In Watts v. Kidman, the court (Easterbrook/Wood/Scudder, with Scudder writing) holds that a district court may consider the relative strength of the plaintiff’s case when deciding whether to appoint counsel. In reaching its holding, the court thoroughly discusses its own precedents on appointing counsel, as well as the relevant caselaw in other circuits. It also discusses the number of cases brought by incarcerated people, reflecting that while some cases lack merit, “[s]ome may be among the most important that federal courts consider, to ensure that our society’s treatment of prisoners meets at least minimum standards of human decency and humanity under the federal Constitution.” Slip Op. at 13 (citing McCaa v. Hamilton, 893 F.3d 1027, 1036 (7th Cir. 2018) (Hamilton, J., concurring)). The court cautions district courts to remember that their evaluation is typically made based on early-stage pleadings from uncounseled litigants, and so it may not be able to put forth the most persuasive case on the merits (without the help of the counsel they are seeking).