Future Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was seen applauding New Zealand’s assault weapons ban during Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s commencement speech at Harvard University last week as gun control rhetoric escalates among lawmakers following recent mass shootings.
During her speech, Ardern boasted her government’s achievements since she assumed office, which included legalizing gay marriage, and “banning military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles.”
Jackson began applauding after the gun remark as the prime minister received a standing ovation from the Ivy League graduates, Fox News reported.
New Zealand banned the sale of semi-automatic and assault rifles following the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019 that left 51 dead at two mosques.
The SCOTUS-designate’s applause came as congressional Democrats have proposed a similar ban on assault weapons in the wake of the mass shootings at an elementary school in Texas and a supermarket in Buffalo.
Future gun control legislation could potentially come before the Supreme Court.
On Thursday night, President Joe Biden said it’s time for the US to ban assault weapons in a prime time speech in which he claimed the second amendment “is not absolute.”
“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.”
The president also said he wanted to “strengthen background checks and enact safe-storage laws and red flag laws.”
Republicans and conservatives blasted Biden following his address claiming he and his fellow Democrats’ proposals are either unconstitutional or would be ineffective in preventing mass shootings.
Biden’s policies would likely fail in the Senate due to overwhelming opposition from the 50-member GOP conference.
In an effort to compromise, 21 House Democrats penned a letter to party leaders asking they to split up the eight-bill “Protecting Our Kids” package of gun control measures so each bill within it can get a standalone vote on the House floor and have a better shot at garnering Republican support.