan's views on Second Amendment rights:
* Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL): "Ms. Kagan's record regarding the Second Amendment leaves little doubt that she will be hostile to the rights of law-abiding citizens to own and possess firearms."
* Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “Solicitor General Kagan's record clearly shows she is a supporter of restrictive gun laws and has worked on numerous initiatives to undercut Second Amendment fundamental rights.”
* Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL): "Ms. Kagan has spent her career implementing antigun initiatives and evidence of her antagonistic attitude towards the Second Amendment can be found from the beginning of her legal career."
* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): "Ms. Kagan also worked in the Clinton administration to weaken and limit other individual rights such as the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In her hearing, Ms. Kagan refused to acknowledge any real limits on the Federal Government's power, which the Supreme Court has already expanded far beyond anything America's Founders intended, to regulate everything imaginable in the name of interstate commerce."
* Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): "Documents made available from the Clinton Library show she was a key player in that administration's gun control efforts. She was a key advocate for multiple gun control proposals and even authored multiple Executive Orders that placed restrictions on gun owner rights."
* Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS): "General Kagan's prior work suggests that she would not protect an individual's constitutional right to bear arms. As a policy advisor to President Clinton, Kagan promoted several gun control proposals, including background checks for all gun purchases in the secondary market, a gun tracing initiative, and giving law enforcement the ability to retain background check information from lawful gun sales. She also drafted executive orders to restrict the importation of semiautomatic rifles and to require all Federal law enforcement officers to install locks on their weapons."
* Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): "I was also troubled by her testimony with regard to the Second Amendment -- the right to keep and bear arms. She did say the recent decisions in Heller and McDonald are 'settled law,' but I worry that her interpretation of settled law means until there are five new Justices who take a look at that settled law and just decide to change it.... Last year, [Justice Sonia Sotomayor] testified that Heller was settled law. But last month, she joined in a dissenting opinion in McDonald urging it be overturned, saying she did not believe the Second Amendment conferred a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms."
* Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL): "I am also concerned about Solicitor General Kagan's views on the right to bear arms enumerated in the Second Amendment. I think she has too little regard for some of our Constitution's most fundamental protections. As a law clerk, she was dismissive of the Second Amendment, saying she was not sympathetic to the amendment."
* Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID): "I am convinced [Kagan] does not believe the Second Amendment reserves to all Americans a strong and broad right to bear arms…. Countless law-abiding Americans were denied their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms for way too long. It is imperative that the next Supreme Court Justice fully understand and accept and support these rights. I am not convinced that Ms. Kagan does, and that causes me great concern."
* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): "[I have] serious concerns about her Second Amendment views and her correlating judicial record on the Second Circuit Court."
* Sen. John Ensign (R-NV): "When I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Kagan about her views on the Founders' intent of the Second Amendment, she informed me that although she had read much analysis regarding the Second Amendment, she had never studied its history or origin. Certainly, this statement was surprising to me, especially given her documented history of hostility toward the Second Amendment."
* Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): "The conclusion I draw from all this is that Ms. Kagan is, at best, uninterested in the Second Amendment at this point in her career. At worst, she is unsympathetic to the millions of Americans who, similar to this Senator, believe the Second Amendment is one of the most important of our constitutional liberties."
These statements are just the tip of the iceberg.
Senators who voted for Elena Kagan cannot claim ignorance. They voted anti-gun, and we need to let them know that we, the American people, are coming to take back our government on Election Day.
They need to hear over and over again that "we will remember in November."