Chief Justice in hospital
CJ Rehnquist has been hospitalized with a fever. This can be very bad news, as he's 80 and may still have the thyroid cancer -- cancer can knock back the immune system, and so can the chemo used to treat it, and at some point the immune system gets so low that even "harmless" bugs like the ones in the intestines and bladder can cause fatal infection. (If you want to know how I learned this stuff, check out the memorial webpage for my former wife).
Which means we may be looking at two nominations. Of the existing Court, I'd have counted the CJ as probably pro-2d Amendment, based on his opinion in Verdugo-whatever, where the opinion went out of the way to cite the Amendment as a right of individuals (the case had nothing to do with arms, and the reference was hardly core to its logic, so I think it was inserted to lay the groundwork for a possible later 2nd Amendment case). O'Connor -- no written positions, ranching background might mean sympathy, but her opinions of late make her quite unpredictable. So we lose one likely vote and one unknown. One good pro-2nd appointment merely leaves us where we were, it'd take two to improve the situation. (With Scalia and Thomas being pro-Amendment, that'd give us four good ones and five unknowns. (The late Roy Lucas once told me he'd watched a Supreme Ct argument dealing with guns in some way, and he thought that Souter's body language suggested he had some deeply-felt dislike of guns).
I hope firearm groups are doing serious, serious thinking and lobbying on this. You can bet that other GOP-supporting groups (right to life, etc.) are making clear that they helped elect the present administration and expect a few favors now. Anyone who doesn't speak up now is apt to be forgotten.