Polling in Citizens United case skews voters outlook

Over at SCOTUS Blog, Matt Sundquist notes that the polling, even surveys by mainstream news, in the wake of the Citizens United decision is skewed to present a negative view of the ruling:

Americans oppose the Court’s recent decision in Citizens United by a margin of nearly two to one (sixty-four to twenty-seven percent), according to a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and McKinnon Media on behalf of Common Cause, Change Congress, and the Public Campaign Action Fund.  Another poll, by ABC News and the Washington Post, recently found that eighty percent of Americans oppose the Citizens ruling, with sixty-five percent “strongly” opposing it.  Both polls also found that a broad majority of voters favor some type of congressional response to the decision.  These findings have been widely reported, with some proponents of reform relying on them to call for a congressional response to the Citizens decision.

The Second Amendment’s big day before the SCOTUS

Don’t forget, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in McDonald v. Chicago this morning at 10am. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to hear what was said until a transcript is available later in the day as the Court has refused to release audio of the arguments.You may remember that the Court released audio of the Heller case the day of the argument.

As mentioned yesterday, the Court will determine whether the Second Amendment should be incorporated to the states through the Privileges or Immunities or Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It’s possible we’ll have an idea of how the court will rule in the case shortly after, though a decision won’t be released until summer. Some legal scholars, such as Ilya Shapiro, seem confident that the Second Amendment will be fully restored to the original intent of the Founding Fathers:

The Court is quite likely to extend the right to keep and bear arms to the states and thereby invalidate the Chicago handgun ban at issue, but the way in which it does so could revolutionize constitutional law.

If you’re up for listening to a discussion on states and the right to bear arms, which is the question before the Court, check out this discussion that took place at the Cato Institute yesterday.

Could Republicans Block a SCOTUS Nomination?

Despite having a substantial minority, Republicans could still block an appointment to the Supreme Court, should they choose to go that route:

[I]n an ironic twist, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party this week could give Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee the upper hand in rejecting a nominee they find unacceptable.

That’s because the Judiciary Committee, where Specter was the ranking minority member, requires the consent of at least one Republican to end debate and move a nominee to the full Senate for a vote.
[T]he most likely Republican to help Democrats on the committee is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was one of the Gang of 14, a group of seven Democrats and seven Republicans who averted a showdown on President Bush’s judicial nominees in 2005.

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