Law & the Courts

The Corner

Guns and Gorsuch

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sent out a press release today with four proposed questions for Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing. The questions don’t seem to me to be either illuminating or challenging. Here they are, stripped of prefatory language:

1.) Do you agree that the 2nd Amendment right is not unlimited or absolute, that it does not trump other constitutional rights, and that it is subject to reasonable limitations for public safety?

2.) Do you believe current federal law requiring Brady background checks for gun sales from licensed dealers, and prohibiting certain people from completing gun purchases, is constitutional?

3.) Do you believe that the 2nd Amendment protects gun owners and/or gun industry participants with immunities or protections from liability for negligence?

4.) Do you believe states have the ability to develop gun laws to keep their citizens safe?

My own answers to these questions are:

1) Yes, I agree. 2) It would be improper to commit to rule in particular ways on issues that may come before the Court. 3) Statutory protections already in law are certainly constitutional, and will likely make the question of whether the Constitution itself confers any protections from liability moot. 4) Yes, within constitutional limits.

If these questions were designed to put Judge Gorsuch on the spot, I don’t think they were designed well.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More