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Today in Washington – June 29, 2010

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided one of the most important 2nd Amendment cases in U.S. history.  In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court held that a state or local government can’t violate your individual right to “keep and bear Arms.”  Ironically, Solicitor General Elena Kagan was introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee as the President’s nominee to serve on the Supreme Court as that decision was announced.  This is a nominee who has no respect for the 2nd Amendment and has worked her whole life to chip away at the right of self defense recognized by the Constitution.

The Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to TARP, Jr.  This bill, H.R. 5297, creates a small business lending program run by the Department of the Treasury modeled on TARP.  The House will vote on legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration and a series of suspensions.  The big ticket item today is the Elena Kagan hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee.The big issue to watch today and that is the Elena Kagan hearing.  Elena Kagan said yesterday the following (from the LA Times):

Mr. Chairman, the law school I had the good fortune to lead has a kind of motto, spoken each year at graduation. We tell the new graduates that they are ready to enter a profession devoted to “those wise restraints that make us free.” That phrase has always captured for me the way law, and the rule of law, matters. What the rule of law does is nothing less than to secure for each of us what our Constitution calls “the blessings of liberty” – those rights and freedoms, that promise of equality, that have defined this nation since its founding. And what the Supreme Court does is to safeguard the rule of law, through a commitment to even-handedness, principle, and restraint.

Senators need to ask specific questions of this nominee.  Is the right to “keep and bear Arms” a “blessing of liberty?”  Do you respect the freedom of all Americans to own a firearm to protect themselves?  Is there a right to self-defense in the Constitution?  Do you admit that you worked extensively to restrict the proliferation of guns in the United States and, if so, what Constitutional basis was there for your actions?  When implementing the gun control agenda of the Clinton Administration, did you consider the 2nd Amendment and consider possible restrictions on government action when recommending action?  Do you believe that the McDonald case was correctly decided?  Today is the big day for Solicitor General Elena Kagan to answer these questions.  The 2nd Amendment should be front and center in this examination of the Kagan’s judicial philosophy.

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