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View Full Version : Who will be the next SCOTUS justice?


Ocean
04-09-2010, 09:08 PM
Here (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/10/us/politics/10stevens.html?hp)is one of the many articles that were posted today, after the announcement by John Paul Stevens that he will be retiring this summer.

bjkeefe
04-09-2010, 09:20 PM
As long as it's another wise Latina, I'll be happy.

Ocean
04-09-2010, 09:21 PM
As long as it's another wise Latina, I'll be happy.

:)

themightypuck
04-11-2010, 08:09 PM
My sense is that Roberts and Alito are hacks and so I figure Obama would like to get a hack in there. Plus Alito seems a bit right of SDC so I figure Obama would like to get someone a bit left of Stevens in. Wood is kinda old and not a surefire hack, but otherwise fits the bill.

kezboard
04-11-2010, 08:26 PM
What about a wise Slovenian (http://vodpod.com/watch/3375908-video-gop-enacts-pre-emptive-outrage-on-scotus)?

I'm afraid Obama's going to try too hard to pick someone who won't cause the GOP to have a hissy, which is unfortunate, because of course they're going to freak out regardless of who the nominee is. I'd really just like him to pick the smartest person in the country who doesn't like torture, whoever that may be.

Ocean
04-11-2010, 08:33 PM
My sense is that Roberts and Alito are hacks and so I figure Obama would like to get a hack in there. Plus Alito seems a bit right of SDC so I figure Obama would like to get someone a bit left of Stevens in. Wood is kinda old and not a surefire hack, but otherwise fits the bill.

Your statements make sense, especially in terms of getting someone that can be a strong advocate for his/her side. It will definitely have to be liberal. The Republicans had their turn and they used quite to their advantage. Now it's the Dems' turn.

AemJeff
04-11-2010, 08:38 PM
Your statements make sense, especially in terms of getting someone that can be a strong advocate for his/her side. It will definitely have to be liberal. The Republicans had their turn and they used quite to their advantage. Now it's the Dems' turn.

I wouldn't call this the liberals "turn," quite. That will come if one of the five conservatives leaves and Obama (or a liberal successor) can affect the ideological balance of the court. Right now, all we van do is mark time and maintain the status quo.

TwinSwords
04-11-2010, 09:14 PM
I wouldn't call this the liberals "turn," quite. That will come if one of the five conservatives leaves and Obama (or a liberal successor) can affect the ideological balance of the court. Right now, all we van do is mark time and maintain the status quo.

Yeah. And let's take a moment to thank the FSM that Obama won in 2008. With Ginsburg expected to retire next year, Obama will get three picks. If those picks had been made by a Republican, the Court would have had seven justices in the mold of Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia. The Court's conservative wing would have had the votes to block a progressive national agenda for a generation or more, as well as the votes to roll back much of the progress the nation has made since the early years of the 20th century. It would have been absolutely nightmarish.

As things are today in the Senate, however, I think Obama will be lucky to get have another nominee as "liberal" as Sotomayor confirmed. The Republicans are likely to filibuster any even mildly liberal nomination. What the Republicans would really like to do is block ANY Obama nominee and save the open seats for themselves to fill when they take back the White House in 2012.

bjkeefe
04-11-2010, 09:37 PM
What about a wise Slovenian?

Good vid. Thanks for the link. First time I've ever seen Klobuchar speak, I think.

I'm afraid Obama's going to try too hard to pick someone who won't cause the GOP to have a hissy, which is unfortunate, because of course they're going to freak out regardless of who the nominee is.

I completely agree.

I'd really just like him to pick the smartest person in the country who doesn't like torture, whoever that may be.

Sounds like a good pair of criteria. However, I'd add some other lefty inclinations to my wish list.

As a matter of politics, though, the one argument in favor of Obama picking someone who's only moderately liberal is that the GOP's freakout could then be painted as more of their thoroughly unreasonable attitude.

Wonderment
04-11-2010, 10:09 PM
As a matter of politics, though, the one argument in favor of Obama picking someone who's only moderately liberal is that the GOP's freakout could then be painted as more of their thoroughly unreasonable attitude.

Picking someone only moderately liberal actually pushes the court to the right. For it to be a net win for liberalism, he needs someone at least as liberal as Stevens.

That's probably about as much as Obama can do on SCOTUS, even if he lasts 8 years. The hardcore right-wing is unlikely to retire (Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Scalia). It will remain the Kennedy Court no matter what Obama does.

His best bet would be a young squeaky clean and staunchly liberal justice. Someone sure to survive the next Republican administration.

bjkeefe
04-11-2010, 10:37 PM
Picking someone only moderately liberal actually pushes the court to the right. For it to be a net win for liberalism, he needs someone at least as liberal as Stevens.

That's probably about as much as Obama can do on SCOTUS, even if he lasts 8 years. The hardcore right-wing is unlikely to retire (Alito, Roberts, Thomas and Scalia). It will remain the Kennedy Court no matter what Obama does.

His best bet would be a young squeaky clean and staunchly liberal justice. Someone sure to survive the next Republican administration.

I mostly agree, but suppose Obama picks a moderately liberal justice, and the right-wing freakout is such that the 2010 midterms are a disaster for the GOP. Seems to me that might be a worthwhile trade, given that we have to get moving on legislation now, and while the SC can have a longer-range effect, it also cannot insist that legislation get through the Congress in the first place.

Plus, if the GOP doesn't win big in 2010, and then Obama wins handily in 2012, you'd have to think that the GOP would either stop being the Party of No, in thrall to their loony bases, or they'd become that much more unlikely to contend for the next several cycles. That might be for the better of the country, either way.

nikkibong
04-11-2010, 10:46 PM
Yeah. And let's take a moment to thank the FSM that Obama won in 2008. With Ginsburg expected to retire next year, Obama will get three picks. If those picks had been made by a Republican, the Court would have had seven justices in the mold of Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia. The Court's conservative wing would have had the votes to block a progressive national agenda for a generation or more, as well as the votes to roll back much of the progress the nation has made since the early years of the 20th century. It would have been absolutely nightmarish.

As things are today in the Senate, however, I think Obama will be lucky to get have another nominee as "liberal" as Sotomayor confirmed. The Republicans are likely to filibuster any even mildly liberal nomination. What the Republicans would really like to do is block ANY Obama nominee and save the open seats for themselves to fill when they take back the White House in 2012.

what on earth are you talking about? if the senate is as powerful a stumbling block as you suggest - and i think you're correct on that - then there is no way that mccain would have been able to install three "justices in the mold of Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia. "

uncle ebeneezer
04-11-2010, 10:57 PM
Purely hypothetical of course but: I only see an alternate universe where McCain wins 2008 as also being one where the Dems don't get such a large win in the Senate and House. Unfortunately, without an Obama win and huge margin in the Senate, I'm not sure Dems would have the backbone to stand-up to more (numerically) conservative justice appointments. Thankfully, we'll never know.

AemJeff
04-11-2010, 11:00 PM
what on earth are you talking about? if the senate is as powerful a stumbling block as you suggest - and i think you're correct on that - then there is no way that mccain would have been able to install three "justices in the mold of Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia. "

Why not? Bush installed two in precisely that mold.

bjkeefe
04-11-2010, 11:00 PM
[...]

I agree with uncle eb (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=158868#post158868): counting on the Dems to have the spine to do what's right has not been a safe bet over the past few Republican administrations, to say the least.

kezboard
04-11-2010, 11:13 PM
As a matter of politics, though, the one argument in favor of Obama picking someone who's only moderately liberal is that the GOP's freakout could then be painted as more of their thoroughly unreasonable attitude.

Yeah, I think you're wrong there.
Whatever Obama does, whatever position he takes, that becomes the Liberal Position according to the media and the Republicans. If you're not paying really close attention, which most people obviously won't be, you're just going to see Obama appointing a liberal and the Republicans opposing them. If you just watch the news every so often or do a cursory skim of the papers, you're not going to think "Well, he could have appointed someone even more liberal, so why are the Republicans complaining so much?"

People who already think the Republicans are totally unreasonable are going to take this as confirmation that they're unreasonable.

Also, I might be wrong on this, but it seems to me like it doesn't really comes out really just how liberal or conservative a nominee is during the confirmation hearings. I mean, did any of Sotomayor's advocates say stuff like "She's a liberal, but she's not super liberal"? They said "She's a qualified nominee who will do a good job". Did anyone have any idea how crazy right Thomas was when he was nominated?

uncle ebeneezer
04-11-2010, 11:28 PM
Ezra says a politician would be best (one in particular) (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/04/pick_a_politician_for_the_supr.html). Check out the comments thread, there's some great/funny ones in there. My favorite so far is Glen Greenwald.

Wonderment
04-11-2010, 11:37 PM
I mostly agree, but suppose Obama picks a moderately liberal justice, and the right-wing freakout is such that the 2010 midterms are a disaster for the GOP. Seems to me that might be a worthwhile trade, given that we have to get moving on legislation now, and while the SC can have a longer-range effect, it also cannot insist that legislation get through the Congress in the first place.

Too subtle. The SC chess game is unlikely to have that much of an effect on elections.

The worst thing Obama could do is nominate someone he'd have to withdraw for a "smoking gun.": (The Repubs. tried this trick with Sotomayor, but what they came up with was not smokin'. It was just a video too inoffensive and trivial to have any traction.)

A real disaster would have to be something missed in the background check like a hooker, a nannie, a hit on the bong or a pubic hair on a Coke can. Even then, Barack would get another turn at bat to make up for the perceived bad choice. A la Bush with the Harriet Miers fiasco.

In other words, the political danger in SC picks is mostly related to off-bench biographical sleaze, not ideology.

TwinSwords
04-11-2010, 11:38 PM
I mostly agree, but suppose Obama picks a moderately liberal justice, and the right-wing freakout is such that the 2010 midterms are a disaster for the GOP.
I always enjoy your cheerful, sunny optimism. What kind of midterm election result would qualify as a "disaster" for the GOP? Normally an electoral disaster means the loss of a lot of seats. But I'm sure that's not what you are suggesting. Do you just mean they only pick up a handful of seats, instead of dozens? Or do you think it's possible that the Dems could actually make gains in the midterms?


Plus, if the GOP doesn't win big in 2010, and then Obama wins handily in 2012, you'd have to think that the GOP would either stop being the Party of No, in thrall to their loony bases, or they'd become that much more unlikely to contend for the next several cycles. That might be for the better of the country, either way.
I think you're right that if Obama and the Democrats can just survive the midterms, they're going to be in better shape for 2012 and beyond, as the economy improves, and the lies told by Republicans about health care and the radical Democratic agenda are gradually exposed. The question is how much of a crisis atmosphere will the Republicans be able to amp up by November to help them take back the House and Senate. My own sense is that the momentum is still inexorably behind the Republicans and that we better get ready for a Republican House in 2011, with all that implies. If that happens, we can take bets on how many House Committees start investigations into the Cloward-Piven strategy. It will also be a useful reminder of the power Congress has to conduct investigations and hold people responsible, something the left might have forgotten was possible after the limp efforts of the Democratic Congress between 2006 and 2008.

Wonderment
04-11-2010, 11:38 PM
Did anyone have any idea how crazy right Thomas was when he was nominated?

Yes.

Wonderment
04-11-2010, 11:42 PM
Ezra says a politician would be best (one in particular). Check out the comments thread, there's some great/funny ones in there. My favorite so far is Glen Greenwald.

Yah for Glen. A really audaciously hopeful move would be nominating an openly gay/lesbian justice.

uncle ebeneezer
04-11-2010, 11:45 PM
If he was a little younger, Vincent Bugliosi would be an interesting pick.

TwinSwords
04-11-2010, 11:48 PM
Yeah, I think you're wrong there.
Whatever Obama does, whatever position he takes, that becomes the Liberal Position according to the media and the Republicans. If you're not paying really close attention, which most people obviously won't be, you're just going to see Obama appointing a liberal and the Republicans opposing them. If you just watch the news every so often or do a cursory skim of the papers, you're not going to think "Well, he could have appointed someone even more liberal, so why are the Republicans complaining so much?"

People who already think the Republicans are totally unreasonable are going to take this as confirmation that they're unreasonable.
Good analysis.


Also, I might be wrong on this, but it seems to me like it doesn't really comes out really just how liberal or conservative a nominee is during the confirmation hearings. I mean, did any of Sotomayor's advocates say stuff like "She's a liberal, but she's not super liberal"? They said "She's a qualified nominee who will do a good job". Did anyone have any idea how crazy right Thomas was when he was nominated?
Of course it's true that Supreme Court Justices occasionally change their stripes once on the bench, but I think this tendency is vastly overstated. For the most part, presidents get the ideology they selected for when they appoint Justices.

Amplifying the perception that they do not is the fact that the country has been jumping by leaps and bounds further and further to the right with each election cycle since Nixon. The country has moved so far to the right in the last two generations that Stevens, a Republican appointed by Gerald Ford, is now the most radical liberal on the Court -- and we're such a conservative country now that it's considered unlikely Obama will be able to replace Stevens with someone equally liberal. Sotomayor was also seated to replace a Justice who had come to be considered part of the Court's liberal wing -- the Republican David Souter, appointed by George Bush senior.

Here's the thing: The country is still moving to the right. Even since Obama's election, the main political force in the country is the conservative movement, and if the last 18 months have taught us anything, it's that this movement continues to reshape the Republican Party into an ever-more-conservative mold. You have to wonder where it all leads.

TwinSwords
04-11-2010, 11:51 PM
If he was a little younger, Vincent Bugliosi would be an interesting pick.

Bugliosi's The Betrayal of America (http://www.salon.com/books/review/2001/07/04/bugliosi/index.html), about the Bush v. Gore decision, was a masterpiece.

listener
04-12-2010, 02:21 AM
Yeah. And let's take a moment to thank the FSM that Obama won in 2008.

All hail the FSM! And let us beseech the Divine Simian to grant us another Wise Latina (or at least a Wise Slovenian (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=158842&postcount=12)). (h/t kezboard)

graz
04-12-2010, 10:40 AM
All hail the FSM! And let us beseech the Divine Simian to grant us another Wise Latina (or at least a Wise Slovenian (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=158842&postcount=12)). (h/t kezboard)

Thanks so much for your aggregation efforts. We would have never thought to link those posts contiguously in our thoughts. What's your secret... do tell? Imagine how rewarding it will be when you insinuate yourself into every single exchange?

nikkibong
04-12-2010, 11:01 AM
Why not? Bush installed two in precisely that mold.

the Dems didn't control 59 (!) senate seats then. i thought the hypothetical we were discussing was: congress is the same, but mccain is president. i maintain that, if that were the case, there is no way mccain would be able to appoint a scalia.

AemJeff
04-12-2010, 11:22 AM
the Dems didn't control 59 (!) senate seats then. i thought the hypothetical we were discussing was: congress is the same, but mccain is president. i maintain that, if that were the case, there is no way mccain would be able to appoint a scalia.

What of McCain/Palin coattails? We have about 59 D. Senators because Obama was elected. Assuming that nothing else would have been different doesn't seem like a useful hypothesis.

But, if that is your working assumption, I agree.

Wonderment
04-12-2010, 02:25 PM
Another thing that might have been different is that Souter, Stevens and Ginsberg would have died in office with their robes on rather than give McCain a nomination. Liberals feel safe in retiring now with Obama in office.

listener
04-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Another thing that might have been different is that Souter, Stevens and Ginsberg would have died in office with their robes on rather than give McCain a nomination. Liberals feel safe in retiring now with Obama in office.

Yes, I think that's probably true about the Justices, and would have made a difference in the equation.

graz
04-12-2010, 02:42 PM
Yes, I think that's probably true about the Justices, and would have made a difference in the equation.
The logic of your conclusion, rests on the likelihood of the original assumption. Do you have anything more than a guess as to their thinking? Did you use teh wiki?

listener
04-12-2010, 03:34 PM
The logic of your conclusion, rests on the likelihood of the original assumption. Do you have anything more than a guess as to their thinking? Did you use teh wiki?
What I wrote was conjecture on my part. I don't know what original assumption you refer to, so I can't speak to that.

bjkeefe
04-12-2010, 04:06 PM
Too subtle. The SC chess game is unlikely to have that much of an effect on elections.

You could be right. On the other hand, in a close race for a given seat, the balance could be tipped.

Agree with the rest.

bjkeefe
04-12-2010, 04:12 PM
I always enjoy your cheerful, sunny optimism. What kind of midterm election result would qualify as a "disaster" for the GOP? Normally an electoral disaster means the loss of a lot of seats. But I'm sure that's not what you are suggesting. Do you just mean they only pick up a handful of seats, instead of dozens? Or do you think it's possible that the Dems could actually make gains in the midterms?

I think a disaster for the GOP in 2010 would mean not gaining a significant number of seats in Congress. This would be, effectively, a repudiation of their Party of No strategery, and the media would narrate it as a "vote of confidence in" or "new mandate for" Obama, while harping incessantly about how unusual it is for a party out of the White House not to pick up a lot of seats in the midterms, especially with a bad economy.

I don't think it's likely that the Dems will pick up seats, though, no. By best realistic hope is that they don't lose more than is typical for a midterm election; I expect they'll lose a few more than that due to the bad economy and the number of coattail wins they grabbed in 2008.


I think you're right that if Obama and the Democrats can just survive the midterms, they're going to be in better shape for 2012 and beyond, as the economy improves, and the lies told by Republicans about health care and the radical Democratic agenda are gradually exposed. The question is how much of a crisis atmosphere will the Republicans be able to amp up by November to help them take back the House and Senate. My own sense is that the momentum is still inexorably behind the Republicans and that we better get ready for a Republican House in 2011, with all that implies. If that happens, we can take bets on how many House Committees start investigations into the Cloward-Piven strategy. It will also be a useful reminder of the power Congress has to conduct investigations and hold people responsible, something the left might have forgotten was possible after the limp efforts of the Democratic Congress between 2006 and 2008.

I wouldn't bet that the GOP will take back the House. In fact, some economic indicators are making me feel that they're losing momentum, and will wish in November that they could have held the election six or nine months earlier.

bjkeefe
04-12-2010, 04:23 PM
Yeah, I think you're wrong there.
Whatever Obama does, whatever position he takes, that becomes the Liberal Position according to the media and the Republicans. If you're not paying really close attention, which most people obviously won't be, you're just going to see Obama appointing a liberal and the Republicans opposing them. If you just watch the news every so often or do a cursory skim of the papers, you're not going to think "Well, he could have appointed someone even more liberal, so why are the Republicans complaining so much?"

A good rebuttal. I'd point out, though, that people who only pay cursory attention to politics and political news/chatter tend not to vote in midterms, so while your point is sound, I won't completely withdraw my thinking. If Obama nominates someone who is decidedly not far to the left, it gives Dems something to talk about when the right-wing noise machine starts going hysterical with their "most radical judge ever!!!1!" talk. Which they will, if they think it will work.

Mind, I'm not saying I'm hoping Obama goes this route. Just doing a little preemptive searching for the silver lining.

People who already think the Republicans are totally unreasonable are going to take this as confirmation that they're unreasonable.

Agreed, but two things: (1) you're always playing for the fence-sitters in every election, and (2) the hardest thing for the Dems in 2010 will be rallying the troops and getting out the vote. If the Republicans can be painted with a fresh coat of OMG LOOK HOW EXTREME shortly before the election, that could help in a few races.

Also, I might be wrong on this, but it seems to me like it doesn't really comes out really just how liberal or conservative a nominee is during the confirmation hearings. I mean, did any of Sotomayor's advocates say stuff like "She's a liberal, but she's not super liberal"? They said "She's a qualified nominee who will do a good job".

Yes. And one reason for that, to follow from what I was saying above, is that it was not really possible for the RWNM to paint her as a radical liberal. I think they had one case to harp on -- that firefighter/affirmative action thing -- and the Dems had comparative volumes on their side to show that she was judicially temperate and moderate.

Did anyone have any idea how crazy right Thomas was when he was nominated?

I did not, although as the hearing wore on, I got a vague sense that he was more conservative than I'd first thought. But for me, it wasn't until he had been on the bench for a few years before I understood just how far out there he was, and still is. I'd be interested to know if serious Court-watchers would say he seems to have moved right only since being seated.

listener
04-12-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks so much for your aggregation efforts. We would have never thought to link those posts contiguously in our thoughts. What's your secret... do tell? Imagine how rewarding it will be when you insinuate yourself into every single exchange?

Graz, I've noticed that ever since I posted a comment a few days ago, defending something JonIrenicus said, you have begun responding to many of my posts, and that regardless of the topic or the nature of my comment, the tone of your responses seems to be consistently one of sarcastic derision (and I will admit that at times I have responded to that tone with some sarcasm of my own).

If this has something to do with Jon, please take it up with him. I have nothing to do with him, and in fact tend to disagree with his points of view more often than not. If there is something else going on, please let me know so that we can address it directly.

I recall that at one time, you and I had a more friendly mode of exchange with one another.

graz
04-12-2010, 05:20 PM
(...)

Graz, I've noticed that ever since I posted a comment a few days ago, defending something JonIrenicus said, you have begun responding to many of my posts
You are quick on the uptake, grasshopper.

I recall that at one time, you and I had a more friendly mode of exchange with one another
I too, miss that charmed period in our whirlwind romance of two weeks or so.

If there is something else going on, please let me know so that we can address it directly
Your kung fu is weak, old man.

As a small business owner (Scoopy Doo- pet waste removal) I have a reflexive tendency to call-out bullshit when I see it or smell it - call it a survival instinct. Your effort to tidy up our history is understandable. And the differences as I see them don't warrant any further explanation.

So carry on. But keep in the back of your mind... if I smell it... I will...

P.S. I'm not really a business owner.

Wonderment
04-12-2010, 05:52 PM
You could be right. On the other hand, in a close race for a given seat, the balance could be tipped.

It was a little creepy this morning to hear Althouse reiterate my views regarding the desirability of a hard-core liberal nomination from Obama. Surely she's trying to bait him.

Ocean
05-10-2010, 07:36 PM
Here (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/10/us/politics/10stevens.html?hp)is one of the many articles that were posted today, after the announcement by John Paul Stevens that he will be retiring this summer.


Here is an excerpt from the article cited above published a month ago:

Elena Kagan, 49, is solicitor general but has never been a judge and does not have a lengthy trail of scholarly writings, so her views are less well documented. But as the dean of Harvard Law School, she earned respect across ideological lines by bringing in several high-profile conservative professors, and she is a favorite among some in the extended Obama circle, who see her as smart and capable. Her relative youth means she could shape the court for decades to come.

Comments?

listener
05-10-2010, 08:04 PM
Here is an excerpt from the article cited above published a month ago:



Comments?

I haven't been following this story closely, but I have heard a number of things today, as well as in recent days. I forget who it was, but there was a recent diavlog here in which a liberal blogger was strongly arguing that from a progressive point of view, a Kagan confirmation would be a disaster for the Court because, IIRC, among other things, Kagan would not be as liberal as Stevens has been, and also because she has no record as a judge. I found that argument unconvincing in that it is self-contradictory. No one predicted Stevens' role on the Court when he was nominated either. And no one can predict with certainty any nominee's future voting record.

As for things I've heard today, a few come to mind:

- That Obama chose Kagan at this time in part because he thought she would be an uncontroversial pick at a time when partisan tensions in the Senate are running particularly high.

- That regardless of Kagan's bipartisan record (including her actively seeking to hire more conservative people when she was dean of Harvard Law School), that Republicans are so afraid right now of voting with Obama on anything (what with Bob Bennett being booted out of the Utah Senate race today, etc.) that her confirmation hearings, and eventual vote, may be a lot rougher than Obama had anticipated.

- That Kagan was considered a more controversial or risky pick than another of the CW front runners (I forget the name), and that Obama thought that if he was going to have the chance to make another Supreme Court nomination, that he would be better off saving the less risky choice for a time when he might have fewer representatives in Congress on whose votes he could depend.

- That Kagan's (to liberals) troubling activities as Solicitor General supporting the Federal government's use of surveillance and harsh interrogation techniques should not necessarily be taken as an indication of what her attitude would be as a Supreme Court justice. As Solicitor General, her job was to act on behalf of the Feds, and if confirmed to the SCOTUS, she would not be operating under those constraints.

Ocean
05-10-2010, 08:08 PM
I forget who it was, but there was a recent diavlog here in which a liberal blogger was strongly arguing that from a progressive point of view, a Kagan confirmation would be a disaster for the Court because, IIRC, among other things, Kagan would not be as liberal as Stevens has been, and also because she has no record as a judge.

Glenn Greenwald.

Thank you for the rest of the comment.

Whatfur
05-10-2010, 09:20 PM
Harriet Miers?

Wonderment
05-10-2010, 10:08 PM
I have mixed feelings about Kagan. I don't think she's quite the disaster that Glenn Greenwald made her out to be, but I think he's right to ask a) why go with an unknown if we have qualified known progressives to choose from and b) why shouldn't Obama try to hit a liberal home run now since after November the vote count in the Senate will make things much tougher.

Of course, you could argue (as Obama defenders always do) that the POTUS knows more than we do -- he's knows she's a hardcore liberal because she's confided her views to him; he knows that Diane Wood couldn't get confirmed today because of some unexamined controversy; he's got another upcoming SCJ retirement up his sleeve, etc.

The theory floated by the WH, however, that Kagan is great because she will be persuasive to Kennedy and the right wing strikes me as preposterous.

I do like Kagan for standing up to military recruiters and standing up for gays and lesbians. I'm looking forward to hearing how those issues play out in her Senate confirmation hearings.

The iffy part is -- as Greenwald pointed out -- her views on the expansion of executive power in the "war on terror."

Psychologically, I'll speculate (wildly) that both Sotomayor and Kagan represent different yet complementary mirror images of Obama himself. He sees himself in both of them: minority whiz kid with empathy and conciliatory Harvard geek.

Ocean
05-10-2010, 10:17 PM
Psychologically, I'll speculate (wildly) that both Sotomayor and Kagan represent different yet complementary mirror images of Obama himself. He sees himself in both of them: minority whiz kid with empathy and conciliatory Harvard geek.

And you can always get to my heart with that kind of psychologically savvy analysis. :)

Seriously, all good points.

TwinSwords
05-10-2010, 10:33 PM
Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q20wtwOMgRc&playnext_from=TL&videos=2aQvMvs0Xaw

Wonderment
05-10-2010, 11:30 PM
And you can always get to my heart with that kind of psychologically savvy analysis.

I have a friend who went to the White House with an offer to become the president's chiropractor (offer declined without comment). I should offer my services as Jungian analyst. You can prescribe the meds.

Is there an astrologer in the house?

listener
05-10-2010, 11:47 PM
Is there an astrologer in the house?

From alabe.com:

Name: Elena Kagan
April 28 1960
12:00 PM Time Zone is EDT
New York, NY

Rising Sign is in 06 Degrees Leo
You love to be the center of attention and you want to appear strong, confident and dominant. You are very proud of yourself, sometimes quite vain even. When all around you are bedraggled and falling apart, you look like a million bucks! Very dignified and honorable, you enjoy the power and privilege, but not the responsibilities, that come with leadership. You are very idealistic but can also be quite stubborn. Others impress you only if they have integrity (but wealth, power and influence can also turn your head). You prefer rich, elegant surroundings and possessions, and will try to acquire them as your budget allows. Physically, you are very impressive - - at your best you have a regal, charismatic demeanor and bearing. Try not to be such a showoff!

Sun is in 08 Degrees Taurus.
You are known for being patient, slow moving and careful -- you love to prolong and savor enjoyable times. You appreciate and need comfort, ease and warm surroundings. Be careful of a tendency to become placid and self-satisfied and to overeat (especially sweets). You require strenuous situations in order to grow and mature properly, even though you try to avoid them. Affectionate, even-tempered and slow to anger -- when you do become emotionally upset, you are also slow to forgive and time must pass before your calm returns. You demand real results from any situation -- abstractions are very difficult for you to comprehend. Very artistic, your hands love to mold and shape things. You portray an earthy, physical sexiness that others find quite seductive.

Moon is in 09 Degrees Gemini.
Restless in the extreme, you are easily bored because of your short attention span. Your emotions change rapidly and you love to talk about your feelings. Generally, you have good judgment -- your intellect controls your emotions and you do not overreact emotionally to things. A good jack-of-all-trades, you have many- sided interests and enjoy reasoning things through. With your mental agility and need for physical mobility, you are attracted to traveling and learning about other peoples and cultures. You have vivid powers of emotional self-expression - - you can be a nonstop talker. You love to share your ideas with anyone who will listen.

:)

Starwatcher162536
05-11-2010, 12:36 AM
I know next to nothing about the women in question, even so, I do have reservations.

One is her lack of judicial expierence. I dislike the idea of someone who has never been a judge being nominated for a SCOTUS position. Another is her age. The idea of a justice being able to be on the SCOTUS for 40 years is a little troubling to me. I wish there were term limits.

listener
05-11-2010, 01:18 AM
Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q20wtwOMgRc&playnext_from=TL&videos=2aQvMvs0Xaw

Thanks for that. And no doubt as you have seen, equal time was given to a vigorous rebuttal of Greenwald's argument:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37074947#37074947

And for those interested -- from the same show, more interesting perspective and insight from Slate.com's legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37075110#37075110

uncle ebeneezer
05-11-2010, 01:25 AM
Good post by Balkin on Kagan (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/05/predicting-kagan-nomination.html):

Elena Kagan is hardly a stealth nominee. She has worked in two Democratic administrations and been the Dean of a major law school. If you can't figure out her general sensibilities, you really haven't been trying very hard. It is true that we can't know in advance what she will do precisely in the October Term 2019, but that is true even of Justices with far more elaborate paper records.

Elena Kagan will be a fine Justice, and in time the equal, I fully expect, of anyone currently sitting on the Court. There is a long history of people who had not previously served as judges-- but had served in the executive branch--being appointed to the Supreme Court. Does anyone today think William Rehnquist and Byron White were unqualified when they were nominated to the Supreme Court?

As far as term limits, I agree but I have to ask: do/did you have the same concerns over Robert's age?

Starwatcher162536
05-11-2010, 01:35 AM
I think I was 14 or 15 when Roberts was nominated, as such, I didn't give it much thought at the time. If he were nominated today, I would have the same problem about his age. Thanks for the link, but I don't plan to invest much time into this issue. It lies outside my general interests.

TwinSwords
05-11-2010, 05:41 AM
Thanks for that. And no doubt as you have seen, equal time was given to a vigorous rebuttal of Greenwald's argument:

[...]

And for those interested -- from the same show, more interesting perspective and insight from Slate.com's legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick

Oh, no, I missed both of those -- I only saw the Greenwald segment. Thanks for the links to the other two.

Ocean
05-11-2010, 07:39 AM
I think I was 14 or 15 when Roberts was nominated, as such, I didn't give it much thought at the time. If he were nominated today, I would have the same problem about his age. Thanks for the link, but I don't plan to invest much time into this issue. It lies outside my general interests.

I find the prospect of following the nomination process as well as the commentary that follows, in this case mostly from the left, fascinating. From a large picture perspective it's a fastidiousness contest. I'm waiting to see what the next nuance will be.

Ocean
05-11-2010, 08:02 AM
Thanks for that. And no doubt as you have seen, equal time was given to a vigorous rebuttal of Greenwald's argument:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37074947#37074947

And for those interested -- from the same show, more interesting perspective and insight from Slate.com's legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37075110#37075110

Lessig's arguments were pretty solid, I thought.

The audio shown in one of the clips, that depicts Kagan interacting with Roberts was somewhat disturbing. It seems that was her first interaction with the Supreme Court as a Solicitor General. But the interaction itself, as Lithwick points out, raises questions about what style should be used with someone like Roberts. It is important to remember that in this particular discussion (the audio) that Kagan and Roberts are not interacting as equals. It will be important to see how she interacts with people who have very antagonistic stances. The confirmation process will give an opportunity to test her strength in that area.

Thank you for the clips.

PS: Have you and Twin started an official Rachel Maddow fan club?

listener
05-11-2010, 03:40 PM
Lessig's arguments were pretty solid, I thought.

I had the same impression.

The audio shown in one of the clips, that depicts Kagan interacting with Roberts was somewhat disturbing. It seems that was her first interaction with the Supreme Court as a Solicitor General. But the interaction itself, as Lithwick points out, raises questions about what style should be used with someone like Roberts. It is important to remember that in this particular discussion (the audio) that Kagan and Roberts are not interacting as equals. It will be important to see how she interacts with people who have very antagonistic stances. The confirmation process will give an opportunity to test her strength in that area.

I too found Kagan's apparent stumbling in the face of Roberts' aggressive manner to be somewhat disturbing. One would hope, as you say, that this is reflective of the particular situation in which the conversation took place (i.e., it was Kagan's first Supreme Court argument as S.G. and they were not interacting as equals), and not predictive of how she would comport herself as a Justice of the Court.

Thank you for the clips.

You're welcome. I'm glad to know that they were useful to you and TS.

PS: Have you and Twin started an official Rachel Maddow fan club?

To quote Marx (not Karl), I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. ;)

Whatfur
05-13-2010, 10:40 PM
Like a surgeon. (http://spectator.org/archives/2010/05/13/obamas-hackneyed-hypocrisy)

kezboard
05-14-2010, 01:34 PM
Your emotions change rapidly and you love to talk about your feelings. Generally, you have good judgment -- your intellect controls your emotions and you do not overreact emotionally to things.

All those anti-empathy Republicans should be glad to hear this.

listener
05-14-2010, 01:47 PM
All those anti-empathy Republicans should be glad to hear this.

Yes. Because as the Beckster says, empathy caused Nazism:

During a discussion of Obama's statement that he would consider "empathy" in choosing a Supreme Court nominee, Beck drew a parallel to Hitler on his May 26 Fox News show: "Finally -- well, he wasn't the president. He was the chancellor, Hitler, decided that it was the only empathetic thing to do, is to put this child down and put him out of his suffering. It was the beginning of the T4, which led to genocide everywhere. It was the beginning of it. Empathy leads you to very bad decisions many times."

[from (http://mediamatters.org/research/200910130061)]

Whatfur
05-14-2010, 09:50 PM
Large paper trail (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Will-the-Senate-see-Kagan_Ss-long-paper-trail_-93725434.html).