Heller: ruling re oral argument
Today the Supreme Court issued an order:
1) The motion of Heller & the Texas Solicitor General, to divide argument and give Texas ten minutes of Heller's time is denied.
2) The (US) Solicitor General's motion for 15 minutes of argument is granted.
Hard to read much into it, beyond the fact that it gives a tactical advantage to DC. 45 minutes of argument for reversing D.C. Circuit, only 30 of argument for affirmance. DC can probably figure the SG won't use a lot of time arguing for the individual right. The key to the SG getting where they want to go is standard of review, intermediate rather than strict scrutiny, so that's where the SG will spend his time. DC can cut back on argument over standard of review -- which might have occupied half their time, and more than half if they appeared to be losing on individual right -- and use the time elsewhere.
UPDATE: it ought to be noted that when the SG asks for argument, he gets it. Maybe he may have gotten turned down in the past, but I've never heard of it happening. I don't know what percent of motions for divided argument are granted, but it may not be high (hard to split up 30 minutes very well). So this may just be SOP, with a tactical outcome that benefits DC. Correction inserted here. DC gives first speech, and in theory can reserve some time for rebuttal and thus go last. In practice, that's very difficult to do with nine Justices asking a continuous stream of questions. Heller goes second or perhaps third, depending upon where the SG is put. I'd expect him to be put before Heller, to give a chance to answer whatever he says.
Hat tip to reader Jack Anderson.