The mainstream media have been sounding the alarm for years about the supposed GOP threats to the Constitution, from voter ID laws to migrant busing.
So how have the media reacted to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico unilaterally suspending the Second Amendment right to carry firearms? Well, the Constitution hasn’t come up much.
Now: News outlets have highlighted Lujan Grisham’s claims that her executive order—which banned carry of firearms in and around Albuquerque for 30 days—was a necessary response to gun violence.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is temporarily suspending open and concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque and the surrounding county for 30 days, describing the unusual move as a necessary response to gun violence there. https://t.co/8ubzWpaWh9
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 10, 2023
There has also been plenty of coverage of the backlash, including the Democratic state attorney general’s refusal to enforce the ban.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is facing harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle over her recently issued order temporarily suspending certain gun rights in Albuquerque and its surrounding county. https://t.co/Df22vDZW2b
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 12, 2023
CNN anchor Poppy Harlow on Tuesday was one of the few mainstream journalists to question the order’s constitutionality, albeit gently and nonspecifically.
“We also have, Governor, the Constitution … and you’re an attorney. Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground?”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham: “I have the right”
“But where is the right?”
Lujan Grisham: “We’ll see what all of these court actions do” pic.twitter.com/Rb3MeBZcVH
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 12, 2023
Then: Notably absent have been the fact checks, analyses, op-eds, and primetime grandstanding about the Constitution that the media have regularly directed at Republicans since at least Donald Trump’s presidency.
A list of statements by Donald Trump that are at odds with the U.S. Constitution https://t.co/3Seik5xCZa
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 2, 2016
Analysis: The GOP has long called itself the ‘party of the Constitution.” But recent events don’t exactly show fealty to it. https://t.co/d3basBHzTI
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 25, 2021
Republican Governors Shipping Migrants Around the Country Is a Disturbing Attack on the Constitutionhttps://t.co/4D6VfFfDFo
— TIME Ideas (@TIMEIdeas) September 23, 2022
News outlets like CNN are covering the assault on democracy every day. But I keep hearing from journalists in OTHER newsrooms who don’t feel like they can raise the alarms. They see what’s unfolding, but they feel constrained by managers, by norms, by audience pressures… pic.twitter.com/6WvLoJ1oBo
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 2, 2021
Unlike with, say, Republican governors busing migrants to other states, the constitutional case against Lujan Grisham’s ban on carrying firearms is straightforward. New Mexico’s Bill of Rights states, “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms…,” and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just last year that Americans have a broad Second Amendment right to carry a firearm in public.
Even the most unlikely defenders of the Second Amendment have acknowledged that Lujan Grisham went too far.
BREAKING: We are concerned that the governor’s recent use of emergency powers could lead to overzealous policing and senseless incarceration.
See our full statement: https://t.co/TBlNiW528c
— ACLU of New Mexico (@ACLUNM) September 11, 2023
I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution. https://t.co/kOhLMtaOl2
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 9, 2023
I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution. https://t.co/6GfbOZLc7g
— David Hogg 🟧 (@davidhogg111) September 9, 2023
Meanwhile, the media haven’t even been able to muster a defense of the First Amendment in the face of attacks by a Democratic White House.
You’re still going with “the government’s ability to combat false and misleading narratives” as your frame for this? https://t.co/qChuybKw1Q
— Jesse Walker (@notjessewalker) September 9, 2023