June 26th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Blitzer: Court ruling highlights fragile balance

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/13/art.blitzer.jpg caption="CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer"]
(CNN) - Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court has reached a 5-4 decision with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the decisive swing vote.

The latest case involves the right to own a handgun in the District of Columbia. In this case, Kennedy went with the conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas. The majority concluded that the D.C. law violated the Second Amendment to the Constitution – the right to bear arms.

But Kennedy sided with the liberals in two other major 5-4 decisions, including Wednesday’s ruling that the death penalty could not apply to child rape victims. Last week, he sided with his liberal colleagues, Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens in concluding that terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center have certain legal rights to stand trial.

All of which once again underscores the fragile balance of the court and the fact that the next president probably will have an impressive opportunity to change that balance for the next 20 or 30 years.

As I have pointed out before, John McCain says he likes justices like Roberts and Alito. Barack Obama says he likes justices like Ginsburg and Breyer.

This will be a major issue in the election for lots of Democrats and Republicans. The ramifications on a whole host of issues, not just abortion rights for women, are enormous.

Filed under: Supreme Court • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Marshal Sampson

    If everyone has to keep a gun to protect himself from criminals, who then are the criminal? It's no use having the police when everyone can be the police of our lives. Let's define our duties right. "The troubled mind uses the body within its environment with the available resources." A possessed mind bent on committing crime will use the most effective available instrument for that: The GUN. Obama, please Keep the guns far from our reach because "no mad man knew he was gonna go mad."

    Aba, Nigeria

    June 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Kevin Spore

    I know this is out of scope of the conversation, but do the taxpayers have to pay for secret service to protect John McCain's nine homes if he becomes president?

    October 3, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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