Harris Brings Anti-Gun Stance to Judiciary Committee
The senator will bring her lawlessness as California attorney general to judicial nominee vetting.
There are two new Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and neither one shares an affinity for the Rule of Law. This week Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker joined the committee, which “handles judicial nominations and appointments to the Justice Department,” The Washington Post explains. But it’s Kamala Harris in particular who should most alarm originalists. For example:
Harris spent six years as California’s attorney general, a position she utilized to crack down on gun ownership. She oversaw Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013 firearms proscription in which $24 million was set aside for the purpose of impounding guns. According to a Los Angeles Times report at the time, state officials’ justification for doing so was “to clear the backlog of weapons known to be in the hands of about 20,000 people who acquired them legally [emphasis added]. They were later disqualified because of criminal convictions, restraining orders or serious mental illness.”
She also advocated for additional firearm restrictions, writes Reason’s Brian Doherty: “As attorney general, Harris tried to ensure that people couldn’t get carry permits for weapons in California merely for reasons as petty, to her mind, as that they felt they needed one. She has fought in court to ensure that only police officials should be able to decide whether a citizen can defend himself outside his home.”
Harris prefers to use emotional upheaval to advocate policy prescriptions. In reference to the Sandy Hook massacre, she stated: “They should have closed the chambers of Congress, on the House and the Senate side, and said, ‘All you members go in there, only you, and spread out the autopsy photos of those babies,’ and require them to look at those photographs. And then vote your conscience.”
And according to Doherty, “Harris is so uncomfortable with the Second Amendment she’s willing to jab at the First Amendment while hobbling it, as shown by her support as California’s attorney general for a state law restricting how handgun sellers can advertise. She so delights in pettily bedeviling gun owners that her department in California tried to enforce restrictions on how many guns could be purchased per month by those who hold certain special collectors’ licenses even though both the letter of the law and previous practice said they were exempt, and stuck to her lack of principle on the issue until she got sued over it in 2014.”
The role of the Senate Judiciary Committee should be to recommend nominees who abide by the Rule of Law regardless of their personal whims. Harris is completely the opposite — she will support nominees who abuse their roles just like she did in California. Her name is being highlighted as a possible candidate for the 2020 presidential election (as is Booker’s). The only thing that could be worse than elevating her to the Judiciary Committee would be putting her in the nation’s highest office.