For the second time in two years, the most influential gun-rights lobby in Washington is lining up against a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Officials from the National Rifle Association sent a letter to senators today announcing that the organization is opposing Elena Kagan’s confirmation. The group opposed Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation a year ago, likely causing some senators to oppose her, too. And as it did last year, the group is taking the extra step of considering senators’ votes when deciding whether they are worthy of support.
“Unfortunately, Ms. Kagan’s record on the Second Amendment gives us no confidence that if confirmed to the Court, she will faithfully defend the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding Americans,” reads the letter from the NRA's president, Wayne LaPierre, and executive vice president, Chris Cox.
The Associated Press first reported on the letter earlier today.
Kagan completed her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. At 4 p.m. today, the committee is scheduled to reconvene and hear testimony from outside witnesses.
UPDATE (2:08 p.m.): White House spokesman Ben LaBolt released this response to the NRA announcement: “Solicitor General Kagan made clear during the hearings that Heller and McDonald are the law of the land and therefore that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual, fundamental right to bear arms. Chief Justice Roberts stated during his confirmation hearings that judges confront issues differently than staff attorneys for an administration with a position. Elena Kagan agreed this week and said judges must demonstrate restraint and respect for precedent.”
UPDATE II (2:38 p.m.): The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is endorsing Kagan. “Her testimony has provided ample reason to think that she will interpret and apply the Second Amendment consistent with the urgent need to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people,” the group's president, Paul Helmke, said in a statement.