Biden nominated DC Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General. But is he a “moderate” Democrat? No such thing. He appears to not have many cases involving the Second Amendment, but the ones he was involved in give us pause.
Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The liberal District of Columbia government had passed a ban on individual handgun possession, which even prohibited guns kept in one’s own house for self-defense. A three-judge panel struck down the ban, but Judge Garland wanted to reconsider that ruling. He voted with Judge David Tatel, one of the most liberal judges on that court.As Dave Kopel observed at the time, the “[t]he Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights” in a previous case. Had Garland and Tatel won that vote, there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had a chance to protect the individual right to bear arms for several more years.
Moreover, in the case mentioned earlier, Garland voted with Tatel to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement. Congress prohibited federal gun registration mandates back in 1968, but as Kopel explained, the Clinton Administration had been “retaining for six months the records of lawful gun buyers from the National Instant Check System.” By storing these records, the federal government was creating an informal gun registry that violated the 1968 law. Worse still, the Clinton program even violated the 1994 law that had created the NICS system in the first place. Congress directly forbade the government from retaining background check records for law abiding citizens.
National Review, 2016
Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court just prior to the 2016 election. His nomination did not go through the Republican controlled Senate. There is a good reason why, but Democrats always say that Republican hypocrisy was involved. Was it? Or was there more to Merrick Garland than met the eye? He’s not the moderate he was purported to be. And he is likely to be a monumental thorn in the side of all gun owners, Christians, and Republicans as the Attorney General.
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