(INTELLIHUB) — Since the moment President Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, commentators and citizens on both sides of the aisle have attempted to figure out where Garland stands on key issues that are sure to come up in the very near future.
From abortion to environmental regulations, the establishment “consensus” seems to be that while Garland is somewhat of a moderate, he is definitely a liberal and will most likely side with the other liberals on the court on just about every issue.
Sadly, when it comes to gun rights, Garland is far from a moderate and will most likely judge cases regarding the 2nd Amendment from a radical leftist anti-gun viewpoint. The importance of this fact cannot be overstated. One more liberal vote on the court and we can pretty much say goodbye to gun rights in America and all evidence points to Garland being that vote.
Interestingly, Garland has somehow managed to keep a low profile on his beliefs in regards to the 2nd Amendment and because of this we only have a few cases that we can look at in an attempt to figure out where he stands on one of the most important issues of our time. With that being said, (and despite outright lies from numerous liberal “journalists”) Garland’s history points to an anti-gun viewpoint on almost every level.
In 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision that had struck down an unconstitutional and extremely restrictive gun law in Washington D.C. After the hard left District of Columbia government had passed a literal ban on individual handgun possession, even in self-defense of one’s own home, a three judge panel struck down the ban. For his part Garland attempted to have the entire case reconsidered which if he had gotten his way would have most likely stopped D.C. vs. Heller from even going to the Supreme Court. That’s right, seemingly knowing that the Supreme Court would affirm Americans individual right to keep and bear arms, Garland attempted to stop the case from evening being heard by the highest court in the land.
At the time it wasn’t even considered a surprise by reporters who covered the courts as Garland was known to have hostility to gun owners rights. Dave Kopel reported that “the Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights”.
Remember, D.C. vs. Heller was literally one of the most important rulings in the history of Justice Scalia’s time on the court. It is also a ruling that liberals despise and want to overturn more than just about any other case.
A second decision by Garland also points to his anti-gun beliefs, this time he voted with another liberal leaning judge to uphold what would be deemed an illegal Clinton-era regulation that sneakily created a gun registration requirement despite Congress prohibiting federal gun registration mandates.
The Clinton Administration had been keeping records of lawful gun buyers for up to six months which in turn created an informal gun registry despite the Congressional ban. Garland voted to uphold the gun registry, laughably believing the governments claim that it wasn’t a form of gun registration.
As the National Review so aptly noted, “Garland thought all of these regulations were legal, which tells us two things. First, it tells us that he has a very liberal view of gun rights, since he apparently wanted to undo a key court victory protecting them. Second, it tells us that he’s willing to uphold executive actions that violate the rights of gun owners.”
Liberal media goes into complete disinformation mode
From the moment Garland was nominated the fact that he is transparently anti-gun began to go viral, with millions of Americans reading articles detailing Garland’s anti-gun history as well as warnings by conservative commentators that if confirmed he would overturn D.C. vs. Heller.
In response, some liberal “journalists” decided to just straight up lie about Garland’s views, again apparently hoping the American people were so dumb that they couldn’t read and interpret his obvious beliefs.
Perhaps the most stunning piece of disinformation came from Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a hard left talking head who actually published an article that claimed that there is no evidence that Garland is anti-gun.
Ludicrously claiming that conservatives have “no evidence whatsoever”, Stern went on to publish what can only be described as a sort of attempted Jedi-Mindtrick, acknowledging Garland’s obvious anti-gun actions but then explaining them away as misunderstandings or not having to do with the 2nd Amendment at all. In other words, Stern and Slate published a piece of garbage with the hope that liberals who hate conservatives would eat it up without the slightest bit of actual research.
Stern’s article also makes clear that he wholeheartedly trusts the government and the FBI and that whatever they say they are doing it must be true. Literally his evidence that Garland is not anti-gun includes quoting Janet Reno’s defense of the lawsuit she was being sued under.
First up is NRA v. Reno, a 2000 case that doesn’t even involve the Second Amendment. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act required the attorney general to establish a “national instant criminal background check system,” known as the NICS, to search the backgrounds of prospective gun buyers. When a person buys a gun, the dealer must submit identifying data (name, date of birth) to the NICS, which is run by the FBI. Once the background check is complete and the sale is finalized, the FBI must “destroy all records … relating to the person or the transfer” of the gun.
Yet the Brady Act does not say just how quickly these records must be destroyed. Thus, the FBI asked then–Attorney General Janet Reno to retain records for no more than six months, so it could perform a system-wide audit. An audit, the FBI asserted, would help the bureau to “identify instances in which the NICS is used for unauthorized purposes, such as running checks of people other than actual gun transferees, and protect against the invasions of privacy that would result from such misuse.” It would also “determine whether potential handgun purchasers or [gun dealers] have stolen the identity of innocent and unsuspecting individuals or otherwise submitted false identification information, in order to thwart the name check system.” In other words, the audit would screen for fraud and privacy abuse.
Reno agreed to let the NICS temporarily retain records for, at most, six months. The NRA sued, alleging that the data retention violated the Brady Act. It lost at the D.C. Circuit. Garland sided with Reno in an opinion that, essentially, stated the obvious: The Brady Act “does not say ‘destroy immediately’; it says only ‘destroy.’ When Congress wants to instruct an agency not only to take certain action, but to take it immediately, it knows how to do so.” The court deferred to Reno’s interpretation of the law. When John Ashcroft replaced her, he nixed the retention program and the audit.
Illegal gun registries have nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment? Well that’s a new one!
Next up is Parker v. D.C., which eventually reached the Supreme Court as Heller v. D.C.In Parker, a group of Washington, D.C. residents challenged the city’s handgun ban. A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit held that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to gun ownership—a liberty violated by the D.C. law. Garland wasn’t on that panel. But he did vote, without issuing an opinion, to rehear the case en banc, with all judges of the D.C. Circuit sitting and casting votes.
It’s not actually clear whether Garland wanted to reverse the panel’s decision or simply give the entire circuit an opportunity to consider the merits of the case. Either way, there are two important things to note. First, at that point in time, the Supreme Court had never held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms; at most, it hadsuggested that Americans may own firearms that “have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Heller upended this tradition—but Heller didn’t exist when the D.C. Circuit decided Parker. Even if Garland disagreed with the panel’s decision broadening the scope of the Second Amendment, he would only have been following the established precedent at the time.
The above paragraphs are possibly the most extreme examples of circular reasoning I have ever seen. It’s literal propaganda meant to confuse readers into somehow believing that Garland’s OBVIOUS anti-gun beliefs are somehow not true or more complicated than reports suggest.
In another bit of clever propaganda masquerading as reporting, Ronn Blitzer of LawNewz wrote, “These two instances are hardly defining in the grand scheme of things. Voting to review a gun ban is not the same as support for it. Likewise, upholding temporary retention of background information for the purpose of making sure the system works in no way restricts a person’s right to bear arms. But when Senate Republicans are already saying they will refuse any nominee, it would be surprising if they didn’t point to these cases when they justify their decision, or lack thereof.”
Go ahead and read that paragraph again as it may take a few reads to digest the scope of bullshit running through it. Voting to reconsider a gun case that was already ruled unconstitutional is not the same as supporting gun control?!
Oh and don’t worry, Garland didn’t support an illegal gun registry as there was no registry, the loving federal government was just keeping lawful Americans gun records to make sure they weren’t restricting these same Americans right to bear arms! The level of propaganda contained in Stern’s piece and the quote by Blitzer should show all Americans that the anti-gun left is literally trying to pull the wool over their eyes by confusing them with reality altering nonsense.
Thankfully, at least one commentator on the left isn’t a flat out liar and his reporting conclusively confirms exactly what conservatives and the NRA are saying. Merrick Garland is a leftist who will surely vote liberal a vast majority of the time, including on the all important issue of gun rights.
Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, published a piece on the same website as Stern’s disinformation which actually destroyed most of the ludicrous claims made by Stern in the first place. (hows that for confusing?)
Posner reveals a fact most on the right already know but one that those on the left are actively trying to hide, which is that if Merrick is confirmed the court will shift decisively to the left and that he will vote a vast majority of the time with the liberals.
There is literally NO honest debate to be had about this, regardless of what disinformation artists like Stern claim.
Epstein does point out, though, that the ideology of the president who appoints a justice is a reliable predictor of how the justice will vote on the Supreme Court. If the pattern holds for Garland, Republicans have much to fear from him. Whether you think of Garland as an ideological soul mate of Bill Clinton (who appointed him to the D.C. Circuit Court) or of Obama (who is trying to appoint him to the Supreme Court), his voting on the Supreme Court will be hard to distinguish from that of the current four liberal appointees. Two of those justices were appointed by Clinton and two of them were appointed by Obama, but all four vote nearly the same, solidly on the liberal side of the spectrum.
Whether Garland votes as a liberal or a moderate liberal, this means the court will shift radically from the right to the left. The reason is simple. A conservative 5–4 majority has piled up numerous conservative precedents over the last 20 years on ideologically charged topics ranging from gun rights, to affirmative action, and campaign finance. If Garland is confirmed, the balance shifts to a 5–4 liberal majority. No one would be surprised if the four current liberals would vote to overturn or cut back these conservative precedents if they were in the majority, though they might extend the counterrevolution over a few years for the sake of propriety.
While Garland’s supporters say that he’s too much of a “judge’s judge” to reverse course and vote with the other liberals and overturn these precedents, there is little reason for Republicans to believe this. Liberals believe, with their heart and soul, that the conservative precedents are illegitimate, based on a false ideology known as originalism as well as brute political force. Illegitimate precedents are not entitled to deference. Think of it this way: the moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy has been the decisive vote on a host of politically charged issues, in essence the court’s median voter. With Garland on the court, that median voter becomes either Garland or (if he turns out to be less than moderate) one of the current liberals, and it moves well to the left on most, if not all, issues.
So there you have it. Merrick Garland is an anti-gun liberal who if confirmed will surely go about attacking Americans gun rights in any way possible. The fact that some on the left feel the need to directly lie about this shows their worry that the American people will realize what is about to happen and mobilize to stop it.
Alex Thomas is an editor and opinion journalist at Intellihub.com. His articles and reporting have appeared on numerous news outlets including Infowars, RT, Press TV, and the Guardian. You can read more articles by Alex here as well as follow him on Twitter here.