Many have praised Judge Merrick Garland as a judicial moderate who has practiced “restraint” instead of “activism” on the bench, but his decisions say otherwise when it comes to Second Amendment rights.
In 1997, President Clinton nominated Judge Garland to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Only three years later, Judge Garland voted against the National Rifle Association in a case challenging an expansion of the Brady Bill implemented under then-Attorney General Janet Reno.
This expansion included the six-month retention of lawful gun purchaser’s records from the National Instant Check System.
In this case, Judge Garland voted alongside one of the most liberal judges on the bench, Circuit Judge David Tatel, to affirm the district court’s dismissal of the National Rifle Association’s complaint.
The decision ultimately resulted in the upholding of what was essentially an informal gun registry in violation of the Brady Bill.
In 2007, Judge Garland again attempted to undermine the rights of lawful gun owners by voting with Judge Tatel to grant a petition for rehearing en banc on a three-judge panel decision that struck down a law that banned individual handgun possession.
Judge Garland and Judge Tatel lost this vote, but it is likely that the law banning individual handgun possession would have been reinstated if they had won.
Furthermore, if Judge Garland and Judge Tatel had won, the Supreme Court may not have had the chance to protect the rights of gun owners in D.C. v. Heller for many more years, if ever.
The evidence is clear.
Judge Garland becoming a justice on the Supreme Court would be a complete disaster for supporters of the Second Amendment.
His liberal view of gun rights would surely alter the ideological balance of the high court.
In fact, Judge Garland’s existence on the bench would create the first liberal majority seen in the high court in over 40 years.
A liberal majority on the Supreme Court could very well be the end of the Second Amendment as we know it today.
And, for those of you who are still not convinced, ask yourself one question.
Would President Obama nominate someone to the Supreme Court who would undermine his seven years of work to limit and destroy the right of American citizens to bear arms?
• Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.
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