SCOTUS Nominee Sotomayor Ruled Second Amendment Does Not Apply To States


Second Circuit Court Judge and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor sat on the panel which ruled in the case Maloney v. Cuomo that the Second Amendment does not apply to individual states or citizens essentially saying the states do have the ability to ban firearms within their boundaries. According to the ruling further stated that the Second Amendment applies “only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose” on the American citizens’ right to own and possess firearms, relying on an 1886 Supreme Court case Presser v. Illinois to come to its conclusion.

Note that this Second Circuit court decision came after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in DC v Heller that individual citizens do in fact have the right, as clearly spelled out by the Second Amendment, to own and possess firearms.

“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

“None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.

Sotomayor’s panel did address the SCOTUS decision in DC v Heller in their appellate ruling,

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the court continued, “does not invalidate this longstanding principle.” And while acknowledging the possibility that “Heller might be read to question the continuing validity of this principle,” the panel deemed itself bound to follow Presser because it “directly controls, leaving to the Supreme Court the prerogative of overruling its own decisions.”

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The Second Amendment Foundation released this press release soon after Sotomayor’s nomination to the highest court in the land,


BELLEVUE, WA – The nomination of Second Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court is a slap at gun rights and the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Judge Sotomayor, a New York native, ruled on a Second Circuit Appeals Court panel that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states in the case of Maloney v. Cuomo. This ruling is in direct conflict with a Ninth Circuit Court ruling in the Nordyke v. King case in California that the Second Amendment is incorporated through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“While Democrats in Congress have been making great strides in the gun rights arena, refusing to consider a renewal of the Clinton gun ban, and offering overwhelming bipartisan support for legislation allowing citizens to carry firearms in national parks, President Obama just demonstrated that he prefers judges who oppose Second Amendment rights,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb.

Incorporation may be taken up by the high court during its next session beginning in October, because attorneys in the Maloney case plan to appeal in late June.

“If the Maloney appeal is accepted by the Supreme Court,” Gottlieb wondered, “would Justice Sotomayor – provided she is confirmed – recuse herself from deliberations?”

Judge Sotomayor has written an opinion that declined to order the release of certain information under the Freedom of Information Act. In one case, according to SCOTUSblog, she wrote that the “unwarranted invasion of privacy” for individuals whose names would be release under an FOIA request outweighed the public interest.

“Would a Justice Sotomayor be just as protective of the privacy rights of concealed carry permit holders if a newspaper wanted to publish that information,” Gottlieb asked. “We hope that during Senate confirmation hearings, someone asks about her positions on incorporation and the privacy rights of gun owners. The Second Amendment needs to be expanded, not eviscerated.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nations oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Clearly Sotomayor is on Obama’s side of the Second Amendment issue which isn’t surprising as most hard left wingers in this country would like to see our right to own a firearm all but disappear. Keep in mind the left looks to the empathetic activist judges in the courts to create policy and law bypassing the Constitution, the legislature, and the will of the people and Sotomayor certainly fits the bill in that regard as far as Obama is concerned.

God help us if something happens to one of the conservatives sitting on the Supreme Court before Obama is out of office as we know the Second Amendment will all but be erased from what’s left of our Constitution, in a heartbeat.

This entry was posted in 2nd Amendment.

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