Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Libertarians warn Judiciary vote may have consequences

America’s third largest party Wednesday reminded members of the Senate Judiciary Committee their vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a vote against constitutionally-guaranteed gun rights and those who vote to confirm in the full Senate next week can expect to be held accountable at the polls.

Libertarians announced their opposition to the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation early, after reviewing her troubling record on individual, property and gun rights. The Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send the nomination to the full Senate. South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham joined the committee’s 12 Democrats.

“A judge’s record is the best indicator of what they will do on the Court, and Judge Sotomayor’s record is one of opposition to the individual right to keep and bear arms. Libertarians, and all of America’s 90 million gun owners, will remember how you voted,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director. “Your vote on Judge Sotomayor may come back to haunt you one November.”

“And if you think you can’t lose your seat over the gun issue, I suggest you speak with Harris Wofford,” said Ferguson, referring to the incumbent Democratic Pennsylvania senator who lost his seat to Republican Rick Santorum in 1994 by a 49 to 47 percent margin, after supporting the Clinton gun ban. “If I’m a senator who could lose if a small percentage of my pro-gun base votes for another candidate, I’d be worried.”

“History shows, whether it’s a grassroots conservative activist, a blue-collar union member or a libertarian, the base of every party is made up of people who value their gun rights and will not support someone who votes against their constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms,” said Ferguson. “The Libertarian Party is the only party in America that never compromises on gun rights, and one way or another we will hold those voting to confirm accountable on Election Day.”

In the New York v Maloney case earlier this year, Sotomayor affirmed a lower court ruling that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms does not apply to the states.

Sotomayor also ruled against gun rights in a 2004 case, United States
v Sanchez-Villar, citing as precedent the statement “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.”

The Supreme Court will likely rule next year on the NRA v Chicago case, a case critical to restoring the individual right to keep and bear arms.

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