Does winning the Supreme Court galvanize social movements?

By Joe Campbell
November 25th, 2007

JB over at the Balkinization blog has an insightful post about whether or not “winning in the Supreme Court” galvanizes social movements.  His conclusion: in the short term, it galvanizes the loser of the case, and in the long-term, tends to work for the winner.  In analyzing what is likely to happen after the Heller decision, which JB assumes will be in favor of gun owners, he writes:

Conversely, it is possible that right wing groups like the NRA, unlike the women’s movement, the pro-choice movement, the civil rights movement, and the gay rights movement, will not be demobilized in the short run by a major victory in the courts but in fact will be ever more galvanized. But I wouldn’t bet on it. My guess is that following what I predict will be a significant victory in Heller, the NRA and other gun rights groups will overinvest in litigation to push for additional gun rights victories in the courts, and they will simultaneously experience a short term drop-off in contributions and movement energies.

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