Trump calls out retired justice for 2nd Amendment repeal essay

A call from a retired U.S. Supreme Court justice to repeal the Second Amendment has President Donald Trump saying "no way" as he hopes to make a solidly conservative court the lasting legacy of his time in office.

"The Second Amendment will never be repealed!" President Trump tweeted in response to retired Justice John Paul Stevens's op-ed in the New York Times calling on Americans to rid the Constitution of our right to bear arms.

That was the latest volley from the 97-year-old Stevens who 10 years ago dissented from the landmark ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

"It protects the preexisting right to use guns by members of a militia," Stevens said at the time. Then in 2014, he wrote a book proposing a new amendment to reverse that landmark ruling.

But now gun rights advocates are saying "go ahead, make my day" to Stevens's latest call.

"The only reason why you'd want to repeal the Second Amendment is to enact a massive confiscation of already existing guns," Professor Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law said. "That would be a bad idea and would likely embolden gun rights supporters more than help facilitate the debate."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats have no interest in supporting a move that would give the NRA what he said it wants.

"It is not a binary choice. It is not simply protect the Second Amendment or your guns get taken away," Schumer said. "There's a middle ground, which is what America pleads for."

In fact, for the measures the March for Our Lives students support—universal background checks and assault weapons bans—the biggest obstacle is partisan politics, not the Second Amendment, at least for now.

"If President Trump can replace Justice Ginsburg, they may actually shift the Second Amendment jurisprudence to the right and perhaps other laws may actually be struck down," Blackman said.

That is exactly why Trump tweeted, "We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!"

That, of course, is the president's not-so-subtle reference to his hope that liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, and the swing vote Anthony Kennedy, 80, step down during his term. But so far those justices have shown no signs that they're ready to give Trump conservative control of the court for a generation to come.