POLITICS
08/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Judge Sonia Sotomayor Describes How Nunchucks Work

Responding to a question about a recent ruling in which Judge Sonia Sotomayor voted to uphold a New York State ban on nunchucks, or nunchaku, Sotomayor went into an extended description of how the weapons work.

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HATCH: As a result of this very permissive legal standard -- and it is permissive -- doesn't your decision in Maloney mean that virtually any state or local weapons ban would be permissible?

SOTOMAYOR: Sir, in Maloney, we were talking about nunchuk sticks.

HATCH: I understand.

SOTOMAYOR: Those are martial arts sticks.

HATCH: Two sticks bound together by rawhide or some sort of a...

SOTOMAYOR: Exactly. And -- and when the sticks are swung, which is what you do with them, if there's anybody near you, you're going to be seriously injured, because that swinging mechanism can break arms, it can bust someone's skull.

HATCH: Sure.

This ruling had previously been raised as an issue by vote-suppression guru Ken Blackwell, among others, who attempted to cite the ruling to show that Sotomayor's nomination was "a declaration of war against America's gun owners."