Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was the speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the Brady Campaign on Monday. In his speech, he said he was astounded that Congress hadn’t taken steps to address “gun violence” (sic).
In reaction and to illustrate the importance of this election for both the Second Amendment and the future direction of the Supreme Court, Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms released this statement:
BELLEVUE, WA – Monday’s high-profile prodding by retired Supreme
Court Justice John Paul Stevens for Congress to do something, and for
presidential candidates to say something, about gun control proves the
importance of who is in the White House and the U.S. Senate to make and
confirm high court nominations, the Citizens Committee for the Right to
Keep and Bear Arms said today.
Reuters reported that the retired justice was the speaker at Monday’s
luncheon hosted by the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Stevens wrote dissenting opinions on both the 2008 Heller ruling and
the 2010 McDonald decision, both of which affirmed that the Second
Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms.
“In both of his dissents,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb,
“Justice Stevens contended that the right to keep and bear arms was
limited to state militia service. It was, and remains, an astonishing
position on a fundamental civil right.
“What Justice Stevens’ speech clearly underscores,” he continued, “is
the critical importance of who is president, not just for the next four
years, but whenever a vacancy occurs on the high court. Imagine if
Justice Stevens’ opinion had prevailed.”
Stevens’ dissent in the Heller case was heavily criticized by the
majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia. The majority ruling
described Stevens’ arguments as “simply wrong,” and at one point – when
addressing Stevens’ history of the Second Amendment – said that he
“flatly misreads the historical record.”
“Stevens’ replacement on the Supreme Court was liberal Elena Kagan,”
Gottlieb noted. “A liberal, anti-gun majority could easily narrow,
rather than expand, the scope of our Second Amendment. That’s why it is,
and always will be, important for gun owners to have a pro-gun-rights
president and pro-gun majority in the Senate, especially on the
To see more on Steven’s speech, Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has video of the event.