PUBLIC DEFENDERS ARE discovering the Second Amendment in the wake of the Justice Department’s change in position. Though the story has the predictable New York Times slant, it’s pretty interesting.

It’s possible, as the Times story implies, that Ashcroft is dumb enough that he thought the change in position wouldn’t create any new litigation. It’s more likely that he’s smart enough to have found a way to turn a big liberal constituency group, public defenders and criminal-defense lawyers, into supporters of the Second Amendment.

UPDATE: Jeralyn Merritt at Talkleft says I’m wrong about Ashcroft. Well, sort of.