Two relatively recent court cases, Kelo v New London and Heller v DC were both basically about the rights of the individual vs the rights/powers of the state.
The Kelo case basically ruled that the state can confiscate your property w/o compensation for whatever reason they see fit.
Heller ruled that the right of the individual to own firearms is not dependent on membership in a state militia.
Looking at the justices for the cases makes a stark contrast. All four judges who ruled against Heller also voted FOR state confiscation in Kelo. These would be Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.
Two of the justices, Scalia and Thomas, voted for the rights of the individual in both cases. The other two dissenting Kelo justices, Rehnquist and O'connor, were replaced by Roberts and Alito for Heller and both supported the right of the individual.
The final vote? Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. He voted FOR the state in Kelo and against the state in Heller.
Since then, with McDonald v Chicago on the horizon, Souter has been replaced by another Statist, Sotomayor. No others are 'expected' to retire before the case and groups like the Brady Campaign are already conducting damage control in an expected loss.
What a difference 1 vote makes.