The National Rifle Association came out forcefully on Thursday against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying her positions “represent a clear and present danger to the right to keep and bear arms.”
Senior executives for the gun rights group said they have examined Kagan’s record and found “nothing to indicate support for the Second Amendment.” They also labeled her “clearly out of step with mainstream America.”
The NRA indicated it will "key vote" Kagan’s confirmation, a scoring process the group uses in its decision to endorse candidates and sitting members of Congress on gun rights issues, according to NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
“With no judicial record, only Kagan’s political career can be reviewed,” Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, and Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “And this provides no reason to trust her with Americans’ firearms freedom. Throughout her career, she has repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility to the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution.”
Kagan finished testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, and despite opposition from the NRA and several conservative-leaning groups, her confirmation appears to be on track. The only question now is how many Republicans will vote for her. The Senate Judiciary Committee will likely hold a vote on her confirmation after the July 4 recess, with a full Senate vote coming shortly thereafter.
During Kagan’s confirmation hearing this week, Republican gun rights supporters repeatedly pressed her on whether she believes the Second Amendment is a fundamental right.
Kagan’s description of Second Amendment cases, including Monday’s high court ruling limiting the right of state and local governments to regulate gun ownership, as “settled law” troubled the group.
The NRA released a statement Monday arguing that Kagan has shown a “hostility” towards the right to bear arms. The release cites her role in developing the Clinton administration's 1998 ban on the importation of certain models of semi-automatic rifles; notes during her time at the Clinton White House mentioning the NRA and Ku Klux Klan as “bad-guy” organizations; and her comment to Justice Thurgood Marshall that she was “not sympathetic” to a challenge to the District of Columbia’s handgun ban.
In their statement, as well as in an accompanying letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members, LaPierre and Cox said the confirmation vote would be used in the NRA’s process of evaluating candidates.