Following Days of Questioning, Judge Amy Coney Barrett Shows She Should Not Serve on the Supreme Court

While the Senate Judiciary Committee Has Set a Date to Vote on Judge Barrett’s Nomination, Judge Barrett’s Non-Responses in This Week’s Hearings, Brady Campaign Reiterates Its Opposition to Her Confirmation

Washington, D.C., October 15, 2020 - Today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee has set a date to vote on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in defiance of the “McConnell Rule” to not vote on a nominee after an election was underway, the Brady Campaign reiterates its opposition to her confirmation. Judge Barrett’s views on gun safety laws and her ahistorical analysis of the Second Amendment are wildly out of step with existing jurisprudence, long standing authority to protect public safety, and the will of the American public. Her confirmation could threaten existing and future gun violence prevention policy.

Brady Campaign President Kris Brown shared:

“This week, Judge Barrett confirmed that the gun violence prevention advocacy community’s concerns about her interpretation of the Second Amendment were well founded. From doubling down on her dissent in Kanter v. Barr, which she named first among her most significant cases, signalling that she would be open to expanding the scope of Heller, Judge Barrett showed that she could rule in ways that would roll back and undermine decades of hard-won gun safety laws.

This is judicial activism at its worst -- Judge Barrett would have judges like her decide who can legally possess guns rather than the American people, through their representatives. Her views on the Second Amendment are misguided from even a historical perspective and fly against decades of legal precedent, including her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the 2008 Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller which held that such long standing prohibitions on gun possession were beyond doubt.

Judge Barrett’s views are extreme. Her answers this week were evasive, and provided more indication that she would engage in the worst sort of judicial activism to replace popular, life-saving and democratically-enacted gun laws with an extreme gun lobby agenda, all under the veneer of an “originalist” and “textualist” philosophy. The fact is, Judge Barrett appears to ignore Constitutional text and American history when it does not support a gun lobby agenda. There is a reason that the NRA has gleefully endorsed her nomination.

Her nomination must not move forward. Senator Graham and Majority Leader McConnell have rammed through his nomination in an unprecedented process and in a manner that violates their previous commitments not to move a nominee during an election. It is a disservice to the Senate and to the country.”

About Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Gun Safety:

For more information, read Brady’s memo ‘The Case Against the Confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.’

Judge Amy Coney Barrett has served as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since November 2017, following her nomination by President Donald Trump and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Judge Barrett previously served as a law professor at Notre Dame Law School and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Her views on the Second Amendment are well documented -- and dangerous. Judge Barrett has explicitly stated her belief that “The Second Amendment confers an individual right, intimately connected with the natural right of self-defense, and not limited to civic participation (i.e., militia service).” She has stated that she believes common-sense regulations such as restrictions on gun ownership for those previously found guilty of a felony are unconstitutional in some instances and indicated that she intends to increase the scope of the Second Amendment. She has shown a willingness to view restrictions on the ability to access firearms with extreme skepticism and that she supports an extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment as a supreme natural right.

Brady urges the U.S. Senate to reject Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.


Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.

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