Greenhouse: The NRA Now Calls the Shots for GOP on Judicial Nominees


The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse writes about how the National Rifle Association has insinuated itself into judicial confirmations, including those for the U.S. Supreme Court, by using support or opposition of nominees as part of its legislative scorecard for members of Congress. The practice apparently began in 2009, when President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Even though there was “no plausible reason” for any senator to oppose her, Republican support melted away when the NRA announced its opposition. Greenhouse said it was an example of the NRA’s “symbiotic relationship with the Republican Party.”

“It is totally unacceptable for the NRA, desperate to hang on to its mission and its members after achieving its Second Amendment triumph at the Supreme Court four years ago, to be calling the tune on judicial nominations for an entire political party,” Greenhouse writes. “The next time a senator announces opposition to a judicial nominee, demand something other than incoherent mumbo-jumbo. Tell the senator to fill in the blank: ‘I oppose this nominee because ____.’ If there's an answer of substance, fine. That's advise-and-consent democracy. But if, upon inspection, the real answer is ‘because the N.R.A. told me to,’ we have a problem. Based on these last few years, I think we do.”

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