A law professor described Judge Thomas Hardiman, a candidate for the impending Supreme Court nomination, as a “Second Amendment extremist” for his originalist view of the Constitution, specifically regarding the Second Amendment.
Professor Adam Winkler at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law argued that if Hardiman were confirmed, the Supreme Court would be more likely to take up cases challenging current firearm laws, lending the potential for those laws to be struck down. Consequently, with Hardiman on the Supreme Court, there would be more legal gun ownership in what are now heavily regulated states like California and Connecticut.
“He believes the government has very little leeway in regulating guns,” Winkler told The Washington Post. “He thinks the only type of gun-control laws that are constitutionally permissible are the ones that existed at the founding.”
Most notably, Hardiman wrote a 40-page dissent for Drake v. Filko where he argued the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a firearm in public “because the need for self-defense naturally exists both outside and inside the home, I would hold that the Second Amendment applies outside the home.”
Hardiman, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, expressed his views on how he interprets the Constitution in the dissent for Muller v. Maenza, writing, “No matter how laudable the end, the Supreme Court has long made clear that the Constitution disables the government from employing certain means to prevent, deter or detect violent crime.”
President Donald Trump reportedly narrowed down his list of potential Supreme Court candidates to three federal appeals judges: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge.
Trump is expected to announce his nominee on July 9.
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