Rich Galen

The statements went through the staff vetting process, including Chief of Staff, Marc Short and the Legislative shop led by Matt Acock. When they were satisfied, the statements went to the Senator for her approval. This was late in the week before the Supreme Court was due to recess for the Summer but, as with Obamacare, we didn't know which day in that week Heller would be published.

While all that was going on, the Comms Staff went on a field trip to the Supreme Court building (just a block away from the Russell Senate Office Building) to decide if it made sense to bring the Senator on-site to deliver her statement and if so, where the best location would be.

We had a series of conference calls with the directors of the District offices throughout Texas so they knew what we were doing in Washington and could reach out to the appropriate people in their areas with copies of the statement as soon as the Court ruled.

When we were satisfied that Mackowiak's team had everything ready to go we did a walk-through with Senator Hutchison - everything but the field trip - so that when, on the next Thursday morning when the Heller Decision was handed down, all we had to do was flip the switch.

When the decision was announced, Marc Short acted like NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz asking for final approvals from each of the department heads before an Apollo launch.

SCOTUS had ruled our way so the first thing we did was make sure all paper copies of the statement we were not going to use were destroyed so there was no way it could get to the Senate Press Gallery by mistake.

We sent a couple of Comms folks to the Supreme Court building to "help" the media set up at the approximate location we had advanced the week before, and to report back on what media (and what other pro- and con-Heller spokespeople) were there.

The Legislative and Legal folks read through the decision and gave their blessing to the language in the statement so Matt Mackowiak, who is nearly as fast a writer as I am, cranked out a press release that quoted from the statement.

The junior members of the press shop commandeered every copy machine in the office to make enough copies of the statement we were going to use for distribution to the Galleries and to take to the Supreme Court Building with the Senator.

The Senator's scheduling operation cleared space for her to go to the Supreme Court. We walked over, she did her stand-ups, the staff handed out the statements, the Texas staff did their thing and the operation worked exactly as we had planned it.

The statement began:

"Today's ruling is a major victory for the rights of all Americans to protect themselves and their families. The Supreme Court sent a clear message to local, state, and federal governments that this individual right cannot be unreasonably infringed."

That's how you prepare for a Supreme Court Decision.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at