Brent Bozell, Media, Politics

Showtime ‘Fakes News’ for the Left

CBS’s pay-cable Showtime channel is the latest backer of con artist/”comedian” Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance art, as in the movies “Borat” and “Bruno.” It’s a new TV show called “Who Is America?” that is designed, as usual, to mock Americans — mostly conservatives — as gullible and stupid.

The most prominent victim this time around is former Gov. Sarah Palin, who said she was asked to appear in a “legit Showtime historical documentary” but instead was pranked by Cohen and asked questions she said were “full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm.” Cohen also apparently asked former Vice President Dick Cheney to autograph a “waterboard kit.” The promise of these embarrassments thrills the left. It was not an auspicious debut: It drew just 327,000 viewers. Among the key demographic of adults ages 18 to 49, it pulled a low 0.1 rating.

Even as the first show began with Cohen pulling a prank on Sen. Bernie Sanders, it’s Cohen’s fraudulent tea party patriot who’s the joke. When Sanders does his usual socialist schtick about redistributing the wealth, Cohen’s character says, “I prefer to be anally raped than give one more dollar to the Treasury.” Sanders just calmly watches him … which might make most viewers suspect Sanders knows what’s being filmed.

One Cohen character is supposed to mock the left, but he ends up making two supporters of President Trump look like they were trying way too hard not to overreact to his idiocy. His bald but ponytailed NPR-T-shirt-wearing lefty character claims he makes his daughter “free-bleed” during her period on the American flag. Then he waits for the Trump fans to freak out, or, more likely, be grossed out. Cohen’s humor has all the maturity and sophistication of a 13-year-old boy.

Several people dismissed Cohen’s fraudulent act within minutes. One was former ABC News star Ted Koppel. He says Cohen’s crew lied shamelessly to him and said the Showtime program being filmed was called “Age of Reason,” and Cohen quickly showed he wasn’t the slightest bit reasonable. The network attracted Koppel with a request full of flattery, saying: “Our project’s goal is to cut through the noise and disinformation surrounding today’s most important issues in a way that’s clear and accessible to everyday Americans. As one of the world’s most well-respected media figures who has really seen it all throughout his career, we’d be thrilled to have Mr. Ted Koppel on our program.”

Another tough customer was a gun-shop owner in Riverside, California, named Norris Sweidan. “I’m looking at the producer and I’m just like, ‘Am I being fooled right here?” Sweidan said. “And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like, ‘You’re Borat.’ As soon as I said that, his eyes just looked at me … and he did a turn right out the door.” Sweidan said he knew “Borat” went there to mock gun owners and gun shops. “He was fake. The producers were fake. The show was fake. And Showtime is fake, to be honest with you,” he said. “They want a real story. Come talk to us. We’ll give you a real story.”

Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins shares Cohen’s lack of shame. In a statement announcing this shady series, he claimed: “He is the premier provocateur of our time, but not for the sake of ‘gotcha’ moments. Behind the elaborate setup is a genuine quest for the truth about people, places and politics.”

It’s more like “Behind the elaborate lying is a genuine quest to show the ‘truth’: that conservatives are morons.” The Hollywood left cannot keep greenlighting nasty shows like this and then claiming it is merely trying to explore America, not expose its contempt for the flyover states.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Big govt, Politics

Dems’ Internal Divisions Obscure Path to November

Democrats just can’t seem to get on the same sheet of music. For over a year now, Maxine Waters has been the favorite mouthpiece of the fringe left calling for impeachment of President Trump. But a larger contingent of Democrats has been quietly telling her to shut her trap. Perhaps it’s because Trump’s numbers are good. And now, on the heels of the Putin summit, Democrats are tripping over themselves to prove why he’s such a bad guy, but then pulling back from the brink of more calls for impeachment. That’s the sign of a party in disarray when there isn’t even agreement on disagreement. All the more reason why that blue wave has likely thinned to a trickle before November.

Here’s more from Fox News…

Midterm elections are usually a referendum on the president.

But in their effort to focus attention on President Trump, Democrats could make the midterms about their own divisions.

Trump’s assertion that Russia didn’t meddle in American elections sparked an inferno on the left. To progressives, the remarks epitomized what they see as the president’s deficiencies for office.

It was treachery. Sedition. Subversion. And from the president of the United States himself.

It would be easy to examine how Trump’s comments yet again placed congressional Republicans in a tough spot. GOPers have long grimaced about Trump emerging as their nominee, the “Access Hollywood” tape, his comments about Europe and NATO, “fire and fury” and the unilateral imposition of tariffs.

But the president’s statements may actually pose more peril to Democrats. Why? Much like Republicans, Democratic leaders appear paralyzed as to how to respond to the president – especially the episode in Helsinki. Top Democratic leaders in Washington want to be tough – but also serve as the voice of reason. They fear alienating swing voters. Meantime, liberals are prepared to go “Maxine Waters” on the president. The left wing is confounded why all Democrats don’t follow their lead.

Brent Bozell, Issues, Media

Avenatti, the Media’s Legal Hero

On July 10, The New York Times Magazine devoted nearly 6,000 words to Michael Avenatti, the Trump-trashing lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had sex with President Donald Trump. How is he worthy of so much attention?

This man is running a one-man show trafficking in anti-Trump propaganda. He started as the defender of the porn star and stripper. He has moonlighted with memos suggesting Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is the tool of Russian oligarchs. Now he’s even taking on immigrants who came to the country illegally as clients to paint Trump as evil for separating mothers and children at the Mexican border.

He boasts that he’s a “mercenary” and says, “I don’t apologize for it.” He claims he has offers to have his own TV show but he doesn’t want one. Why be a host when you can be the star witness? He’s even threatening to run against Trump for president in 2020 if no one else can match his talent — his talent, that is, for getting himself on television.

Avenatti boasted to New York Times writer Matthew Shaer that he’s made over 200 appearances on national TV news shows and late-night shows since March (including two appearances on Stephen Colbert’s show). He’s been paid by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from Trump haters through a CrowdJustice account. “None of this happens if we don’t have a high profile,” he admitted.

In short, Avenatti is the dictionary definition of a showboating lawyer, whose clients are mere playthings to get him into the bright lights. When federal Judge Kimba Wood told him in a hearing that he couldn’t represent Daniels if he was going to go on a “publicity tour,” he dropped his bid to argue in Wood’s courtroom. Publicity is all.

But The Times gushed all over Avenatti, over his “blatant blue eyes” and his “steely and composed” face with “Cubist” geometric angles. He “traffics primarily in a commodity in short supply among left-leaning voters: hope.” He has a “messianic standing among liberals.” And “canonization proceedings were under way” among his Twitter fans. “There is a God,” one tweeted. “He sent us Avenatti.” “You and Stormy,” wrote another, “may be the saviors of our democracy.”

The biggest bouquet of praise came from Daniels’ comparing her attorney to Michelangelo: “every time I watch him work, I think, This is what it must have been like to see the Sistine Chapel being painted. But instead of paint, Michael uses the tears of his enemies.”

In this overlong article, we’re told how Avenatti commands the media, talking for hours on CNN and MSNBC. Avenatti is such a regular he seems to know everyone at CNN by name. He snuck into a corner of the greenroom to chat with CNN President Jeff Zucker. He exchanged “profane banter” with CNN host Don Lemon, his new best friend. He “keeps in close contact with reporters in Washington and New York,” pressing the scribes to confirm his opposition research on Trump so he can do more TV.

Doesn’t all of this add up to a smoothly running liberal media machine in which the lines of responsibility vanish? Who is the journalist digging up the opposition research on Trump, and who is the trial lawyer? Where does advocacy end and journalism begin? Does anyone care? They all share a goal: to destroy Trump. Anyone who boasts (as Avenatti does) that he can ensure Trump won’t finish a single term can treat the liberal networks as putty in his hands and put The New York Times in his back pocket.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Big govt, International, Politics

Trump’s Putin Summit May Be A Genius Move

By now, unless you’ve been hiding in a nuclear bunker for the last 48 hours, you’ve heard what an unmitigated disaster Trump’s summit with Putin was. Except maybe not. There’s an interesting theory that’s gaining steam among those paying close attention. If Trump would’ve gone in and blasted Putin for doing what we all know in fact he (or his surrogates) did, would we have gained anything? Negative, ghost rider. Trump knows that. So what if, instead, he’s playing a good-cop/bad-cop routine wherein he wins Putin’s favor in order to ‘keep his enemies closer’? If that’s the case, it’s brilliant.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

What?  Did you just read that headline correctly?

Yes, you did.  Writing it I assumed people’s heads would explode.  It’s about as far as you can can get from today’s conventional wisdom (i.e. what David Gergen thinks).  Virtually every member of the smart set from Pelosi to McCain to some ninety-five percent of the media, including several cowards on Fox News, to, alas, Lindsey Graham (who should know better) are going out of their minds excoriating Trump for being soft on Putin, even for being “owned” by the neo-Soviet strongman. John Brennan — once a communist himself, so he should know — accused Trump of treason.

Okay, time for that familiar cliche — the thought experiment.  Suppose Trump had done the opposite, exactly what these people demanded — verbally and viciously assaulted Putin for all his totalitarian tropes from annexing the Crimea to humiliating John Podesta for being so dumb as to fall for a phishing attack (all right — I’ll be fair. For invading the computers of Democratic Party operatives, allegedly to elect Trump) and so forth?

What would that have accomplished? The obvious answer is zilch.  Again the opposite would most likely have occurred.  Things, already bad, would have been set back further.  It’s human nature. You don’t have to be a personal acquaintance of Vladimir Putin to know that.  You only have to be breathing.

But… but…  then Trump shouldn’t have held the summit in the first place.

Big govt, Politics

Trump Plan Aims to Slash the Bureaucracy

Late last month the Trump administration released a plan in concert with key Senators designed to roll back the burgeoning bureaucracy in DC. It’s commonplace now that the lives and businesses of ordinary Americans are dictated more by the whims of anonymous bureaucrats than by anything decided directly by Congress. But if the plan is enacted, agencies begin to be slashed, combined or eliminated altogether. It’s part of a broader strategy that has been increasingly employed in agencies like the EPA, Department of Education and others whose aim is similar to that of the Reagan administration. Good riddance.

Here’s more from The Daily Signal…

President Donald Trump’s administration released a plan June 21 that, if enacted, would impose some order on the sprawling administrative state—something that is long overdue.

Decades of ceaseless expansion of the size and scope of the federal government have created a bloated and inefficient federal bureaucracy, replete with agencies and offices with overlapping functions.

The Rube Goldberg-esque structure of the federal bureaucracy is not only expensive, it thickens the web of government red tape, makes government services less efficient, and makes mission failure more likely by splintering simple jobs among diffuse agencies.

Trump’s plan would begin the long process of rearranging the overgrown federal bureaucracy by grafting together agencies that do similar work and pruning away offices that have outlived their usefulness.

However, while the president directs the executive branch, its structure is largely the product of Congress. Through the legislative process, it creates departments and agencies, establishes their responsibilities, and determines their funding.

While Congress sometimes delegates authority to the president to determine how staff and funds are deployed or even how an agency is organized, major shakeups require congressional action.

Economy & Investments, Politics

Newsflash: Trump Economy Working for Americans

A new poll released by Emerson College reveals not only a four-point jump in President Trump’s approval rating but also a solid 42% of Americans believe they are financially better off than under President Obama.  Still, Democrats are back in the lead over the GOP 49 percent to 42 on the generic ballot. Now for the schizophrenic news: of those polled, only 54% favored capitalism and another 24% were inclined to socialism. Some people clearly need to see more news about Venezuela. Those folks aren’t so enamored with socialism these days.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

It’s no secret we live in a divided nation. Tribalism reigns supreme, particularly when it comes to President Donald Trump. But a new survey sheds some interesting light on Americans’ perceptions of the president.

Emerson College has released a new poll which shows that Trump’s approval rating has jumped four points over six months ago — 43 percent in July versus 39 percent in January — while his disapproval rating has dipped two points to 50 percent.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this poll is the response to the question of whether those surveyed believed they’re better off financially under Trump as opposed to under Barack Obama. A solid 42 percent believe that they’re better off under the current administration.

Here’s how responses to that question broke down:

When asked if they (voters) were better or worse off financially than they were two years ago 42% responded better off, while 26% said worse off. Males appear to be doing better in a Trump economy than females: 49% of males reported doing better, while 21% said they were doing worse. Alternatively 36% of females reported they were better off, while 30% said they were doing worse. Perceptions of the financial situation varied by party and race, Democrats had the lowest improvement at 33%, with 32% doing worse. Among Hispanics, a distinct majority – 62% believed they were better off, while 25% thought they were worse off. Blacks had a reversed perspective with 30% reporting they were doing better and 40% doing worse.

In spite of the rosier financial outlook, Democrats took a stronger lead in the generic congressional ballot portion of this poll. Democrats extended a lead over the GOP to the tune of 49 percent to 42 percent. That’s a four-point jump for Democrats over six months ago.

Brent Bozell, Culture, Media

Hollywood Balks At Brett Kavanaugh

No one is more upset about Trump’s second Supreme Court nomination than the liberal media … unless it’s the entertainment elites in Hollywood and Manhattan. These liberals couldn’t see the flagrant hypocrisy surrounding their sentences as they unloaded their fear and loathing on television and Twitter.

For example, notice the white male late-night comedians mocking Trump for naming a white male to the court. On ABC, Jimmy Kimmel joked Trump “narrowed his candidates down to three — but, in the end, Kavanaugh was the white man for the job.” Stephen Colbert pulled a Bingo card from his pocket on CBS. “I have Trump nomination Bingo,” he announced. “You see, all the squares say ‘White Guy.'”

This is fascinating from the insulated world of late-night comedy shows, where all of the hosts (except for Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee) are white guys. Colbert didn’t make this joke when CBS exchanged Colbert for David Letterman, and James Corden for Craig Ferguson.

Merrick Garland is another one of those white guy judges out there. But Obama nominated him, so who cares?

That’s not all. Colbert also mocked the name Brett as the name of a Ruby Tuesday waiter. That’s rich coming from a guy who pronounces his last name like he’s the snobbish maitre’d at Le Cirque. On Twitter, Colbert claimed a senator had called Kavanaugh “the Forrest Gump of Republican politics.” It would be amusing to see Colbert take on Kavanaugh in a match of intellects.

In one last stab at a late-night white guy, Conan O’Brien’s sidekick Andy Richter was so alarmed he tweeted (in capital letters). “WHY DOES ANYONE TALK ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT AS IF THE FACT THAT HE’S CARRYING OUT A PUTIN-ASSIGNED CHORE LIST ISN’T AS OBVIOUS AS THE BLUE SKY?”

Earth to Andy: in Hollywood, it has long been considered a paranoid “Red Scare” to proclaim the conspiracy theory that someone in power — or in Hollywood — is a Russian agent.

This Tinseltown tweet was also painfully clueless: “I don’t know what kind of a judge Brett Kavanaugh is but he and all the other white and in many cases old folks at the event looked so out of date, so out of sync with what the world is becoming. What the world needs to become. A last gasp of a way of life we’re past.”

This philosopher’s name is Ken Olin. If you’re young and have never heard of this man, he starred on an all-white ABC drama called “Thirtysomething” back in the 1980s. At 63, Olin is mocking “out of date old folks” (like Kavanaugh) who are 10 years his junior.

Then there are the anti-gun hypocrites, led by actress Julianne Moore, fresh from her role as the drug-lord supervillain in the hyperviolent movie “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” Moore tweeted: “This country cannot afford a justice on the Supreme Court who is likely to support the gun lobby’s extreme, absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment.”

To be a Constitutional originalist is to dabble in extremism.

For sheer lunacy, “Hellboy” star Ron Perlman compared Kavanaugh’s Catholicsm to Sharia: “The move back to Medieval Values, Shariah Law even, where old, bitter men get to tell women what is best for their bodies, lives, and well being is as done a deal as this is Twitter. Unless we say NO! NO!” In these slanderous circles, it’s apparently a Catholic conspiracy by the Supreme Court to impose Sharia law?

Finally, there were the loony producers who insist this democratic process is the end of democracy. “Autocracy here we come,” tweeted Rob Reiner. “Even CONSIDERING this nomination will cement the first American dictatorship,” added Joss Whedon.

Paging George Orwell: The Two Minutes Hate has commenced.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Big govt, Courts, Politics

Strzok and Khizr Khan

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok told joint Judiciary and Oversight committees Thursday that his “We’ll stop it” text was in reference to then-candidate Donald Trump’s election. The trigger: candidate Trump’s remarks about restricting the entrance of Muslims from terror nations into the U.S. as hyperbolized by Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of Army Capt. Humayun Khan who died while serving in Iraq. The trouble is there isn’t much context within or without the text transcript to bolster that claim. Just about anything could be attributed to the ‘it’ in question. But there’s plenty of other context to demonstrate a concerted effort by the FBI to ‘stop’ Trump’s election, period.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok told a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees today that a text to his then-lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page, about stopping candidate Donald Trump was anger expressed in response to Trump verbally going after Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan.

The Khans spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to challenge Trump on comments he made on the campaign trail about restricting the entrance of Muslims into the country. Their son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Baqubah, Iraq, on June 8, 2004, as he stopped a suicide bomber from driving into a compound.

In August 2016, Page texted Strzok, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” The Justice Department’s inspector general determined that while texts between the two were inappropriate, investigators “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”

“I think it’s important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made and the things that were going on across America,” Strzok told the committee. “In terms of the text ‘we will stop it,’ you need to understand that was written late at night, off the cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that horrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.”

 

Brent Bozell, Courts, Media

The Media vs. Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court retirements under President Donald Trump cause an extra measure of heartburn for Democrats. They nominated Hillary Clinton and her seven-mile train of scandalous baggage for president, and that’s jake. They elected Bill Clinton as president, who perjured himself and sullied his office. Not a problem.

The one guarantee with Trump appointing Judge Brett Kavanaugh is that the Democrats, fueled by their mindless street mobs, will try to destroy him. It’s how Democrats behave. It is not how the “news” media should behave. Is there anyone who disputes that? But it is how they will comport themselves, because they are one with their Democratic brothers and sisters.

One by one, leftist Democrats have been making preposterous comments since the moment Trump made his announcement. Sen. Kamala Harris, for instance, immediately described Kavanaugh as a deadly threat, saying, “his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.”

The “news” media reaction to Democratic rants? Nothing but airtime.

Leftist websites like the Daily Beast presented Trump’s short list of candidates as a plot by “Catholic fundamentalist” puppet masters. Where are the news reports about Kavanaugh being slandered for his Catholic faith? To beat this old saw, what if National Review had attacked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination as a plot led by Zionist puppet masters? You could have heard journalist heads explode.

Instead, reporters like NPR’s Nina Totenberg — who not only smeared Associate Justice Clarence Thomas with unsubstantiated sexual harassment bilge but also openly allies herself in public appearances with Justice Ginsburg these days — are warning that Kennedy’s retirement will be the “end of the world as we know it,” leading to “a hardcore conservative majority of a kind not seen probably in three-quarters of a century.”

To conservatives, that sounds great. But this reaction underlines why people don’t trust the liberal-media fun house anymore. Under President Barack Obama, the Democrats tried to socialize health care with Obamacare. They pushed same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court imposed it on 50 states. Obama also imposed radical federal “guidance” on public schools with “inclusive” policies for transgender students.

Our liberal TV anchors and taxpayer-funded Totenbergs never described all this as the “end of the world as we know it.” It wasn’t the work of a “hardcore leftist” administration. But now the idea of reversing any of this is called a shift “sharply to the right.”

When Obama nominated then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor and then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the court, no journalists talked about extremes. They gushed like schoolgirls. Try ABC’s Claire Shipman (Mrs. Jay Carney) on Sotomayor nine years ago. This sounds like an Obama campaign advertisement: “Even as a little girl, growing up in a drug-ridden South Bronx housing project, stricken with juvenile diabetes, she had that trademark knack: Instead of seeing dead ends, young Sonia saw possibilities. … She’s also an avid Yankees fan, a mean guacamole maker and a fierce biker.”

Sotomayor sits at the left-wing extreme of the Supreme Court, but at her confirmation hearings, the networks were in denial. Jan Crawford Greenburg at ABC said, “Sotomayor … calmly, persistently, repeatedly … described herself differently, sounding almost conservative.”

But any research seems to bring us back to the eternally shameless Totenberg. She said of Sotomayor, “In fact, on a lot of criminal law issues, you could say that she’s more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia.”

When Kagan was nominated in 2010, Totenberg took to NPR and — we’re not making this up — put on the theme song of the “Superman” TV show from the ’50s to compare Kagan, the former Harvard Law School dean, to Superman: “Kagan, who can raise money by the millions! Kagan, who can end the faculty wars over hiring! Kagan, who won the hearts of students … !”

They are about to show the world what first-class hypocrites they really are.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Courts, Politics

Kavanaugh’s Gun-Rights Record Shines

While the Left shrieks over the hypothetical overturning of Roe v. Wade, they are forgetting another, more realistic and near-term problem for their progressive agenda: Brett Kavanaugh, 53, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. Among his career highlights from over a decade as a judge is his dissenting opinion in Heller v. District of Columbia. In it, Kavanaugh argued that the Supreme Court had already decided handguns — “the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic” — are constitutionally protected by the Second Amendment. Not so good for the gun grabbers.
Here’s more from Fox News…

 

Hundreds of Brett Kavanaugh’s decisions are now in the spotlight after President Trump formally selected him Monday night to fill retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat.

Kavanaugh, 53, formerly clerked for Kennedy and was elevated to the powerful federal appeals court in the District of Columbia by former President George W. Bush, under whom he had also served as a White House lawyer and staff secretary.

In his 12 years as a judge, Kavanaugh has issued approximately 300 opinions and delivered numerous speeches and legal arguments. Among them is his dissenting opinion on a pivotal gun ban in 2001.

In Heller v. District of Columbia, the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the District’s ordinance banning most semi-automatic rifles. But in that case, Kavanaugh wrote the dissenting opinion, arguing the Supreme Court had already decided handguns – “the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic” – are constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment.

He said despite gun violence in the area, “our task is to apply the Constitution and the precedents of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the result is one we agree with as a matter of first principles or policy.”

The Supreme Court eventually took the case and struck down the ordinance; it held that the Second Amendment protects the possession of semi-automatic weapons for purposes unrelated to militia use.