This past week, President Trump claimed the election will determine the future of private gun ownership in the United States. He’s right. And Montana voters’ choice for the U.S. Senate looks set to determine its balance of power. If they gain control, Joe Biden and Senate Democrats promise to eliminate the filibuster, allowing them to pass any legislation they want with a simple majority vote. But the Senate won’t just determine what gun control legislation gets passed — it will also determine what judges get confirmed. There are few issues that divide Democrat- and Republican-appointed judges more consistently and completely than gun control. President Trump’s 200 federal judicial confirmations have only just brought the courts into balance, with Democrat-appointees still controlling circuit courts for 24 states plus D.C. The states Democrats control judicially are ones that they also tend to control legislatively. These circuit courts approve any and all of the regulations they get passed, no matter how flagrantly they infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
Don’t expect the Supreme Court to restrain these courts. All four Democrat appointments claim people don’t have a right to self-defense. Indeed, they have already noted they will vote to overturn the court’s 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald decisions. Those rulings merely ensured the government could not completely ban guns. Four Republican-appointed justices clearly care about the right to self-defense. But they won’t take up gun control cases for fear Justice John Roberts will side with the liberal justices. He has already done so on religious freedom cases, DACA and Obamacare. Montana’s two current senators are sharply divided who should be on the courts. Sen. Jon Tester voted for Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who do not believe there is an individual right to self-defense. He opposed Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who support that right. Sen. Steve Daines has voted the opposite way. If Gov. Steve Bullock replaces Daines this November and gives Democrats control of the Senate, that means more judges in the vein of Sotomayor and Kagan. [full article]