Trump Pounces After Stevens Calls For Second Amendment Repeal

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a New York Times opinion piece from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens urging the repeal of the Second Amendment underscores the importance of the 2018 elections.

Trump said the piece highlights the necessity of electing GOP senators, to ensure the quick confirmation of Republican Supreme Court appointees.

The former justice’s piece appeared to resonate broadly on the right. The piece was denounced on Fox News by opinion anchors Jesse Watters and Laura Ingraham, while progressive outfits found Stevens’ views, at best, unhelpful.

Supreme Court precedents friendly to gun-rights notwithstanding, federal courts have sanctioned a bevy of gun control laws in recent years. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld assault weapons bans adopted in New York and Connecticut following the Sandy Hook massacre, while the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld similar legislation in Maryland. California’s 10-day waiting period during firearms purchases survived the scrutiny of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch have criticized the high court’s reluctance to review these decisions.

Beyond the composition of the Supreme Court, changing the Constitution is an enormously difficult task. Amendments may be adopted in two ways: either a supermajority of Congress adopts an amendment approved by three-fourths of the states (38 of 50), or through a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the states. The last amendment was approved in 1992 — two centuries after it was first proposed.

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