BELLEVUE, WA – President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. to succeed retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court will give Senate Democrats an opportunity to demonstrate their long-claimed support for the Second Amendment.

There have been no clear-cut rulings by Judge Roberts to suggest one way or the other how he looks at the Amendment, but his history shows a strict constructionist view of the Constitution. Alan M. Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), suggested that during the confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the nominee be quizzed on his interpretation of this important individual civil right.

“Senate Democrats have talked the talk, and now they can walk the walk,” said Gottlieb. “Someone on that panel needs to ask whether the nominee believes the Second Amendment affirms an individual right to keep and bear arms, as originally envisioned by the Framers.

“If Judge Roberts supports the individual right interpretation, then Senate Democrats have a clear obligation to vote for confirmation,” Gottlieb observed. “On the other hand, if Judge Roberts adheres to the fantasy that the Amendment is only written to protect some sort of ‘collective right’ of the states to organize militias, then those same Democrats have a duty to reject this nomination.

“For too long,” he continued, “lower court judges whose nominations were supported by Democrats have gotten away with wrongly suggesting that the Second Amendment – unlike any of the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights – does not mean what it says. It is time for Democrats, who claim to believe the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right, to step up to the plate and prove it. The day is looming when the high court will rule on a Second Amendment case. When that day arrives, this country will need a majority on the court that has read and understands the Amendment as it was written.”

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