Amy Coney Barrett

Does Owning a Gun Make a Judge's Second Amendment Rulings Suspect?

If that standard were applied to other constitutional rights, no one would be left to enforce them.


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) was trying to help out Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett when he asked her whether she owns a gun during her confirmation hearing yesterday. But the premise of his question—that gun ownership might be viewed as disqualifying a judge from dealing fairly with cases involving the Second Amendment—could not be more absurd. Here is the relevant exchange:

Graham: When it comes to your personal views about this topic, do you own a gun?

Barrett: We do own a gun.

Graham: OK. All right. Do you think you could fairly decide a [Second Amendment] case even though you own a gun?

Barrett: Yes.

CNN highlighted that exchange in a headline and tweet, noting that "Barrett says she owns a gun, but could fairly judge a case on gun rights." The Independent also considered the point noteworthy: "Nominee owns a gun, but says she would rule 'fairly' on gun control cases." So did Fox News: "Barrett admits to owning a gun, says she can set aside beliefs to rule on 2nd Amendment fairly."

As the Fox News example suggests, this framing is probably not simply a matter of anti-gun bias. But it does suggest that, more than a decade after the Supreme Court explicitly recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to armed self-defense, that right is still treated as "second-class" in the press as well as the courts. Try to imagine headlines like these:

• Barrett Has Expressed Her Opinions in Print but Says She Could Fairly Judge a Case on Freedom of the Press

• Barrett Has Cast Ballots in Elections but Says She Could Fairly Judge a Case on Voting Rights

• Barrett Drives a Car but Says She Could Fairly Judge a Case Involving the Right to Travel

• Barrett Values Her Liberty but Says She Could Fairly Judge a Case Involving Due Process

Graham's general point was that judges and justices, regardless of who appoints them, are expected to set aside their policy preferences and personal beliefs when they interpret and apply the law. Since there is no such thing as a judge without opinions about policy and politics, such self-discipline is a basic job requirement. It is therefore not reasonable to reject a nominee simply because she took positions on controversial issues (such as abortion) before becoming a judge.

The doubt implied by these headlines goes even further, suggesting that a judge's rulings are suspect when they involve constitutional rights she herself has exercised. If that standard were applied consistently, no one would be left to enforce those rights.

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  1. Does speaking freely make a judge’s First Amendment rulings suspect?

    1. Only if they use that speech to express the wrong opinions.

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    3. If she published something on behalf of a corporation, she would be suspect according to democrats.

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    4. Ha, ha. But yeah, according to the other worldly “logic” of the leftists; anything they choose to question meets THEIR test of logic.

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    7. Graham was not trying to “help out” Barrett.
      He was trying to bait the left into claiming that her gun ownership disqualified her from hearing cases on gun rights.
      This was similar to efforts to get the Democratic Senators to repeat their claims that being Catholic would prevent someone to function as a judge. This time around the Democrats realized that was a losing argument. They probably learned their lesson from the Barrett hearings when she was appointed a federal judge. Consequently, when Graham held out the opportunity to attack her gun ownership the Democrats on the Committee did not take the bait.

      Graham’s ploy seems to have worked with the press, to an extent, based on the headlines cited. But the Senators did not swallow the hook and avoided claiming that exercising one’s Constitutional rights made one ineligible to be a Justice.

      Nice try on Graham’s part to get the left to back itself into just the corner so many have pointed out.

  2. Would having an abortion make a judge’s Roe v. Wade rulings suspect?

    1. More generally, would having a uterus make a judge’s reproductive rights rulings suspect?

      1. Not having one does – weird how that works.

      2. That depends on the politics of those who are nominating the candidate for the court. If the nominator is a republican yes it would mean that the candidate with a uterus cannot make an informed decision but if the nominator is a democrat then it does not matter if the candidate has has a uterus or a penis that candidate will always make the right decision.

        1. You got it right Curly4. Their answer will always be, “Because I said so!”

          1. And, you will like it!……..Comrade

            1. If anyone is implying someone who IDs as a wymyn must have a uterus, SHAME! Report immediately for your Wokeness Self-criticism Session. Double-session if the All-Seeing Eye IDs you as a cis, hetero non-wymyn.

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        2. I”m far more concerned about the answer t the question “does the candidate have more than two functioning brain cells?” than I want to know whether the candidate in question has/hasn’t a uterus, whether if affirmative, it is functioning normally, or whether the candidate has a penis and/or testicles that do/co not function, or nothing at all “down there”.
          However, if the candidate was revealed to have a brain but keeps it “down there”, I’d find that VERY concerning, and grounds for rejection.

    2. would allowing your own child to be born make a judge’s Roe vs Wade rullings suspect?

  3. Yesterday there was a joke going around Facebook that said “of course Barrett did well in her confirmation hearings, she has seven children and is used to answering stupid questions all day long”.

    I thought it was a joke. But apparently it was hard news.

    1. Questions? There weren’t many questions but plenty of grandstanding Senators.

    2. +1 horse-sized duck

      1. More seriously, Jordan Peterson (probably most prominently) pointed out a while ago that there’s a large and growing body of evidence that in-person interviews are actually a negative indicator for degree of fit and/or likely success. That, outside of generally or basally making sure the person isn’t a some manner of high-functioning or highly intelligent sociopath or a cultural screwball, the interview process inherently selects for popular and attractive people rather than people fit for the job.

        I’ve always thought that this was the purpose of these SCOTUS interviews. A minimal screen against the absurd posibility that the President accidentally chooses an axe-murderer with a law degree.

        1. “More seriously, Jordan Peterson…”

          You know you just hit the Tony light. It’ll show up any second now.

          1. I thought it was eunuch who had the obsessive Jordan Peterson hate

            1. Wait, there not the same person? Huh.

        2. Hamilton wrote that the purpose is to prevent the President from appointing cronies.

          1. But wait. There’s that AG thing.

        3. The hearings are meant to screen for temperament. They used to screen for opinions, but Ginsburg fucked that up by refusing to answer anything substantive.

          1. I don’t exactly disagree with Ginsburg. I think it’s between what I and Bubba Jones said. To make sure that Joe Biden doesn’t appoint Hunter Biden or some Burisma executive to the Supreme Court. Unless the opinion is along the lines of “Are you of the opinion that you owe the President personal, legal, or monetary favors?” The opinion questions are irrelevant.

    3. The fucking Poe’s Law again; it’s literally everywhere nowadays.

    4. Her kids probably ask better questions though.

      1. , , ,and pay more attention to the answers . . .

  4. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.)… could not be more absurd.


    1. Have you seen the competition?

  5. So some dipshits tried to shame her for adopting children of color from Haiti; she’s a Roman Catholic and apparently favors a theocracy; then we have looney Whitehouse and his dark money web charts, and now oh my God she own’s a gun! None of this of course is going to get any traction and will accomplish nothing beyond political posturing by some Senators; so when does the victim appear out of the blue with accusations of sexual impropriety from how ever many years ago I can’t really remember? It seems that is about all that is left in their pathetic arsenal.

    1. At least Barrett is not burn victim unattractive creating the possibility of sick fantasies when the inevitable “she raped me somewhere and at some time I can’t remember” victim shows up.

      So there is that.

      1. If anyone DOES pull off some such tripe, if I werein her soes I’d quietly and calmly ask the “accuser” to declare the date, time, place, and the nemes of who else was present. Ssk no more questioins yet.. but demand that EACH of those present be subpoenaed, and all to be sequesterd prior to their examination by HER. Then, each one alone, ask a nice fun set of detailquestions about the specifics, including how many other were there, were is “there”, time of day, what was I wearing, or not wearing, did we have food together whilst we were there what ias swerved.. when each of the “victims” come up with widely varying responses, none of them mathing, call their bluff, and demand that the Sargeant at Arms of the Senate arrest them and charge them with perjury and slander.. She’s got the spine to pull that one off. I think Kavanaugh totally muffed it when HE was on the hotseat. He was in defensive mde.ALEAYS turn on the Alpha dog and chase hard. Since theyare bluffing, they will turn tail and run, end up in confusion, just like Kavanaugh’s accuerss did. NONE of whom faced any consequences for their perjury. Sad….. the ONLY ting that will put an end to this garbage is to fight back, but fight fair. And be ruthless.

        1. “And be ruthless.” Like the Supremes?

    2. Hirono’s working on it

      1. Apparently being turned down for sex would disqualify you according to her. Like she gets it every time she wants.

        1. There’s your Coney-B sex scandal: BARRETT TURNED DOWN COLLEGE ROOMIE.
          “Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Freshman year roommate at Rhodes College accused the Supreme Court nominee today of sexual impropriety. The former classmate, whose name is being withheld until testimony is given to the Senate, told this paper through a spokesperson, “I was having a little trouble relieving some tension, if you know what I mean? I asked Amy to help me out. She totally freaked! I don’t get what her problem was. Half the girls on our floor were LUG. She grabbed her rosary and split. I was afraid she was going to complain to the RA. Apparently she spent the night in the chapel at the Newman Center. I can’t see how such a homophobe could get confirmed for the Court.”

          1. “Half the girls on our floor were LUG.”

            Loose Ugly Gargoyles?

            Lushes Until Graduation?

            Oh… Now I get it.

            Lesbian Under-Graduates!

    3. I’d never heard of that race-baiting butthead professor before this. Now I know that if I should ever happen to meet him, I should tear him a new asshole.

      There are quite a few adopted kids in my extended family. Anyone who bitches about where they came from can fuck right off.


      1. Me too!

  6. If she had a son in the Army, could she rule fairly on 3rd Amendment cases? What if he was home on leave?

    1. -1 Quartering Act.

      1. Quartering Act: A bill for dividing members of Congress into four pieces of equal mass.

        1. Can we make it a constitutional amendment?

          1. Dividing things so dense may not be possible.

  7. If owning a gun indicates an unacceptable pro 2A bias, surely not owning a gun indicates just as unacceptable a bias against it. That seems too obvious to doublespeak away, no matter how much dreidel you play.

    1. Eman, only if a person can come to a logical conclusion but that is not what the left is noted for. If you don’t believe as they do then you are illogical.

      1. You can’t reason a person out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into.

    2. What if I am only borrowing?

    3. Ah, you beat me to it. This was the first thing I thought of when I heard about this.

      In addition, what if someone does NOT own a gun but either:
      A) Intends to own one at some point, or
      B) Does not want to own one at any point, or
      C) May or may not decide to own one at some point

      It has to be one of those three things for any non-gun owning judge, right?

      Basically, the question suggests that no matter what the answer is given, it would be grounds for recusing oneself. So no judge under any circumstances should ever make any ruling on 2A?

      1. I support the 2A so that my neighbors can own guns. Classic “free rider” problem. Normal solution is to require me to own a gun, and subsidize the purchase if I can’t afford one. {jk – or am I?}

      2. “So no judge under any circumstances should ever make any ruling on 2A?”

        Only to strike down any law which infringes the Second Amendment.

        Any judge who doesn’t comprehend “…shall not be infringed” should be disbarred for being illiterate.

    4. I wonder what they would have done if she had said “Rule on gun control? What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?”

      1. I would have stood up and clapped.

  8. You know what, I bet 99% of the kooks out there just got scared off. I bet the judge won’t hesitate to shoot, either. More power to her.

    1. I just thought the same; any would be intruder will be re-assessing their game plan to include their own potential loss of life or limb.

  9. Gun ownership or the lack thereof by a judge should not bear upon a case if the judge is using the law and constitution. One judge may not have a need to own a gun and another may have a need for self protections but if they both use the constitution and any other related laws in the constitution both judges should come to the same conclusion if they use the constitution to come to their conclusion. Now if the judge allows personal political preference control their conclusion then what the constitution says will have no bearing on their conclusion.

    1. I’d be shocked if *any* SCOTUS justices don’t keep guns around. Either personally or in the form of outsourcing.

    2. Having a “need” has nothing to do with it. It’s a choice, they are free to make

    3. And yet, need or not, they’ll always have armrd guards and strict security protocols at the courthouse. Go figure.

      Hypocrisy is one of the worst of human frailties.

    4. Just a few minor errors or omissions curly4.
      Gun ownership or the lack thereof by a judge should not bear upon a case if the judge is using the LAW and CONSTITUTION.
      One judge may not have a need to own a gun and another may
      have a need for self protections but if they both use the
      CONSTITUTION and any other related LAWS in the
      CONSTITUTION both judges should come to the same
      conclusion if they use the CONSTITUTION to come to their
      conclusion. Now if the judge allows personal political preference
      control their conclusion then what the CONSTITUTION says will
      have no bearing on their conclusion.

      There I fixed it for you.

  10. California has a special class of concealed carry license for judges. So “we” have already established that judges are likely to want or need guns.

    “The Judge CCW license may
    be issued to California judges, full-time commissioners, and to federal judges and
    magistrates of the federal courts. The license is valid for any period not to exceed 3
    years. “

  11. She “admits” to owning a gun?!?! As in, thought she could get away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids? Bet she’ll admit to going to church and eating apple pie on the Fourth of July (all of which are double-ungood thought crimes to progtards like Warren, Harris, Feinstein, et al).

  12. This is yet another pathetic attempt by the left to smear anyone who doesn’t absolutely agree with them. She is getting confirmed, and the democrats are left knowing they should have run Biden back in 2016 instead of that harpy witch. They failed, and now they pay the price for that failure.

    1. Biden declined to be considered in 2016 [or so he said] d/t recent loss of his son. Interesting to ponder if he might have won if he had; the “harpy witch” as you aptly call her certainly didn’t do herself any favors any time she opened her hole. Still makes my skin crawl to hear her cackle.

      1. biden declined to be considered b/c opposing the harpy leads to suiciding.

  13. So I guess we’re not talking about Hunter Biden today? Figures. It’s Reason, after all.

    1. It is against company policy to talk about leaked emails before an election. No shit, this is what the Washington Post is claiming as a justification not to talk about the Hunter Biden emails.

      1. I like Kessler’s admonition to “Be carefull [sic; yeah, good work with spelling, WaPo] your social media feeds.” I read that as, “Go back and make sure you weren’t talking about Trump leaks in 2016 or 2018.”

        These people are pathetic.

    2. Nothing here to see. Just move on.

      Orange man bad. Didn’t pay enough taxes.

      Biden good. In “public service” for more than 47 years……..because he’d have bombed in the private sector where one must actually deliver.

  14. Good reporting on the confirmation hearings, Sullum, keep it up.

    1. Not bad; I suppose she is also freaking rich like the rest of her family.

      1. I would imagine so. They are billionaires. I could be a kept man for her.

        1. I could be a kept man for Amy!!

  15. Under the theory of this the only person qualified to be a judge is someone who has never done anything, ever.

  16. more than a decade after the Supreme Court explicitly recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to armed self-defense,

    I am sure you meant to say ‘more than 16 decades’. because in 1856, Chief Justice Taney wrote in Scott v. Sanford (emphasis, mine):

    “A reference to a few of the provisions of the Constitution will illustrate this proposition.

    For example, no one, we presume, will contend that Congress can make any law in a Territory respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people of the Territory peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.

    Nor can Congress deny to the people the right to keep and bear arms, nor the right to trial by jury, nor compel any one to be a witness against himself in a criminal proceeding.

    These powers, and others, in relation to rights of person, which it is not necessary here to enumerate, are, in express and positive terms, denied to the General Government;”

  17. Does having a wiener make a judge’s abortion rulings suspect?

  18. ACB isn’t simply religious. She is extremely religious, like outside the mainstream levels of religious. So a better analogy would be “Does belonging to the NRA make a judge’s 2A rulings suspect?”

    And the answer is no. All judges should be expected to overcome personal biases and apply the law.

    1. She’s as religious as any actual practicing Catholic. Most of her beliefs are shared by Protestants as well.

      She’s hardly outside the mainstream in any of the beliefs I’ve seen, you’d run into a dozen women with her beliefs at any church potluck. They might not be as well educated on the law or be able to articulate those beliefs as eloquently, but the heart is in the same place.

      1. I don’t know about that. Do most Catholics pray in tongues and belong to special “communities”? Most of my family growing up was Catholic and we certainly didn’t. But I don’t come from the Heartland or Bible-belt so it may be a regional thing.

        1. Do most Catholics pray in tongues and belong to special “communities”?

          I realize Latin is a dead language, but it is not gibberish. If you are not going to explain what you mean by “communities” with scare quotes, my guess is you are fucking clueless as to what whoever said it meant.

          1. So Glossolalia = Latin huh? I’m guessing that you either don’t know what praying in tongues is, or you were the laughing stock of your Latin class.

            And I was being nice when I scare quoted communities. A more accurate term would be “cult”. But considering your response you probably need it spelled out for you, so there you go.

            1. I’m an ex-Catholic. Nobody in my family belonged to “People of Praise,” but have some been daily mass attendees? Yes. My great uncle was a third order Franciscan – a lay person living under a particular religious rule. My brother-in-law just ended his “second career” as a deacon. I had my fill of all this (ex-altar boy, ex-lay reader) slightly before I earned my BA from a Jesuit university. Catholic charismatics were a thing, even in the 1970s.

              Here’s an article from the Jesuits’ magazine on People of Praise. They do report a little glossolalia goes on. will get you the link.

        2. You ever do the rosary or hail marys in latin eric? FYI that is speaking in tongues also.

      2. Does her membership in a group that practices faith healing and speaking in tongues concern you?

  19. Very nice reductio ad absurdum.

  20. No.


  21. If the judge didn’t own a gun would that make his/her anti-gun rulings suspect?

  22. So what!!! It is called the SECOND AMMENDMEN, stated in that pesky U.S. CONSTITUTION that you libs hate so much.

  23. Does having a penis make every man a rapist?

    1. No more than any woman with a sex toy.

  24. Los Angeles Judge Noel Cannon had a gun, and threatened a cop with it.

    She was as anti-gun-rights as it is possible to be. Except for HER gun rights, of course.

    1. leave us not forget DIFI has a ccw ever since milk was deposed.

  25. The “system” is full of conflicts of interest and always unfair.
    When all participants of a “system” are feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition — and are allowed (by your neighbors and friends — hopefully not you) to
    • Make the laws,
    • Enforce the laws,
    • Prosecute the laws,
    • Hire the prosecutors,
    • License the “defense” attorneys,
    • Pay the “judges”,
    • Build the jails,
    • Contract jails out to private entities,
    • Employ and pay the wardens,
    • Employ and pay the guards,
    • Employ and pay the parole officers,
    One can’t honestly call it a “justice” system. It’s a system of abject tyranny.

  26. I own several firearms and am in favor of sensible gun control, including especially background checks for all transfers. Also, like Reagan, I see no reason for a private individual to own military-style weapons.

    1. A…L… President Reagan did not say “military style weapons, He said “fully automatic rifles which were not already registered”. The anti 2nd amendment socialists made your quoted statement up from whole cloth!

  27. Oh for God’s sake, you people are insane. Who cares? Millions of Americans own and use guns and you can hardly make any assumptions about the kind of people they might be. Quit the stupid social profiling and making all kinds of assumptions that are total nonsense. Good for her if she owns a gun.

  28. Plus I abhorred the verbiage the media chose to use in their headlines: “Nominee ADMITS gun ownership…”
    Wow. She ADMITS exercising a constitutionally-guaranteed right?

    1. So did joe biden. him and his fire a couple of blasts in the air with his shotgun.

  29. Barrett says she owns a gun, but could fairly judge a case on gun rights

    note the degression the media then spin on the issue.

    Next one: says she owns a gun, but could fairly judge a case on gun rights.”

    Number three: owns a gun, but says she would rule ‘fairly’ on gun control cases.”

    and four: “Barrett admits to owning a gun, says she can set aside beliefs to rule on 2nd Amendment fairly.”

    gun RiGHTSl then gun CONTROL, then “set aside beliefs”…

    Trying to paint her as some sort of wierdo…..

    The Second is about NOT having gun control. nor”gun rights”. It is about telling GOVERNMENT to LEAVE OUR GUNS ALONE, nothing more. No need to ‘set aside beliefs, to rule “rairly”. What does that Second Article of Ammendment SAY and to WHOM does it say it?

    1. the 2nd amendment speaks to the GOVERNMENT. not the people.

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  31. This is kind of dumb. I happened to be stuck in traffic and heard Graham’s “examination.” He gave Barrett a series of easy questions that were supposed to reassure the country that she isn’t some kind of weirdo.

    Why did Graham, who is the freaking chair of the judiciary committee, ask these questions if not to provoke these headlines? And what on earth is wrong with the media–of all preferences or orientations or whatever we’re calling it–running them?

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