The Supreme Court will rule on a major second amendment case just as the summer presidential campaign season kicks off next year. Depending on the ruling, the outcome of the Washington DC gun ban case could significantly effect the Presidential race.
The Court will likely rule one of three ways:
It could affirm that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. Ironically, complete success for the NRA could put America’s foremost gun rights advocate out of business as a major political player for the foreseeable future. Every Democrat in America whose highest priority is recapturing the White House and keeping the Congress should pray for this outcome.
The second possibility is that the Court announces a muddled ruling that alludes to an individual right to a gun, but affirms that local jurisdictions are afforded some level of regulatory oversight. I suspect that the Court, usually being cautious and incremental, will rule this way. This status quo decision would keep the gun rights issue alive but wouldn’t give it any extra breath than it currently has. Republicans will continue to advocate a gun rights position and prudent Democrats will either embrace that same position, or continue to avoid the issue.
If, however, the Supreme Court rules that the Second Amendment is a group right afforded to governmentally organized militias, then watch out. Such a decision would immediately put a constitutional amendment to reverse its effect on the fast track. The ruling would upset millions of voters, many of whom aren’t currently happy with Iraq, the economy, immigration, and Bush, and who might otherwise be persuaded to turn to a Clinton, Edwards, or Obama. But they won’t with gun rights at stake. If the Supreme Court takes away the individual right to bear arms next spring, automatically every Southern and Western state is unwinnable for any of the leading Democrats next November.
UNLESS . . . Democrats can successfully portray the Republican nominee as also being weak on gun rights. Rudy and Romney, both having led severely gun-limiting governments, are very vulnerable here. Either would have no more credibility on this issue than would any of their Democratic rivals, and could find themselves watching from the sidelines as the NRA organizes its soldiers, not for the Presidential race, but for Congressional races aimed at passing a constitutional amendment.
By agreeing to take
Parker Heller, it’s no stretch to say that for the second time in eight years a presidential election might hinge on a United States Supreme Court decision.
Rudy, perhaps recognizing his vulnerability on this issue, does a good job a preemptive damage control.
Glenn Reynolds in a New York Post op/ed agrees.