June 29, 2010

Democrats quietly cheer high court gun ruling

From Politico:
When the Supreme Court extended the individual right to own a gun Monday, they handed Second Amendment advocates—many of whom are at home in the GOP—one of their most significant legal victories ever.

But who won the day in politics? The Democrats.

For them, the court’s groundbreaking decision couldn’t have been more beneficial to the cause in November. Now, Democratic candidates across the map figure they have one less issue to worry about on the campaign trail. And they won’t have to defend against Republican attacks over gun rights and an angry, energized base of gun owners.

“It removes guns as a political issue because everyone now agrees that the Second Amendment is an individual right and everybody agrees that it’s subject to regulation,” said Lanae Erickson, deputy director of the culture program at the centrist think tank Third Way.
I realize they may be happy, but I am not so sure they won the day. All of their preferred justices dissented, and they are about to replace one dissenter with another. Much like Roe, the issue is now firmly embedded in the courts, which will keep the issue alive for a generation, at least. Unless Democrats question Kagan on guns and vote accordingly they are not going to escape the issue. As the WSJ points out below, the liberal justices are lying in wait to overturn both Heller and McDonald. Should President Obama get to replace one of the conservative justices or Justice Kennedy both cases likely go out the window. The liberal justices have shown exactly zero respect for Heller as precedent. I fail to see this as a winner for Democrats unless they vote against Kagan, citing concerns over gun rights. I am not going to hold my breath.