President Donald Trump has started shaking up the federal courts, according to Fox News, nominating 11 candidates in an effort to start filling some 120 openings and somewhat level the legal playing field by bringing the federal bench back from Barack Obama’s far left tilt.
This could create a far friendlier legal environment for Second Amendment groups challenging restrictive guns laws. One of those organizations, the Second Amendment Foundation, has as its slogan “Winning Firearms Freedom One Lawsuit at a Time.” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb several months ago called on Trump to “make the Second Amendment great again,” and now it appears the president may be attempting to do just that.
Quoting Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Fox report suggested that Obama’s appointments were more committed to liberalism than the law of the land. Here’s what he said:
“President Obama understood the singular importance of the lower courts, which is why he was so vigorous in appointing judges with a greater commitment to the liberal political agenda than to our Constitution…The time has come to right the wrongs of the previous administration. These supremely qualified jurists will restore respect and credibility to the judicial branch by saying what the law is—not what it ought to be.”
Legions of concerned Second Amendment voters turned out last November not because they were enamored with Trump, who had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, but because they saw the Supreme Court and federal courts as critical to preserving the right to keep and bear arms. They were convinced that Hillary Rodham Clinton would stack the courts with more anti-gun liberals who agreed with her statement, caught on audio during a private fund raiser in New York in 2015, that the Supreme Court was “wrong on the Second Amendment” when it decided the Heller case in 2008.
Proof of the importance of Trump’s nominees to the Second Amendment community comes from Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice. She told The Hill that Trump’s court nominees must be carefully scrutinized, on the grounds that Trump’s nominees – including Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid to fill the vacancy left by Neil Gorsuch on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – apparently passed a litmus test that includes “opposition to gun safety.”
For gun rights activists, that translates to Eid likely supporting a reasoned interpretation of the Second Amendment over restrictive gun control. When liberals talk about “gun safety” they are talking about gun control.
Gun control groups began expressing fears about Trump’s court appointments even before the election last fall. Now they are stirring alarm that he will fill court vacancies with moderates and conservatives who will treat the Second Amendment equally to the rest of the Bill of Rights regarding the amendment as protective of an individual civil right rather than a government regulated privilege.
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