NRA Fails to Win Votes Against Sotomayor
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2009 6:39 PM CDT
National Rifle Association and credit card stickers are stuck on the front door of the Illinois Gun Works store September 10, 2004 in Elmwood Park, Ill.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The National Rifle Association is taking aim at lawmakers over Sonia Sotomayor but failing to buckle many knees, the AP reports. Breaking from its habit of avoiding Supreme Court nomination picks, the NRA has threatened to penalize legislators who vote for Sotomayor. But Blue Dog Democrats and some Republicans are shrugging it off. "I'd probably have a good rating" from the NRA "regardless," says Sen. Ben Nelson.

Several lawmakers rated "A" and "A-plus" by the NRA—including Sens. Max Baucus, Jon Tester, and Lamar Alexander—already support Sotomayor. So why would gun lobbyists risk weakening their influence like this? Republican leaders pushed the NRA after Sotomayor said she would keep an open mind on Second Amendment rights. "The Republican leadership reminded them that if they don't care about judges, they should," one conservative activist said.