This article in the local paper of record reminds why the U.S. Supreme Court is about to provide the hottest popular discussion of judicial issues in years:

So hot, that court administrators already have agreed to release audiotapes of the seminal Second Amendment case, practically the moment the justices adjourn after what promises to be a lively debate about what the Founding Fathers were thinking more than 200 years ago with respect to the rights of individual Americans to possess firearms.

A lot of people who don’t follow the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on a regular basis will be paying extraordinarily close attention to DC v Heller because the Court’s decision will have an impact on firearms laws throughout the country. If you live in Virginia, you are mighty interested in whether you can accidentally take a wrong turn off the GW Parkway with a gun in the car and not commit a felony. If you live in DC or New Jersey or a number of other states, you are interested in whether you might eventually be allowed to defend yourself with the same level of force the criminals have.

The NRA and other 2nd Amendment advocacy organizations will be promoting the news on this issue heavily, which will resonate around the country.

But perhaps the most immediate beneficiary of the controversy which begins next week will be John McCain, the Republican nominee for president. Because no matter how or whether the Supreme Court rules, voters will be reminded of the Supreme Court’s significance.

By extension, they will be reminded of the president’s significance in offering Supreme Court nominations in the case of vacancies, which could very well be two during the next president’s term in office.

As friend and NVTH visitor G. Stone reminded me, if you are thinking of working against McCain, be sure to think about the types of Supreme Court justices a President Obama or Clinton would offer up. Although McCain is not the best public official on the 2nd Amendment by a long shot (a refrain that would apply to him on a large number of issues) he is head and shoulders above the two Democrats.

This advice is what influenced me to mostly shut up about the presidential election this year and lay off my budding Lou Dobbs hagiography. In my case, “supporting John McCain” means “not running John McCain into the ground at every possible chance,” so the SCOTUS issue made me a “supporter.” Plus providing occasional links like this.

And obviously, on a host of other vital issues that could come up before the Supreme Court, among this troika of presidential candidates the best hope for nominating good judges – however dubious it may be – is definitely John McCain.

If the McCain camp is smart, they will be publicizing the heck out of the Supreme Court’s DC v Heller proceedings and all related media stories beginning approximately now.