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Democrat Court Packing Will Eviscerate the 2nd Amendment

by Matthew Monforton Read Profile arrow_right_alt

As Republicans contemplate replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Democrats are threatening to pick up where FDR left off over 80 years ago by adding as many as four left-wing justices to the Supreme Court.

Conservatives and gun owners in particular should take Democrats at their word.  No provision of the Bill of Rights is more vulnerable to a Democrat-packed court than the Second Amendment.  The Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms already rests on a thin reed – and didn’t exist at all, as a practical matter, until very recently. In 2008, the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms.  This was the first time in the nation’s history the Court acknowledged that the amendment did more than simply authorize the creation of the National Guard.  

Heller was a 5-4 decision.  So replacing Ginsburg with a constitutionalist like Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and thereby producing a 6-3 majority of GOP-appointed justices, might seem to be all that is necessary to lock-in our Second Amendment rights well into the future. But a Democratic sweep of presidential and congressional races in November, followed by the appointment of four Biden justices, would turn that constitutionalist majority into a 7-6 liberal court from hell.

It’s been four years since the Claremont Review of Books published its famous “Flight 93 Election” – a warning to Republican voters reluctant to vote for Donald Trump that victory by Hillary Clinton meant certain doom:

2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees. Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain.

History is repeating itself, particularly for Second Amendment advocates.  It’s not enough for Trump to nominate, and the Senate to confirm, a reliable Second Amendment defender in the next few weeks.  If Trump loses, Republicans will need to hold the Senate – indeed, a GOP-controlled Senate would be the Second Amendment’s last line of defense.  And incumbent GOP senators are battling for their lives in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, and Georgia (actually, two in Georgia). 

The good news is that all of these states are pro-gun and (except for Colorado) voted for Trump in 2016.  And Democrat senate candidates, such as Iowa’s Theresa Greenfield, seem to recognize that court-packing is a toxic issue:

The NRA, the National Association For Gun Rights, and every Second Amendment advocate living in red states with senate races need to explain how Democrat court-packing would result in the de facto repeal of the Second Amendment. And then implore them to vote accordingly.

The constitutional right to keep and bear arms faces an existential threat.  There is only one guarantee: just like in 2016, if we come up short in these senate races, death is certain – for the Second Amendment and probably a lot more.     

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