NRA Urges Vigilance on Sotomayor Confirmation: Raises serious concerns about Sotomayor record on 2nd amendment rights

Member Group : News Releases

For Immediate Release, July 8th, 2009
Contact: Athan Koutsiouroumbas, [email protected]

PHILADELPHIA, PA: National Rifle Association Executive Director Chris Cox addressed serious concerns regarding Judge Sotomayor’s record on 2nd Amendment rights.

"The nation’s leading 2nd Amendment advocacy group, the National Rifle Association, holds serious concerns about Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court," said Pennsylvania Judicial Confirmation Network spokesperson Athan Koutsiouroumbas.

"NRA membership is very strong throughout Pennsylvania," said Koutsiouroumbas, "The 2004 NRA Convention in Pittsburgh was the best attended NRA gathering in its history. Pittsburgh will host the NRA Convention again in 2011."

In a letter written to Senators Leahy and Sessions of the Judiciary Committee, Cox explained:

"The cases in which Judge Sotomayor has participated have been dismissive of the Second Amendment and have troubling implications for future cases that are certain to come before the Court. Therefore, we believe that America’s eighty million gun owners have good reason to worry about her views. We look forward to a full airing of her past decisions and judicial philosophy at the upcoming committee hearings, and urge you and all committee members to engage in the most serious questioning possible on these critical issues."

"Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA has not announced an official position on Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation. However, should her answers regarding the Second Amendment at the upcoming hearings be hostile or evasive, we will have no choice but to oppose her nomination to the Court."

The NRA cites several cases where Judge Sotomayor has challenged 2nd amendment rights.

Maloney v. Cuomo, which involved the application of the Second Amendment as a limit on state law, via incorporation of the Second Amendment through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Judge Sotomayor was on the panel that decided this case in a brief—and in the opinion of the NRA, clearly incorrect—per curiam opinion.

United States v. Sanchez-Villar, Judge Sotomayor was a member of the panel in the case where (in a summary opinion) the Second Circuit dismissed a
Second Amendment challenge to New York State’s pistol licensing law. That panel, in a terse footnote, cited a previous Second Circuit case to claim that "the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right." Since the precedent cited for that point is no longer valid in the wake of Heller, Judge Sotomayor should be asked whether she would take the same position today.

"It is essential for Senators Specter and Casey to ask Judge Sotomayor the tough questions about her activist judicial record and its impact on Pennsylvanians," said Koutsiouroumbas, "We urge Pennsylvanians to ensure that our Senators properly scrutinize Judge Sotomayor’s record on 2nd Amendment Rights."
The Pennsylvania Judicial Network (PJN) is a coalition of citizens joined together to educate Pennsylvanians on the Federal Courts and its nominees. In partnership with the Judicial Confirmation Network (, the PCN works to ensure that the confirmation process for all judicial nominees is fair and that every nominee sent to the full Senate receives an up or down vote.

For additional information about Sotomayor, visit

### 30 ###