Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has been called an "anti-gun radical" by some gun rights activists for joining an opinion this year that said the Second Amendment does not prevent state and local governments from restricting arms ownership.
But yesterday a panel of conservative luminaries on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reached the same conclusion. The unanimous ruling rejecting a challenge to Chicago's tough handgun law could complicate efforts to portray Sotomayor as a judicial activist trying to undermine the Supreme Court's landmark decision last year holding that the amendment protects the right to own a gun for self-defense.
The sticking point came on a case involving nunchuks in New York City. You may remember nunchuks as the weapon of choice for Bruce Lee: two sticks chained end to end that are very versatile for self-defense...or clocking the ever-living crap out of someone.
In that case, the defendant claimed that the SCOTUS decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, which was a minor landmark decision in that it affirmed, or more to the point, created (so much for lack of judicial activism) the absolute right of an individual to own firearms, implied that states and localities were forbidden from overriding the Second Amendment.
The Appeals Court (Second Circuit) on which Sotomayor sat decided, um, no. States and localities can override it at their pleasure, as many other precedents of the court had dictated. The distinction in Heller is that the District of Columbia is quasi-federal to begin with.
As you can imagine, the NRAites went ballistic...sorry...over this revelation! It was decided in committee that this was absolute proof that Obama was trying to take away their guns.
After the tin foil hats were cleaned and blocked...
Much ado about nothing, as it turns out. The case they cite that Sotomayor sat on, Maloney v. Cuomo, was specifically cited by the conservative Seventh Circuit Appeals Court yesterday in its decision.
As usual, conservatives cried their eyes out and went through boxes of tissues decrying the oppression of the white man.