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.