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Giffords Calls on US Senate to Reject Judge Amy Coney Barrett for a Seat on the US Supreme Court

Washington, DC — Today Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization co-founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, called on the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court. After Republicans on the Judiciary Committee advanced Judge Barrett’s nomination without a single Democrat present for the vote,  the organization detailed how Judge Barrett’s presence on the Supreme Court could pose an existential threat to long-standing gun safety laws and Second Amendment judicial precedent. 

Adam Skaggs, Giffords Chief Counsel & Policy Director wrote in the letter sent today: “Judge Barrett’s nomination is the latest in a substantial shift toward judicial extremism during the Trump administration, and nowhere is that extremism more evident than on the issue of gun safety and the Second Amendment. Judge Barrett’s views place her dangerously outside of the mainstream, and if she is confirmed to the Supreme Court, it would sign over our future to far-right, NRA-approved interpretations of the Constitution.”

In addition to the letter, Skaggs added: “The gun lobby is fundamentally losing the argument with the American people. As the gun safety movement continues to gain support, the gun lobby is now trying to subvert the will of the American people by planting extremist judges in the courts. And by rushing to advance Judge Barrett’s nomination out of committee without the presence of any Democrats, Senate Republicans have proven that they are complicit with the gun lobby’s agenda.” 

While Americans overwhelmingly support commonsense gun safety reforms like universal background checks, President Trump and Mitch McConnell have coordinated on the appointment of an unprecedented number of  judges and justices who will impose their extremist views on the Second Amendment upon the country. The result could be judges striking down popular, lifesaving legislation throughout their lifetime tenures. 

Barrett’s extreme views of the Second Amendment were demonstrated in her dissent in Kanter v. Barr, which questioned longstanding federal law preventing people convicted of felonies from possessing firearms. After the first Second Amendment case in more than a decade made it to the Supreme Court earlier this year, four justices signaled their eagerness to hear more Second Amendment challenges, and an extremist like Barrett could tip the balance of the court toward dangerous new precedents.

Giffords’ letter ends with a reminder of what’s at stake: “At a time when our nation’s gun violence crisis has intensified, we must do all we can to protect the gun safety measures we depend on to keep our communities safe. This begins with rejecting the dangerous ideology of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and rejecting her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court.”

Related Resources:

Report: Gun Safety Under Threat: How Extremist Judges Are Undermining Gun Laws

Memo: Supreme Court Vacancy: Every Gun Safety Law Depends on the Next Justice

Blog:This Court Seat Could Affect Our Health and Safety for Decades to Come