Amy Coney Barrett Makes No Apologies for Sticking to Her Guns During Senate Confirmation Hearings

amy coney barrett supreme court

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

By Larry Keane

Judge Amy Coney Barrett showed the nation several things for which she won’t apologize during her nomination hearings. She won’t apologize for her keen intellect, her dedication to originalist interpretation of the law and she won’t apologize for being a gun owner.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quickly got to the point on gun rights.

“Okay. So when it comes to your personal views about this topic, do you own a gun?” he asked.

“We do own a gun,” Judge Barrett replied.

“Okay. All right. Do you think you could fairly decide a case even though you own a gun?” Sen. Graham continued.

“Yes,” she said.

With that, Judge Barrett told the committee and America that she doesn’t view the Second Amendment as a matter of rhetorical legal debate. Judge Barrett is a gun owner. She exercises her right to keep and bear arms. She also confirmed to Sen. Graham that Heller affirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear and that if a state or local government passed a law contrary to that finding, the Supreme Court would be required to hear that case if the appeals made it all the way up.

Troubling Gun Rights

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned Judge Barrett on gun ownership especially her dissent in Kanter v Barr where she argued the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit was wrong for denying a nonviolent felon gun rights based in the original text of the Second Amendment and gun laws at the nation’s founding.

Sen. Feinstein posed her question, noting, “…there’s been a troubling spike in gun sales. Americans bought approximately two million guns this past March.”

Her Jurisprudence

In fact, Judge Barrett chose a Second Amendment case, her dissent in Kanter v Barr, as the most significant case upon which she was asked to decide in a 65-page questionnaire provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee before the hearings.

“Looking to Founding-era history, I explained that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns, but that power extends only to people who are dangerous, not to nonviolent felons like Mr. Kanter,” she wrote in her questionnaire response.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listens during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds via AP)

Judge Barrett later explained to Sen. Feinstein in her questions that her application of the Second Amendment is indicative of her belief in originalism. She explained that the law is written as it is for a reason and that judges can’t presuppose or interject their personal biases into written law.

“What I can say is that my opinion and Kanter shows my judicial philosophy,” Judge Barrett said. “I spend a lot of time looking at the history of the Second Amendment and Supreme Court cases. The way in which I would approach the review of gun regulations is in the same way. To look very carefully at the text, to look at what the original meaning was. I promise I would come to that with an open mind, applying the law as I can best determine it.”

Legal Heavyweight

booker Supreme Court Barrett confirmation

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from legal experts on the final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Judge Barrett left many of the U.S. senators slack-jawed. She didn’t take the bait and simply outpaced them when it came to understanding of the law. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) made a ham-fisted attempt to pin Judge Barrett to specific definitions of the Second Amendment and her judicial philosophy or originalism.

“I’m not going to go so far back in history, but I’m going to take you back in history for a moment, and note that when that Second Amendment was written, and you did the analysis of it, we were talking about the likelihood that a person could purchase a muzzle loading musket,” Sen. Durbin said.

Durbin Supreme Court Barrett

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP)

But Sen. Durbin was purposefully misstating the Second Amendment. The amendment doesn’t include “muzzle loading muskets.” It says “arms.” He was attempting to pin literalism on Judge Barrett and not originalism. Sen. Durbin was purposefully disingenuous to box in the Second Amendment to a strict 18th Century view of the technology, despite the rifles of the time being military arms, Kentucky Long Rifles capable of shooting accurately to 300 yards and multi-shot firearms were invented and in existence at the time the Bill of Rights was drafted.

Klobuchar barrett confirmation

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

Further, Judge Barrett left some senators completely flat-footed in the understanding of what her role would be on the bench and what the senator’s job is in the legislature. She was asked time and again, if she would commit herself to specific policy positions, and not just those confined to gun rights. She explained to Sen. Graham that’s not judge’s role.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda. I like guns. I hate guns. I like abortion. I hate abortion.’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Judge Barrett explained.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offered her the opportunity to confirm to the audience of lawmakers that they, in fact, create laws and set policy. Judges decide if those policies are lawful.

“Many Democratic members of this committee seem to be treating this hearing as a policy hearing on what’s good healthcare policy, what’s good gun policy, what’s good voting rights policy,” Sen. Cruz said. “Judge Barrett, in your view, is it the responsibility of a federal judge to implement policy positions that they might happen to agree with?”

“That’s your job, not a judge’s,” Judge Barrett said.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

comments

  1. avatar Optimistic Engineer says:

    It means you can have at home (which means buying) any military weapon.

    1. avatar Doug says:

      Realistically, the chances of the average Joe being able to go to the store, plunk down his credit card, and walk out 10 minutes later with an FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS and a case of M67 fragmentation grenades is nil, and will be for the foreseeable future.

      If we’re very lucky, we might get SBR’s and suppressors deregulated at some point.

      Might, mind you.

      1. avatar Biatec says:

        I disagree. If the second amendment had not been torn to shreds the last 100 years we would all have boxes of grenades rpg’s and more. Surplus grenades would not be that expensive. Then think of the worlds surpluses. They would be sold here dirt cheap.

        1. avatar Doug says:

          But I’m not speaking of how the 2nd Amendment should have been intrepreted historically, and how it should be in the future. I’m speaking of how it *will* be interepreted.

          Not even the most pro-2A Supreme Court that could plausibly come to pass will ever let RPG’s, SAM’s, etc., be sold to the general public.

        2. avatar Biatec says:

          Ooh okay. Then I misinterpreted what said. I’m sorry. I agree.

        3. avatar Draven says:

          Imagine getting surplus FALs for $300, instead of just the parts kits….

        4. avatar Montana Actual says:

          A Rhodesian FAL.

          mmmm.

        5. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

          “Not even the most pro-2A Supreme Court that could plausibly come to pass will ever let RPG’s, SAM’s, etc., be sold to the general public.”

          Today, if you can pass an NFA background check and have the money, you most certainly can own a Russian military RPG and the ammunition to feed it.

          The transfer tax for each round is 200 dollars for a ‘destructive device’…

        6. avatar LazrBeam says:

          The fishing would certainly get better.

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        the movement in the direction of deregulation of certain items was largely fostered by ATF’s intent to lessen their workload…those efforts (now stalled) were not political but a matter of expediency….

      3. avatar David Jackson says:

        So what you’re saying is that I have to take all that back? Now I gotta go find my receipt…..

  2. avatar John in FL says:

    Best soundbite, after telling Klobuchar about some existing super-precedents, Klobuchar asked about Roe. Barret responded by asking Klobuchar “How do you define super-precedent?”
    IN
    YOUR
    FACE

    1. avatar Loving American says:

      She’s an absolute savage! No doubt she will be championing the Supreme Law of the Land for years to come

  3. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

    I have a rifle with Judge ACB’s name on it that I would enjoy watching her fire.

    1. avatar SCJILF says:

      I’d put down money for an Amy Coney special edition rifle from Barrett.

      1. avatar Free Kyle! says:

        I got her name laser engraved on my Barrett Rec10 lol

  4. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Yes .50 cal Amy Barrett you need to get on your knees and apologize for The Constitution of The United States and swear your support for the communist manifesto like the entire democRat Party has done.

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

  5. avatar Umm . . . says:

    Lots of people talk about Judge Barrett’s courage and composure, but they pale in comparison to that momentous image of Sen. Klobuchar bravely doing her job while being penetrated anally.

    1. Maybe that is why she kept shaking her hands so much …???

    2. avatar Weapon Of War says:

      Haaaa! Comment of the day! you earned it!

      1. avatar Umm . . . says:

        Thanks – but she did the hard part! 😉

        1. avatar Weapon of War says:

          Someone please give her a towel to chew on

        2. avatar Umm . . . says:

          Or something to chew on, anyway!

  6. avatar Prndll says:

    She just keeps my vote solidly for Trump.

  7. avatar Paul says:

    Inconceivable, to me, that Barrett should “apologize” to anyone at all. The buttwipe Dems have to do all sorts of mental contortions to “justify” or to rationalize their positions on the 2nd Amendment.

    I’m sure that I’ll disagree with some of Barrett’s opinions in the future. But anyone who relies on originalism can’t go very far wrong.

  8. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I may be in love.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Now Now she’s a married woman and a good woman. Be respectful.

  9. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    Vote Trump, you might even give him a chance to replace Breyer.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      No way in hell. Trump is a Domestic Enemy of the Republic, he is contemptible to the Constitution and a lover of dictators. He is a traitor holding no loyalty or personal honor beyond his own personal brand and ego.

      1. avatar TA Boles says:

        So you want Biden to pack the court then? Why do you even hang out on here if you hate the 2A so much?

        1. avatar enuf says:

          Your priorities are seriously out of whack. Trump is a wannabe Strongman Ruler, an authoritarian who embraces dictators around the world and demands loyalty to himself personally above loyalty to the Republic in all his servants. And he looks at them as servants, be they the Attorney General, or the Secretary of State or the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

          Trump is contemptible to the Constitution of the United States and is a Real and Present Danger to the security of the Republic.

          You think this election is about one issue. It is not. It is about the very heart and soul of American Republican Government. The survival of our Republic is at risk and Trump is the threat.

          Compared to that, Biden is merely a liberal politician in his last hurrah. His agenda will run into what all Presidential agendas run into, a brief period of political capital that gets one or two of his major agenda items moved into new law. Only not as he planned, much modified by Congress.

          As for the primary issue here, the irony is Amy Coney Barrett. Anything Biden may do on gun laws is headed for the rocks, and we all know it.

          Remove the Traitor from the Oval Office.

          Restore Sanity to American Government.

          Save The Republic.

          It’s as simple as that.

        2. avatar TA Boles says:

          Major citations needed on all your baseless calims, enough. And funny how your name links to “Republican gov’t spooks for Joe Biden” about the last people I would trust to tell me who to vote for. Hahaha

        3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          @enuf Yet President Trump selected a SCOTUS nominee who would not seem to support ‘His dictatorship’?

          She was in the running for Justice Kavanaugh’s seat as well, that’s when people took notice of her.

          And President Trump selected someone who looks at laws through the lens of Originalism?!!

          If the soon to be re-elected President is a dictator he sucks at it.

        4. avatar Montana Actual says:

          enuf, if you had been rambling on about some libertarian candidate then you might actually make sense. Voting democrat has NEVER “saved the republic” in this country. The confederacy, yes. Wake the fuck up shill.

        5. avatar California Kid says:

          Look at California if you want to see Enuf’s paradise. The middle class is leaving in droves because of crazy liberal policies. The people leaving are not just conservatives they include many liberals. Housing costs are out of control. There is so much red tape to build a home that the prices are astronomical. The homeless are everywhere and once beautiful cities are becoming cesspools. The tax burden is one of the highest in the nation. The cost of gasoline is 70% higher here than in many other states and we have extremely high electricity costs. Guns are very highly controlled and the regulations to buy something as simple as ammo are horrendous.

          This is the future of America if you elect Democrats. Yes many Californians are saying Enuf and leaving for red states.

        6. avatar tdiinva says:

          Manse:

          Trumps sucks at a lot of stuff. Look how bad he is at being Hitler. I mean he even has Jewish grandchildren and is the most pro-Israel President ever. On the other hand his preferred candidate has the support of Ilhan Omar, Rasida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, Keith Ellison and Louis Farrakhan, Nazis all.

      2. avatar Jeff says:

        Who invited this nitwit to the comment section?

      3. avatar Ing says:

        Do you really think Joe Biden or Kamala Harris or any other DC swamp creature has so much more “loyalty or personal honor” than Donald Trump? News flash: They ALL suck and they’re ALL corrupt. The only difference between them is that some of them suck even worse than others, depending on what it is they want the government to do to the rest of us.

        If you hate Trump so much, you need to consider that Joe Biden is as responsible as anyone for Trump’s election. He’s spent 47 years getting America to this sad point…and you want MORE?

        For the love of God, man, if you can’t vote for Trump, just don’t vote. The end result re: The Donald will be the same. Hating Trump doesn’t mean you have to vote for a lifetime corruptocrat who has promised to deep-six all the rights you claim to believe in.

        1. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Enuf is one of those pale skinny jean wearing non gun owners who sit online and rant about being more pro 2a than anyone else when in reality he gets pwned during airsoft events with 13 year olds critiquing his tactical knowledge. He might not even be that smart…. he probably doesn’t even airsoft…

      4. avatar tdiinva says:

        You keep claiming that but has President Trump used the organs of government to go after his political opponents like the Obama-Biden Adminstration?

        Has he defied a court ruling like Governors Witmer and Evers?

        Has he shut down churches but allows groups he approves of to roam the streets like Governor Newsom?

        Has he attacks Jews like Governor Cuomo?

        Has he sent his supporters into the streets to burn, loot and attack his opponents?

        You keep making this statement yet you never answer. What’s wrong? Is it because this is what Democrats do and not President Trump?

  10. avatar enuf says:

    Anyone who looks upon the Second Amendment as written to keep pace with the latest technology in military arms is thinking correctly.

    The Founders absolutely knew about repeating arms long before, during and after the writing of the Constitution. The earliest repeating arms are Arquebus in the late 15th century. Then came wheellock designs in the 16th century including designs up to 30 rounds that were issued to royal guard units and used in combat. This continued with flintlocks into the 17th and 18th centuries. The British used repeating flintlock carriage mounted guns against the American colonials. The Continental Congress itself placed an order for repeating flintlock arms from an American maker. However, the inventor was a bit inept at pricing his product. He informed Congress that each gun would effectively replace a number of soldiers and thus the price would be equal to paying to field that many soldiers for a year. Congress promptly canceled the order.

    An originalist view of the Second Amendment can only be honest if it recognizes that the writers were among the new nation’s best educated and world-aware, keenly aware of weapons technology, and certainly not so foolish as to imagine that any of this would stand still.

    There is an angle that a court may have to decide, if a case is brought to them. That is what may be stored in an area of dense population. Under the Second Amendment, you have the right to own high explosive weapons, cannon and mortar, bombers and fighter jets and all the kabooms they can carry aloft.

    But public safety and fire codes may deny you the right to keep all that stuff in your suburban ranch home, yards way from your neighbors in a duplicate suburban ranch home. Own it, yes, tuff it into your little box house surrounded by a herd of other little box houses? Probable not.

    That’s about it though. Not a limit on ownership, a zoning code on the kaboom potential of what you keep on your property.

    1. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

      Does this mean that I have to relocate my 10,000 tons of
      Ammonium Nitrate and fuel oil?

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      Got it. They can declare any guns and ammo to be too dangerous to possess in a home within 3 miles of another residence (approx limit of a carelessly fired bullet). They’ll have to be stored at a police station or certified range/armory. You can check them out when you want to go to the range or hunting. Sounds like the Gifford’s new Fudds for Gun Control group is right up your alley.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      think the assumption is the people can own a weapon suitable for militia service…and an AR-15 fits those parameters nicely…providing rough parity with what the military is currently using…which seems to be the original intent….

      1. avatar Ragnar says:

        Reference: United States v. Miller, 307 U.S.

    4. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Limiting your rights on your property, or in general actually, is exactly a limit on ownership. You don’t get it both ways. Many states already have restrictions what you can do on your property, like the democrat ones you are enabling by voting for biden, where they tell you that you cannot even collect rain water.

    5. avatar LazrBeam says:

      Enuf, you have a tendency to drone on. Suggest you learn to be concise.

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    ACB for President 2024!

  12. avatar Kendahl says:

    A judge, not a politician in black robes.

  13. avatar Nanashi says:

    The one thing I think ACB could have done better is say “I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?” after a democrat went on a speech that only ended with the vague semblance of a question.

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      I would have like to see this every time Sleepy Joe danced around a question recently at the “town hall” event. The moderator should have said, “thank you, but the question I asked was…”

  14. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    Sen. Feinstein posed her question, noting, “…there’s been a troubling spike in gun sales. Americans bought approximately two million guns this past March.”

    What’s so troubling about citizens practicing a Right? If there is a spike in voters this election, would that be troubling? If Harris loses, it may be troubling to the Maoists, not so much for the rest of us.

    ACBs’ performance was inspiring. How often do we see people with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the insane left? Kavanaugh did ok, but ACB was excellent. When confirmed n and she must be, she will soon to be a wrecking ball in many issues.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      This. Can you imagine someone speaking of 1A or 4A exercise in such a fashion?

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Absolutely. The Left already does.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Well, a sustained spike in sales drives up prices and reduces availability.

      Other than that, can’t think of a single negative.

    3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “When confirmed n and she must be, she will soon to be a wrecking ball in many issues.”

      They hate her. They despise her with a seething rage. They are watching all of their Leftist hopes and dreams being dismantled right in front of them piece-by-piece, bit-by-bit by a boorish and egotistical Manhattan real estate developer, and there is *nothing* they can do about it.

      Today, I’m nearly as giddy as I was on November 9, 2016. I walked around that whole day with a *snicker* on my lips and a shit-eating grin glued to my face… 🙂

  15. avatar GregV says:

    ACB showed us all that the bar is very low to be elected as a Senator. She made the democrats look like fools. With people like her on the Supreme Court, there is hope that the American ethos will prevail over the dark forces of evil.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      It would be better to have state legislatures appoint senators but that doesn’t happen any longer.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        she may be Trump’s last hurrah…if so,..he’s going out on a high note…..

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          Even if he loses, he has exceeded my every expectation as a president, by a wide margin.

          ACB is just the tastiest, most delicious icing there ever was on a cake that is now being rubbed right in their faces… 🙂

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      It was refreshing to see one person that was intelligent, sitting on capitol hill for a change. Those idiots met their match !

  16. avatar madmax3.6 says:

    enuf .Yuh Mudda Cunt!!!!

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