Dire prediction

Discussion in 'National Laws, Bills and Politics' started by kkennett, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Check out this text regarding the prediction of the folks over at Scotusblog on the Heller case:

    The most prominent likely addition to the docket this Term will be the Second Amendment case involving the District of Columbia's handgun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller, petition here and appendix here, and Lyle's lead post here). (Disclosure: Akin Gump represents the District.) It would be very surprising if certiorari were denied, given the significant circuit conflict created by the ruling below.

    The outcome of this case cannot be predicted because these nine Justices have not decided a similar question. The District has a cascade of arguments for reversal - that there is no individual right to bear arms unconnected to militia service, that the Second Amendment doesn't constrain the local regulation in the District, and that D.C.'s law is in any event reasonable (because it allows possession of shotguns and rifles) - and the D.C. Circuit's decision is avowedly an outlier among a fairly significant body of lower court authority. So the more likely (if still quite uncertain) outcome is that the District will prevail.

    Equally important, however, is that the guns case will likely break down along ideological lines (at least on the threshold question of whether and to what extent the Second Amendment confers an individual right). The general (although not inviolate) pattern in the lower courts has been that more conservative judges are more favorably inclined to gun rights. Again recognizing the uncertainty on the question, the conventional wisdom is that it is highly unlikely that any of the four more liberal members of the U.S. Supreme Court will vote to invalidate the D.C. law. So, the left on the Court will find itself advocating against gun rights.

    The popularity of that position will be mixed. Polling data (see here and here) shows that the public favors more strict gun control laws. But it is not at all clear whether the D.C. law would be regarded as too strict in this respect. Equally important, the experience of the success of the NRA shows that there is a significant portion of the population that favors gun rights and mobilizes around that one question. The Court's decision could have a profound effect on whether those voters go to the polls. By contrast, those who favor greater gun regulation overwhelmingly are not "single issue" voters.


    This scares me, as they are generally fairly insightful folks. As a matter of disclosure, their sponsor, Akin Gump, represents DC in the case. That being said, their website coverage is usually pretty unbiased. They are the only ones I have read predicting this outcome. Everybody else says they'll find an individual right. Have I been reading only sycophants? My anxiety meter has gone up.
     
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    No Opinion

    I don't have an opinion on the chances of the Supreme Court overturning the DC handgun ban, and even if they do, I'm not sure how much that would help us. It might establish a rule that any gun control short of a total ban on all weapons suitable for self-defense is OK.

    But I'm disturbed by this article's lack of understanding about the long gun controls in D.C. even though some people can get a license to own and possess a shotgun or rifle, only sporting arms are allowed, and they must be kept in an unloaded and locked state so as to make them useless for personal defense. The only way these unloaded, locked-up weapons could be used in a defense situation is if the homeowner had 10 minutes' advance notice of an attack!
     

  3. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Another thought, on the same board, from Jeffrey Toobin, author of the the new book, 'The Nine'.

    Q: Some commentators, including our own Tom Goldstein, believe the upcoming term will see the Court "shift" back to the left (see here) - not because of a change in jurisprudence among individual Justices, but because the particular set of ‘high profile' cases on the Court's docket (or likely to be granted) involve subjects on which Justice Kennedy is more inclined to vote with the four more liberal Justices. Some examples include cases regarding detainee rights at Guantanamo Bay (Al Odah v. United States and Boumediene v. Bush), the 100:1 crack-to-power cocaine sentencing ratio (Kimbrough v. United States), and federal laws against virtual child pornography (United States v. Williams), as well as pending petitions over the District of Columbia's handgun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller), and a Louisiana statute permitting the death penalty for raping children under age 12 (Kennedy v. Louisiana). Would you care to offer any predictions for the coming term, either in regards to individual cases or general trends you may foresee?

    A: Tom is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I'm not surprised that he's wrong. (Hey, we kid.) It is true that the Court is now dominated by Kennedy in a way that an individual justice has rarely controlled the Court. (Favorite fact from last Term: in the 24 five-to-four decisions, Kennedy was in the majority in every single one! Second favorite fact: Thomas did not ask a question - for the entire year!) It is true that in some of these areas, like the Gitmo cases and some recent death penalty cases, Kennedy has generally sided with the liberals. I am less confident he will lean that way on the sentencing and Second Amendment cases. The point remains that Kennedy is usually in the conservative camp, and I see no reason why that will change.


    Perhaps I had just found an outlier.
     
  4. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    Not being familiar with the cases referenced above, would it be more appropriate to place Kennedy in the “liberty†camp, regardless of liberal or conservative labels?


    If so, that’s a good thing.
     
  5. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    I would not be surprised if the court did not even grant cert. I think they will but...

    Whatever happens we are no worse off. Personally I think the liberal judges will surprise a lot of folks on this case. The lawyer that brought this case made it extremely narrow on purpose. Any ruling from SCOTUS will be extremely narrow. So was Roe v. Wade. and Dred Scott. ( Which are really the same ruling by the way.) However, the impact of those rulings were tremendous.
    The court may rule that the 2A isn't an individual right, but that just leaves us where we are now. Any ruling that it covers an individual right leaves us with a firm foundation to challenge the scope of that right.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    No.
     
  7. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    At least O'Connor isn't on the court anymore. She was worse than Kennedy.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    And her replacement is Alito. Whom would you rather have deciding a Second Amendment case? :D
     
  9. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    Me or you or JRM :lol:
     
  10. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    JRM for SCOTUS
    :woohoo: :groupprotest: :applause:

    :hardhead:
     
  11. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    new "Monroe Doctrine"

    With JRM on the Court, I can see a new "Monroe Doctrine" emerging:
    "If you can lift it, you can carry it!"
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I like that line

    Somebody should adopt that as their in-a-nutshell interpretation of the Second Amendment-- If you can liftit, you can carry it.