On Friday, a candidate for to the federal bench nominated by President Barack Obama withdrew from consideration. Her name is Elissa Cadish and she’s a state judge in Nevada.
The nomination wasn’t going anywhere. Though recommended by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, it was being blocked by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada. Why?
From the Associated Press:
Heller took issue with Cadish’s response on a 2008 election season questionnaire about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Cadish wrote that she did not believe it was a constitutional right.
Proababy the AP overgeneralized what she wrote on that questionnaire. What Cadish most likely wrote was that she did not believe there was an individual right to keep and bears arms under the Second Amendment.
Until 2008, with its 5-4 ruling in Heller, the U.S.. Supreme Court had pretty much held the same thing for 100 or so years. So such a statement would not at all have conflicted with mainstream legal thought. Previous to Heller, the court had considered that the right to keep and bear arms existed within the context of a “well-regulated militia,” another well-known phrase in the Second Amendment.
In spite of that, the five justices in the Heller majority who evidently believed there is an individual right to guns were still confirmed. Whatever beliefs they had expressed on the Second Amendment prior to their ascension to the Supreme Court were not viewed as any kind of disqualification.
Yet now, with a judge who had expressed the opposite opinion, it seems more or less taken for granted that it’s a disqualifying factor. Which means now we’ve got a new litmus test, and a double standard to boot.