McDonald, like Heller, was decided 5-4. One of the dissenters, Justice John Paul Stevens, has since retired from the court. His successor, Justice Elena Kagan, has not yet had occasion to cast a vote in a gun-rights case (and as solicitor general she did not file a brief in McDonald). But we are going to go out on a limb and guess that she agrees with Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor that the Second Amendment is essentially a nullity.
If that is correct, then the court is one vote away from having a majority to reverse Heller. Two of the justices in the pro-Second Amendment majority, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, will be 80 by the end of the next presidential term. If either or both of them were to leave the court during a second Obama term, it is far likelier than not that an Obama appointee would join what is now the minority to kill the Second Amendment.
3 years 49 weeks ago, 10:28 AM