Seconds after the Biden-Harris administration announced the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, the gun control lobby went wild. 

Jackson, who Biden only appointed as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last April, was named Friday as the nomination to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. The Harvard Law grad – almost a prerequisite for serving on the high court – previously served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, both appointments by President Obama. Before that, Jackson was Justice Breyer’s law clerk, an assistant federal public defender, and a lawyer in private practice.

Without citing their reasons, all three large national gun control groups quickly issued press releases praising Biden's nominee, with two of the organizations referencing concealed carry rights. 

“President Biden has governed as the strongest gun safety president in history, and we have every confidence that Judge Jackson will employ a mainstream, commonsense reading of the Second Amendment,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown. The group, formed by Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire former Democratic candidate for president, then fired off an interactive alert urging senators to confirm the pick. 

"The Supreme Court interpretations of the Second Amendment define the role that guns play in American life," said Robyn Thomas, Giffords Law Center's executive director. "Currently pending before the Court is a case concerning the carrying of guns in public spaces, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. While Judge Jackson will not join the Court until after it has issued its decision in Bruen, numerous additional gun cases are in the litigation pipeline and may come before the Court in future terms."

Brady also mentioned Bruen, with Brady President Kris Brown remarking, "The next Justice will be critically important for the gun violence prevention movement, in particular adopting a correct and historic interpretation of the Second Amendment and upholding popularly enacted and constitutional public safety laws. The court will issue a ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen this term, a case with the stakes to upend centuries of precedent that protects states’ ability to enact common-sense gun violence prevention laws to protect public safety. We need a justice on the court who understands that there is no daylight between the right to bear arms and laws that protect Americans from the threat of gun violence and a justice who understands that the effects of our laws fall on Americans differently."

2A Groups not impressed

The Firearms Policy Coalition, an organization pursuing numerous gun reform cases that could end up at the Supreme Court, said the nominee needed to understand the value of the right to keep and bear arms. 

"Judge Jackson, who served for a time as an assistant public defender, should have first-hand experience of just how evil and corrupt the criminal justice system is, using coercive plea bargaining to avoid constitutionally required jury trials and putting people in cages for non-violent possessory offenses such as merely possessing common semi-automatic firearms or carrying a handgun without a license in New York, California, and other states where governments are openly hostile to the Second Amendment rights of peaceable individuals," said the group. 

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association urged caution. 

"Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has never affirmed that the Second Amendment protects the individual, fundamental right of all Americans to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves or others," said the group in a statement. "Consequently, the NRA is concerned with President Biden's decision to nominate her to the Supreme Court of the United States at a crucial time when there are vital cases that will determine the scope and future of the Second Amendment and self-defense rights in our country. As we always do, the NRA will monitor her statements during the confirmation process and advise our members accordingly."

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