"I have many serious questions about Mr.
Holder's nomination [and] at the top of the list are his anti-2nd
amendment right positions." -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
It was a disappointing result, to be sure. The
Senate Judiciary Committee passed the nomination of Eric Holder
yesterday by a 17-2 vote.
Majority: Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman,
D-Vermont; Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin; Dianne Feinstein,
D-California; Russell D. Feingold, D-Wisconsin; Charles
E. Schumer, D-New York; Richard J. Durbin, D-Illinois;
Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Maryland; Sheldon Whitehouse,
D-Rhode Island; Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Amy Klobuchar,
D-Minnesota; Edward E. Kaufman, D-Delaware
Minority: Arlen Specter, Ranking Member,
R-Pennsylvania; Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah; Charles E.
Grassley, R-Iowa; Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, Jeff Sessions,
R-Alabama; Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina;
John Cornyn, R-Texas; Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma
Only Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John
Cornyn (R-TX) voted against the anti-gun nominee for Attorney
One of the things that gravely hurt us in
committee was Senator Orrin Hatch's support for Holder. Even though
Hatch holds a lukewarm "C" rating with GOA, he is generally viewed
as "pro-gun" on the Hill. His support for Holder certainly pulled a
lot of Senators with him from his side of the aisle.
Thankfully, there are some Senators who are
lining up against Holder:
* Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): "Given
Holder's career of attacks on the Second Amendment, his nomination
continues to be of great concern to me.... Our nation's highest law
enforcement officer must be committed to protecting and defending
our individual rights to keep and bear arms. I intend to vote no on
the nomination of Eric Holder."
* Senator David Vitter (R-LA): "[Holder has]
clearly advocated near universal licensing and registration, and he
joined and filed an amicus brief in the District of Columbia v.
Heller U.S. Supreme Court case arguing that the 2nd amendment was
NOT an individual right. That's deeply disturbing."
Unfortunately, there are very few Senators right now who are willing
to stand up to Obama's anti-gun nomination. Another conservative
firebrand who opposes the Holder nomination is Senator James DeMint
(R-SC). In addition to Vitter and Barrasso, DeMint is one of the few
voices crying out in the wilderness of a "country club" Senate.
"Club friendships [have become] more
important," DeMint says, than "where we're going as a country."
Sen. DeMint is simply standing firm on
conservative, constitutional principles. Politico.com noted on
Tuesday that DeMint is "less willing to compromise with Democrats
than many in his party."
Translation: A lot of other Republicans would
rather compromise than stand up to Obama, and that spells bad news
for our gun rights.
So what can we do?
The Politico article notes an important lesson
that DeMint has learned over the years. He has tried pushing good
policy, being persuasive and being nice. He's tried it all, he says.
But finally, he realized that lawmakers in both parties "only
respond to pain."
That's the key... dishing out political pain!
And that's why your grassroots involvement is so critical. It is
imperative that we keep banging on the Senate. Pressure from gun
owners has already helped to slow down the momentum to confirm Eric
Holder. But if confirmed, he will be in a position where he will be
able to use the force of government to discourage or outlaw gun
ownership in America.
ACTION: Please contact your two Senators, even
if you have done so already, and strongly urge them to vote AGAINST
Eric Holder for Attorney General. You can use the Gun Owners
Legislative Action Center at