"I understand how important the right to bear arms is to many many Americans," said Sotomayor in a video clip from her confirmation hearing used in the ad. "In fact, one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA, and I have friends that hunt. I understand the individual right fully that the Supreme Court recognized in Heller," she said in the video clip, referring to the 2008 ruling that struck down Washington, D.C.'s 32-year handgun ban as unconstitutional and determined the Second Amendment protected an individual's right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
The ad's narrator then says that once Sotomayor made it to the Supreme Court bench, she "voted exactly the opposite.
"Sotomayor joined an opinion that would erase the Second Amendment from the Constitution," the voice says, referring to her dissent from the recent McDonald decision that overturned Chicago's strict ban on handguns. "It said that nothing in the Second Amendment states that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right for all Americans."
Kagan testified that she would honor the McDonald decision as "binding precedent" should another gun rights case come before the court.
"It's not enough, even if you think something is wrong, to say, 'Oh, well, that decision was wrong,'" she said during her hearing. "The whole idea of precedent is ... that you assume that it's ... right and that it's valid going forward."
So far, 10 Republican senators -- Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Johnny Isakson of Georgia; Lisa Murkowski of Arkansas; Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett of Utah; James Inhofe of Oklahoma; Jim DeMint of South Carolina; Mike Johanns of Nebraska; John McCain of Arizona; and David Vitter of Louisiana -- have announced plans to vote against Kagan.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote next Tuesday, keeping Kagan's nomination on track for full Senate consideration before the August recess. Kagan, 50, a former solicitor general for the Obama administration, dean of Harvard Law School and staff attorney in the Clinton administration, has never been a judge. If confirmed, she would become the Supreme Court's 112th justice and the third woman on the bench.