3 more Supreme Court cases headed for campaign trail

Last week's Supreme Court ruling on the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay quickly became an issue in the presidential campaign. (See the latest from John McCain and Barack Obama here.) With only days left in the court's term, more than a dozen cases remain to be decided (at least one will be announced tomorrow). Which other ones are most likely to make it into the campaign? Three good bets:

D.C. vs. Heller -- on the meaning of the Second Amendment and whether the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., is constitutional. Background info here and an analysis of what to look for here.

Kennedy vs. Louisiana -- on whether someone who rapes a child may be executed. Background info here.

Davis vs. FEC -- on a portion of the campaign finance law that was once McCain's signature issue. Background info here.

Based on typical workloads for the justices, multiple remaining opinions are likely to be written by David Souter, Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia, though the hot-button majority opinions might still be written by others.

 

Thursday update: Five decisions today (three by Breyer), none from these three cases. Ten cases remain. The next decision day is Monday.

 

Monday update: Three more decisions today (one each by Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg). The big three cases (four, if you count the Exxon oil spill case) all remain. Tea leaf readers see a strong chance that Scalia will write the Second Amendment case. The next decision day is Wednesday.

 

Wednesday update: Justice Kennedy wrote a 5-4 opinion in the death penalty case, ruling that the death penalty is an unconstitutional punishment for a crime where there is no death or death is not intended. Justice Alito dissented, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas.

 

The Second Amendment case and the campaign finance case are among three decisions that will be announced tomorrow (Thursday).

 

Thursday update: The D.C. handgun ban and the so-called millionaire's amendment to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law were both struck down.