07/04/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sotomayor Gets Confirmation Boost With Gun Rights Decision

The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday what could be a helping hand in her hopes to face a smooth and non-contentious confirmation hearing.

The court, based in Chicago, held in a 3-0 ruling that weapons ordinances in local municipalities were lawful. They also rejected the argument put forth by gun rights advocates that the Second Amendment is incorporated in the 14th Amendment and can be applied to states.

"One function of the second amendment is to prevent the national government from interfering with state militias," read the ruling. "It does this by creating individual rights, Heller holds, but those rights may take a different shape when asserted against a state than against the national government."

Why does this matter for Sotomayor? While serving on the Second Circuit Appeals Court Sotomayor had also ruled that the right to bear arms could not be directly applied to the states, following the 2008 Supreme Court case overturning the Washington D.C. handgun ban. For this decision, the group Gun Owners of America labeled her "anti-gun," and claimed that she had displayed "pure judicial arrogance" for declining to toss New York state weapons law.

Now, Sotomayor's position is a bit more mainstream and it has garned support from two prominent and respected conservatives, Richard Posner and Frank Easterbook, who were appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan.

An email seeking comment from Gun Owners of America was not immediately returned.

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