A decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, about state and local regulation of firearms, is all but certain to come down Monday when the Court sits for the last time this term. The justices heard arguments in March in the case, which is a follow-up to the Court’s 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller in favor of a constitutional right for individuals to own guns.
Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice, said he’s hoping the decision will concentrate the attention of senators and Second Amendment advocates on the role of the courts.
“That’s going to remind everyone of the profound impact that Kagan can have on gun rights,” Levey (above, center) said today at a news conference. The debate over gun rights is moving from the legislature to the courts, he added, and “once it’s in the courts, that means that your Second Amendment rights will hang on Supreme Court justices.”
Last year, advocates for gun rights stepped up their role in the Supreme Court confirmation process. The National Rifle Association opposed the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor and said it would include the confirmation vote in its ratings of lawmakers. That move was credited with increasing the opposition to Sotomayor within the Senate.
Levey said he thinks, based on documents from the Clinton White House, that Kagan is not a supporter of gun rights. In response to written questions during her confirmation process for solicitor general, Kagan declined to say whether she thought Heller was rightly decided but called the decision “settled law.”
McDonald is one of four argued cases still to be decided by the Court, after the release of seven opinions today. The justices meet at 10 a.m. Monday, two and a half hours before Kagan’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to begin a block away.
Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi