Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision last month to oppose expanded gun rights under the 2nd Amendment is being cited by the National Rifle Association as reason for senators to oppose Elena Kagan, President Obama’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, reports the Tribune Washington bureau. The NRA put out an anti-Kagan ad this week that shows Sotomayor seemingly assuring senators during her confirmation hearing last year that she supports individual gun rights. Citing her vote in June to uphold a handgun ban in Chicago, the ad urges members to call their senators and “tell them not to fall for the same trick twice.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to consider Kagan’s nomination but, at the request of Republicans, put off a vote for one week. She is expected to win support from the panel’s 12 Democrats; the seven Republicans, except possibly Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are expected to oppose her. Last year, the NRA opposed Sotomayor’s confirmation, and the White House aides say the gun lobby’s stance cost her up to 10 votes. Nonetheless, Sotomayor was approved by a 68 to 31 vote in the Senate. Kagan, the solicitor general, is expected to win confirmation next month, but on a closer vote. Kagan, like Sotomayor, told senators that she viewed the court’s recent rulings on gun rights as “settled law.” This suggested – but did not promise – she would support the legal principle in future cases.