February 3, 2017 | NRA-ILA | This week, President Trump kept one of his most important campaign promises by nominating an originalist judge – Neil Gorsuch – to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last February. Scalia was the court’s foremost practitioner of originalism and textualism, judicial philosophies that seek to resolve constitutional questions by reference to the language of the document, as publicly understood at the time of its enactment.
This approach led Scalia to author the historic opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which confirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for defensive purposes.
Judge Gorsuch’s embrace of originalism is a bulwark for our Second Amendment rights. When given the opportunity to consider the matter in his professional capacity, Judge Gorsuch has made clear that he understands the importance of the right to keep and bear arms.
In a case concerning a technical question of what the government must prove to establish a violation of the Gun Control Act, Judge Gorsuch noted that the “Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.” His statements in that case strongly indicate that he would hold the government to a high standard before allowing it to strip someone of the right to keep and bear arms.
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