Will the Supreme Court decide another election?

Byline: | Category: 2nd Amendment | Posted at: Tuesday, 20 November 2007

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.

OTHERS

Say Uncle (multiple links)
Dave Hardy
Instapundit (here, here, and here)
Volokh (multiple links)

ALSO

Rudy, perhaps recognizing his vulnerability on this issue, does a good job a preemptive damage control.

UPDATE:

Glenn Reynolds in a New York Post op/ed agrees.

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9 Responses to “Will the Supreme Court decide another election?”

  1. Volunteer Voters » Resorting Back To Guns Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm points out that a second amendment case the Supreme Court has agreed to take may very well impact our coming Presidential election: 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. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  2. SayUncle » Parker/Heller stuff Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm thinks maybe the supreme court will decide another election. [...]

  3. geekWithA.45 Says:

    The question as to whether the 2nd protects an individual right of arms is only one of several essential questions that need to be answered to fully clarify the amendment.

    In the event of a strong, unambiguous ruling that the right protected belongs to individuals, far from “being put out of business”, the NRA will be busy beavers for at least a decade in all the followup litigation that will explore the rest of the questions, which includes “what arms are protected?” (Miller says it’s military guns…go figure…) “What constitutes infringement?”, “What is the balance between infringement and the states interest in the power of the police?” and, perhaps most interestingly given the judicial construct of selectively incorporating the bill of rights with respect to the States, “Is the second enforceable against the states?”

    No, the NRA will most assuredly NOT be put out of business, given the narrow way in which one central question is approached.

  4. Mike Says:

    Headline needs adjustment, insert “Florida” before “Supreme Court” and “try” before “decide”.
    Otherwise,NYT/Krugman/Hebert/Dowd misleading. And, not really pertinent to good post.
    BTW, I’ll guess SCOTUS could rule myriad ways, but, logically, this is going to be an either/or decision. We’ll save the 3rd way for Clinton/Blair &, yes, Bush.

  5. Letalis Maximus, Esq. Says:

    If the Dems would turn 180 on self-defense (gun control) and national defense, and mean it, they could relegate the GOP to the electoral basement for the next 20 years.

  6. MarkJ Says:

    “If, however, the Supreme Court rules that the Second Amendment is a group right afforded to governmentally organized militias, then watch out.”

    Yup, in the wake of such a decision there will be civil disobedience among normally law-abiding citizens on a scale heretofore unimaginable. “The justices have issued their decision: now let them enforce it.”

    Hell, if our troops aren’t able to find all the weapons and ordnance cached and stashed in Iraq–a nation roughly the size and population of California–what makes the anti-gunners think law enforcement will have better success rounding up illegal firearms in this country?

  7. Daily Pundit » Second - And Last - Chance Says:

    [...] BobKrumm.com » Will the Supreme Court decide another election? 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. [...]

  8. PA Bill Says:

    The Supreme Court did not “decide” the 2000 election, they only instructed the Florida officials on the the rules established by the Constituion concerning the conduct of elections.

  9. Reader Says:

    Our public seems to be blind to the most simple of facts–the Constitution binding the American states is a contract, ratified by the People, creating a general, federal government. It gave that government certain specified responsibilities, and specified limitations. Period.

    What the public does not not understood is that while the above contract does limit the powers of the general government, it does not limit the ability of the People to make further–personal–contracts expanding upon governmental powers.

    Read just the index of the annotation of the fourteenth ammendment and you’ll get what I mean:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/html/amdt14toc_user.html

    The American public originally reserved the rights not enumerated, then traded them away for a mess of pottage–each man individually–by ratifying the terms of the fourteenth amendment on a personal basis. The NRA and similar groups concentrate of the second amendment, while oblivious to the fact that the public has joined a new contract, nullifying the original’s effect.