A Terrible Day for John McCain

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 19 2008 12:27 AM

A Terrible Day for John McCain

Tuesday was a very bad day for John McCain for two reasons.  First, Barack Obama gave a thoughtful and inspiring talk on race in America.  I don't think Obama actually gave a good reason why he had associated so closely and so long with Rev. Wright, but the episode gave him an opportunity to demonstrate once again that the man gives great speech.

Second, and even more troubling for McCain, the oral argument in Heller revealed five clear votes for an individual rights view of the Second Amendment. I think that's the right result, but it's bad news for John McCain's electoral chances.  Nothing would motivate the conservative base like a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in late June ruling that the Second Amendment basically doesn't mean anything: it would be the Goodridge of 2008 and then some.  If the Court issues a ringing endorsement of the Second Amendment instead, a lot of conservatives will feel content and be more likely to stay at home come November.


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