SCOTUSBlog on Parker & conserv. vs. liberal splits
ScotusBlog has an interesting insight for Court watchers. The media tends to portray the Court in simple liberal vs. conservative terms, and portrayed the last Term as a conservative "shift." But actually the Court doesn't make decisions as does a legislature: it decides what cases come before it. A typical Term will issue about 80 published decisions. Most of those will be on arcane points of little general interest -- antitrust, details of pension plans, habeas corpus procedure, etc. Only about five will have much in the way of general interest or political overtones. It was pure coincidence, SCOTUSBlog argues, that last Term's 4-5 such cases were ones in which the "conservative" side had the better case.
Next Term, it argues, the situation may be reversed. There are several appeals pending, or likely to be taken, where the "liberal" side has much the better argument. The blog notes that this may mean that in the months leading up to the election, the Court will seem to have "gone left," leaving conservatives able to make hay by arguing judicial appointments need to be moved right.
SCOTUSBlog calls Parker a likely win for DC. I'd strongly disagree, of course -- but remember the poster probably has little to no familiarity with the Second Amendment, and seems to basing that call on reading DC's petition -- which of course argues that the DC Circuit decision was an aberration, out of line with history ("sophisticated collective rights"), etc.. If you base your predictions on reading only the first brief, they're always going to be that the author of that brief wins in a slam-dunk.
UPDATE: As comments point out, the author of the blog entry is the attorney representing DC in the Supreme Court! So it's only natural that he predicts a win. Very few attorneys go into a case expecting to lose. And fewer still would care to put down in writing, posted to the Web, "I've billed my client a zillion hours on a case where I think we're going to lose."