Over the summer, I met Supreme Court lawyer Tom Goldstein, and since then, I’ve been looking for some reason to write about him. Today, finally, I get my chance.
There are several reasons why Goldstein is pertinent to this blog:
- He resides in Washington D.C. (usually reason enough for a post).
- He wrote a big story on Slate.com about the Supreme Court’s upcoming term, which may include the famed DC handgun ban case, District of Columbia v. Heller.
- As lawyers go, Goldstein has a pretty crazy story: Though he was a big-time debater in college (University of North Carolina), he was a mediocre student who got rejected from every law school he applied to. Luckily, he had a relative who worked at the law school at American University. So, he got in. He argued his first case before the Supreme Court when he was 28. Shortly thereafter, he left his firm and, with his wife, started a boutique practice, specializing in the Supreme Court. (The main office was the family laundry room.) To make a long story short: Goldstein is one of the top Supreme Court lawyers in the country, having argued 17 cases at the ripe age of 37. He currently heads up the Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump in the District. He also runs scotusblog.com.
But what clinches the deal (the deal in which I say to myself: OK, now this sounds blogworthy) is that Goldstein’s firm is representing the District in the handgun ban case, and his Slate piece includes interesting thoughts on the case’s future. Goldstein says that there’s no precedent for a case like this to hint at the justices’ ruling. “Still, the district has a cascade of arguments for reversal. And the decision is likely to break down along ideological lines, with the four members on the left of the court advocating against gun rights.” Goldstein goes on to say the case could have far-reaching political repercussions: “The success of the NRA shows that there is a significant portion of the population that favors and mobilizes around gun rights. The court’s decision could have a profound effect on whether those voters go to the polls. By contrast, those who favor greater gun regulation overwhelmingly are not ‘single issue’ voters.”
So, glad I could share.