Ken Blackwell

Three people in particular are getting close scrutiny this week because their names are before the U.S. Senate. Mr. Obama has nominated David Ogden, Elena Kagan and Dawn Johnsen to be deputy attorney general, solicitor general, and the assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), respectively. These positions, in addition to being three of the highest-ranking posts at the Justice Department, are also common stepping stones to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The deputy attorney general is the number two at Justice. The solicitor general is the lawyer who argues for the government in the Supreme Court when the United States is a party to a suit. And OLC issues official legal positions for the federal government.

Each of them - Mr. Ogden, Ms. Kagan and Ms. Johnsen - are committed liberals whose views on a whole range of issues are on the far left. Each of them could argue anti-gun views in our federal courts, and if any of them end up on the bench, could enshrine those views in the law books.

In the aftermath of the Heller decision, there will be a handful of major Second Amendment cases over the next few years that will shape gun rights in this country forever. In fact, it was a pro-gun 2004 OLC opinion that laid the foundation for gun-rights advocates to win the Heller case.

Of all these issues, the most significant is whether the Second Amendment only protects gun owners from the federal government, or if it also applies to states and cities. Liberals argue that the amendment only limits the federal government. There are two major lawsuits underway right now, both of which could go to the Supreme Court.

So gun owners had better beware, and should be urging their senators to ask these nominees tough questions on the Second Amendment.

Separately, last week’s news regarding Justice Ginsburg reminds us of what is important. Even the most powerful people are still only people, with every human frailty. Justice Ginsburg is a cancer survivor, and we can all hope that she defeats cancer again. Justice Ginsburg has led an amazing life filled with historic accomplishments, and millions of Americans offer their prayers for her and her family.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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