Merrick Garland has ‘very liberal view of gun rights’

The conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which plans to spend at least $2 million on an advertising campaign to oppose Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination, says the nominee “has a very liberal view of gun rights.”

JCN chief counsel Carrie Severino said in a blog post that Judge Garland’s record on the bench since 1997 “leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

In 2007, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled against the District’s handgun ban in Parker v. District of Columbia (the case which eventually became District of Columbia v. Heller when it went before the Supreme Court).

The D.C. government asked for a rehearing of the case before all 10 judges of the appeals court.

Six judges voted not to rehear the case, but four, including Judge Garland, voted for a rehearing.

Conservatives say that’s presumably because he disagreed with the three-judge panel that had ruled to overturn the handgun ban.

In announcing the nomination, President Obama hailed Judge Garland as “one of America’s sharpest legal minds.”

Judge Garland was appointed to the bench by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997, winning Senate confirmation by a vote of 76-23. Prior to that, he served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Mr. Obama had considered Judge Garland for the high court in 2009, but instead chose Sonia Sotomayor.

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, reiterated Wednesday that the GOP won’t consider the nominee.

“In light of the contentious presidential election already well underway, my colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee have already given our advice and consent on this issue: we will not have any hearings or votes on President Obama’s pick,” Mr. Lee said. “Any meeting with any nominee put forward by President Obama would only be a waste of the Senate’s time. The Court has very ably dealt with temporary absences in the past and will do so again now.”


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