At least four pro-gun rights Democrat senators are not tipping their hands whether they would support a Obama nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who does not fully support the Second Amendment.
Scalia authored the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008, which recognized Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for purposes of self-defense.
In it, the late justice wrote, “History showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents.”
Gun rights supporters continue to laud the 5-4 decision as a watershed moment in the gun control debate in the United States.
The Daily Signal reports that four Democrats who voted against the president proposed gun control measures in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting are now remaining silent on whether they would support an Obama nominee whose record is not strong regarding the Second Amendment.
Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana did not respond to a Daily Signal request for comment regarding the issue.
“Each voted against at least one of nine separate amendments that would have propelled what Obama called “common-sense gun reforms,” the news outlet noted. Manchin is up for re-election this year, while Donnelly and Heitkamp face voters in 2018. Tester is not up for reelection until 2020.
As reported by Western Journalism, the president announced a series of executive actions concerning gun control earlier this year, arguing he has the constitutional authority to undertake them. Lawsuits have already been filed in federal court charging that the president exceeded not only his executive authority, but is infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
The new measures the administration announced came in addition to the 23 actions it took regarding gun control in 2013.
Many, including Republican presidential candidates Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have pointed to Obama’s decision to circumvent Congress in the past, not only concerning gun control but on multiple occasions, as a reason not to move forward on any of his potential Supreme Court nominees.
As reported by Western Journalism, federal courts have already ruled that the president has exceeded his executive authority regarding illegal immigrants, EPA regulations, and portions of Obamacare.
The president was questioned earlier this week whether he would nominate a moderate to the high court in order to make it more difficult for Republicans to oppose his choice. He quickly replied, “No” and added, “You shouldn’t assume anything about the qualifications of the nominee other than they’re going to be well-qualified.”