“If that standard were applied to other constitutional rights, no one would be left to enforce them.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) was trying to help out Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett when he asked her whether she owns a gun during her confirmation hearing yesterday. But the premise of his question—that gun ownership might be viewed as disqualifying a judge from dealing fairly with cases involving the Second Amendment—could not be more absurd. Here is the relevant exchange:
Graham: When it comes to your personal views about this topic, do you own a gun?
Barrett: We do own a gun.
Graham: OK. All right. Do you think you could fairly decide a [Second Amendment] case even though you own a gun?
CNN highlighted that exchange in a headline and tweet, noting that “Barrett says she owns a gun, but could fairly judge a case on gun rights.” The Independent also considered the point noteworthy: “Nominee owns a gun, but says she would rule ‘fairly’ on gun control cases.” So did Fox News: “Barrett admits to owning a gun, says she can set aside beliefs to rule on 2nd Amendment fairly.”