Thursday, July 01, 2010

NY Times: NRA Opposes Kagan Nomination

The New York Times reports that the NRA has come out against Kagan:
WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association said on Thursday that it would oppose the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and would publicize how senators vote on her nomination. The move could drive down support for her among senators from states where gun rights are at issue.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Kagan’s record on the Second Amendment gives us no confidence that if confirmed to the court, she will faithfully defend the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding Americans,” the association’s leadership wrote on Thursday in a letter to the chairman and the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The so-called N.R.A. score — the group’s evaluation of candidates, often cited in political campaigns — rates politicians on their friendliness to the group’s agenda, and became an issue in the Supreme Court confirmation last year of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She was confirmed on a largely party-line vote of 68 to 31.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who voted against Justice Sotomayor and who typically votes in line with the rifle association’s positions, said in an interview Wednesday that if the association decided to track votes on Ms. Kagan, it would not influence his vote.

Asked if the group’s opposition would hurt Ms. Kagan more generally with Republicans, though, Mr. Hatch said, “It wouldn’t help.”
Curiously, in its own endorsement today, the New York Times damned Kagan with faint praise: "We hope Ms. Kagan was being candid. Frankly, we had expected somewhat more from her, considering her 1995 article disparaging the hearings process as a 'vapid and hollow charade.' "