Merrick Garland confirmation hearing

Mike Lee Tried To Use Merrick Garland To Scare Gun Owners And Totally Failed

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) broke out the NRA talking points to try to scare gun owners during Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing and failed.


Lee asked Garland, “You will be in a different role confirmed to this position, one in which you have a significant impact on policy. Let’s talk about policy as it relates to the Second Amendment briefly. Do you support universal background checks?”

Garland answered, “I do think that it’s very important that we be careful that people who are entitled to have guns are — get the background check that allows them to have them and that those who are not entitled and who we are concerned about, because they are threats because they are felons or whatever reason barred by the law, that there’s an opportunity to determine that they not be given a gun.”

Lee asked, “Do you support banning specific types of guns?”

Garland answered, “As I’m sure you know, the president is a strong supporter of gun control, has been an advocate all of his professional life on this question. The role of the justice department is to advance the policy program of the administration, as long as it’s consistent with the law. As I said so far, we have a little indication from the Supreme Court as to what this means. We don’t have a complete indication. Where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”

Lee tried a third time, “What about policies that would support holding firearms manufacturers liable for damage caused by people using firearms they produced to commit a crime?”

Garland wasn’t playing along, “I don’t have — I believe that the president may have a position on this question. I have not thought myself deeply about this. I don’t think it raises a second amendment issue itself, the question of the liability protection. I have not addressed this in any way. I need to think about this considerably more.”

Mike Lee was trying to get Garland to give an answer that would allow Republicans to label him an enemy of the Second Amendment.

Judge Garland’s answers were correct. It might be difficult for Republicans to comprehend in a post-Trump/Barr world, but the Attorney General doesn’t make policy. He or she enforces existing laws, and when federal laws are broken, they prosecute the accused.

Merrick Garland isn’t going to be Joe Biden‘s personal attorney. His answers indicate that he intends to clean up the Department of Justice and restore it back to its traditional role.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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