It is fashionable to accuse courts of rendering decisions based on political preferences. Whether or not this is true, appellate counsel need to be aware that the courts are sensitive to the accusation.
SCOTUSblog has a post on this week’s argument before the United States Supreme Court on the Indiana photo-identification law entitled “The Partisan Elephant Unnoticed in the Room,” that highlights this concern. The media will paint the decision in partisan overtones. The court, therefore, needs the assistance of counsel for all parties to highlight the strictly legal (and constitutional policy) issues in the case to avoid feeding the partisan story line.