Archive for the 'Kagan Nomination' Category

My Senate briefing on Kagan and the McDonald Case

Posted by on Aug 05 2010 | Constitutional Law, guns, Kagan Nomination, McDonald v. City of Chicago, PPC

(David Kopel)

It was delivered in late June to the Second Amendment Task Force, a group of Republican Senate aides. (Unfortunately, the Senate’s protocals of partisanship prevent organizations like this from having aides from both parties.) My presentation is here (22 minutes). The presentation by Hans Von Spakovsky, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is here. And Stephen Halbrook’s presentation is here.


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Catching Up with Dave Kopel

Posted by on Jul 14 2010 | Kagan Nomination, Kopelization, McDonald v. City of Chicago, PPC, Second Amendment, supreme court, U.S. Constitution

If you’re a big Dave Kopel fan like myself, you probably find it difficult following everything the guy is doing. The man is prolific. Between writing a multitude of articles for a variety of different outlets, he’s constantly on the radio, on TV, in Washington DC testifying on something I probably wouldn’t understand, lecturing on Constitutional Law at DU, making an appearance somewhere on something I probably wouldn’t understand, or avoiding the rush of fans that descend on him when he’s in public. He does more in a day than I do in a decade.

Therefore, with a little help from Dave himself, here’s a quick list of stuff Dave’s done recently that most ordinary humans could not do:

Wrote an amicus brief in the McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court case that was cited 3 times in the decision. Wrote a critical article for America’s 1st Freedom explaining the Supreme Court opinions in McDonald. Dave sat down with me for a podcast and a TV show about the crucial McDonald decision.

Here’s an America’s 1st Freedom article on Dave’s book Aiming for Liberty.

Dave flew to Washington DC to provide testimony on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan and her Second Amendment views. Here is video of Kopel’s testimony with a couple of followup Q&A from the Senators.

Catch Dave at Liberty on the Rocks Red Rocks this coming Monday the 19th at the Old Chicago in Lakewood.

After you’re done catching up with all that, Dave will have a dozen new things out to read, watch, and listen to, so stay tuned here.  We are so honored to have him here at Independence.  Thanks Dave for all you do!

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Watch Dave Kopel Testimony at Kagan Hearing

Posted by on Jul 03 2010 | Kagan Nomination, Kopelization, PPC, supreme court

Check out Independence Institute Research Director Dave Kopel’s testimony at last week’s Elena Kagan Supreme Court nominee hearings.

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My oral testimony on the Kagan nomination

Posted by on Jul 01 2010 | guns, Kagan Nomination

(David Kopel)

Here, starting at 41:09. The next witnesses, William Olson, also testified on Second Amendment issues. After that, the three Senators at the hearing (Schumer, Sessions, and Hatch) asked questions to some of the witnesses, including Olson and me.


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The Sotomayor switcheroo, and the Kagan nomination

Posted by on Jun 29 2010 | guns, Kagan Nomination, supreme court

(David Kopel)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, by joining the Breyer dissent in McDonald which called for Heller to be over-ruled, contradicted what she had told the Senate last summer. I supply the details in an op-ed for the Washington Times.

On Thursday (or perhaps, early on Friday), I will be testifying on the Kagan nomination. My written testimony will be posted by Wednesday morning, on my website.

Justice Sotomayor’s disappointing performance highlights the importance for Senators who care about Second Amendment rights learning more about Ms. Kagan’s actual views, and not settling for vapid platitudes about “settled law.”


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First Heller, now McDonald!

Posted by on Jun 28 2010 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Kagan Nomination, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment, supreme court, U.S. Constitution

Congratulations to our Second Amendment zen master Dave Kopel! The McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision came down this morning, 5-4 on the side of American citizens right to bear arms. We’ve talked a lot about this decision and how important it was for gun owners who don’t happen to reside in the District of Columbia, and trust me, there is a lot more on the way. But for now, I’d like to congratulate Dave on his second huge Supreme Court victory. And just like in Heller, Dave’s amicus brief was cited several times in McDonald. Dave explains on his webpage:

Kopel’s amicus brief for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (as well as the Independence Institute, CORE, and other law enforcement organizations and scholars) was cited three times in the Supreme Court’s opinions in McDonald v. Chicago. The brief is cited once by Justice Alito’s plurality opinion (footnote 2) and twice by Justice Stevens’ dissent.

Stay tuned for Dave’s commentary on this momentous decision. I’ll provide some links to his podcasts and writing on McDonald in the coming days here on the Cauldron.

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Kagan’s record on guns

Posted by on May 14 2010 | Kagan Nomination

(David Kopel)

Discussed by Brian Darling, of the Heritage Foundation, in an article this morning for Human Events. Hopefully the confirmation hearings will provide an opportunity for Kagan to explain whether her views of the Second Amendment have evolved or changed since her days as a clerk or a Clinton staffer.


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Clinton staff: “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” Kagan wrote the Clinton ban on gun imports.

Posted by on May 11 2010 | guns, Kagan Nomination

(David Kopel)

The Chicago Tribune’s James Oliphant reports: “According to records at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., she also drafted an executive order restricting the importation of certain semiautomatic assault rifles.”

When ban was announced, Clinton staffer Jose Cerda stated, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” [Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22, 1997].

The import ban was made permanent in the spring of 1998. Here’s an explanation I wrote, as part of an article on Rahm Emanuel for America’s 1st Freedom, which is a NRA member magazine:

In 1998, Clinton forbade the import of 58 types of firearms and their accessories. . . . 

Emanuel defended the ban on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, repeatedly claiming that the banned guns were ‘military weapons, not sporting weapons.’

‘Those weapons were designed for one purpose—military—and they don’t belong on our streets,’ he insisted.

Emanuel asserted that Clinton had banned “the AK-47,” which was pure nonsense. The AK-47, which is a fully automatic rifle, was not covered by the import ban. Indeed, not one of the guns banned was an automatic, nor were any of the guns manufactured primarily for military use.

All the banned guns were used in target competitions. Some had names like “Hunter” or “Sporter.” So how did Clinton and Emanuel get around the 1986 federal law requiring that imports must be allowed if the gun is “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes”?

Emanuel argued that it was permissible to ban the guns because [a Treasury study found that] comments from hunting guides showed that the guns were rarely recommended for hunting trips. As if the only gun that is a “sporting” gun is one used by people who can afford to take trips with a professional guide.

Emanuel further contended that the guns should be banned because they “accept rounds in the 20, 30, 40, in some cases 100 rounds at a case” [sic]. Of course, every gun that accepts a detachable magazine can accept a detachable magazine of any size. So Emanuel’s theory would actually set the stage for a ban on every gun that uses a detachable magazine.

Democratic Senator Pat Leahy, who was then the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Clinton that he “strongly believes that using a Presidential directive to avoid the normal legislative process regarding any changes to the assault weapons ban is the wrong way to go.”

The list of banned guns is here, at page 167.


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