After eight years of Barack Obama in the White House, American voters might have the chance to see him appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court for life, because Hillary Clinton yesterday told a crowd in Iowa that, if elected, she would “certainly take that under advisement,” ABC reported today.
Her statement, in reaction to an audience question at a campaign event in Deocorah, may raise eyebrows in the Second Amendment community. Even just the thought of a possible Obama presence on the high court may cause American gun owners to turn out en masse this November at the polls, as they did in 1994 when they flipped Congress to Republican control.
By no small coincidence, it was that election 22 years ago that took Congress away from Clinton’s husband following passage of the Brady Law in 1993 and the Clinton 10-year ban on so-called “assault weapons” in ’94. At the time, Mrs. Clinton had been all in for both measures, and during her tenure in the U.S. Senate, she showed no indication of a change of heart on guns.
Yesterday’s remarks were captured on video, which was picked up by the Daily Caller. In her comments, Clinton acknowledged that the next president may be able to appoint “one to three” new Supreme Court justices. This is why, gun rights advocates continually remind their grassroots constituents, “Elections matter.”
The next president will also appoint more judges to the federal benches, at the circuit and appeals court levels. If Clinton is elected, along with a Democrat majority in the Senate – where judicial appointments are confirmed following hearings before the Judiciary Committee – her appointments would likely sail through. Second Amendment advocates are convinced that no Clinton judicial appointee will be friendly to the right to keep and bear arms.
This fact was not lost on Clinton, who reminded the crowd, “Now we do have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed so you’re going to have to help me on that, OK?” That may increase the odds that gun owners will be sure to participate in this year’s Senate races.
In 2008 and 2010, the high court barely confirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right and that it applies to the states via the 14th Amendment. It was a one-vote margin both times, and a leftward shift on the court could doom both the Heller and McDonald rulings, narrowing the right if not reversing them altogether, rights activists fear. Since 2010, the high court has rejected several cases for review, and right now, the justices seem to be sitting on the sidelines while the executive and legislative branches of government aregue.
Clinton dubbed the proposal “a great idea.” But that’s a matter of perspective. Gun owners, especially in the West, would not think having Obama on the Supreme Court is a great idea. Quite the opposite.
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