The untimely passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has given a new urgency to the battle over gun rights, as liberals and conservatives square off with the Second Amendment as the ultimate prize.
Gun prohibitionists desperately want anti-gun President Barack Obama to appoint another liberal to the high court, to tilt the bench to the far left. Conservatives want to delay confirmation of a replacement for Scalia until the next president takes office, hopefully in their minds to be a Republican.
The political Left is hoping for an opportunity to “re-examine” or “revisit” the 2008 Heller ruling, which was authored by Scalia and exhibited a painstaking analysis of historical evidence supporting the individual right concept. The Left, meanwhile, has stubbornly maintained that Scalia and the five-justice majority was wrong, arguing that the Second Amendment protects some “collective” right for the states to establish a “well-regulated” militia.
Those on the political Left refuse to acknowledge that they could ever be mistaken, insisting that their world view of civil rights is correct. This is particularly the case with the right to keep and bear arms, which the Left would like to see reserved only for the military and police, up to the point that the police might actually have to use their guns to stop some criminal in the act.
There is no question that the stage has been set for a bare knuckles political fistfight. The gloves already appear to be off.
Already there have been some suggestions that Obama could nominate U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, California Attorney General Kamala Harris or even former Attorney General Eric Holder. The latter seems an unlikely choice, having been the only sitting attorney general in U.S. history to have been held in contempt of Congress. Neither Harris nor Lynch has shown any fondness for the Second Amendment.
Conspiracy theorists have come out of the woodwork suggesting Scalia was murdered, apparently in order to create a vacancy. No autopsy was performed, but officials have said that there did not appear to be foul play.
There is likely to be a lot of “foul play” if the fight over filling Scalia’s empty seat heats up as many believe it will.
This situation underscores the importance of presidential elections, and what hangs in the balance in 2016.
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