Obama's Win and Judges

People for the American Way writes that President-Elect Barack Obama's win yesterday brings a mandate on our federal judiciary:

Looking at yesterday’s results, it’s incontrovertible that the election delivered a sweeping mandate for President-elect Obama to appoint federal judges who are committed to core constitutional values: justice, equality, and opportunity for all. In the election the public rejected the efforts of the right wing to stack the federal courts with ideological jurists like Justices Scalia and Alito often called “strict constructionists.”

Obama's view of the courts: [More...]

When you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it's not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it's their conception of the Court. And part of the role of the Court is that it is going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process: the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don’t have a lot of clout.”

Obama may have the ability to appoint three or more Supreme Court Justices and many more federal judges:

Given the results of yesterday’s election, we should expect President-elect Obama and the United States Senate to nominate and confirm judges who will defend our personal freedoms and ensure that every person has equal access to justice. The American people have asked them to do just that.

< CA's Criminal Justice Propositions: Mixed Results | More On The Emerged Dem Majority >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Please Justice Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by WS on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:41:19 PM EST

    Exactly what I have been saying (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    over and over again under my breath, like a mantra.

    Ever since I saw prop 8 win (and others across the land)


    Why? Frankly I'd prefer that (1.00 / 0) (#10)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    Justice Kennedy (who authored Lawrence v. Texas, which declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional) outlast the homophobe Obama's adminstration.

    Must be nice to be straight and know that a man who gay-baited to win an election gets to appoint a lot of judges.


    Wow, you are deranged (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:55:37 PM EST
    if you think Obama will appoint justices less liberal than Kennedy.

    Depends on your version (none / 0) (#15)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:58:01 PM EST
    of liberal.

    No, it really doesn't (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:58:52 PM EST
    Yes, it really does. (none / 0) (#20)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:01:04 PM EST
    Your anger is misplaced . (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:58:26 PM EST
    I am glad to know about Kennedy's leanings. That means we still have a 5-4 lead. I am not sure he will go much farther wrt gay rights nationally.

    I feel confident that Obama will appoint the right type of judge for the issue of gay equality.

    If Obama lost the election, we would be under the control of the Christian fundamentalist wing. that doesn't help any of us.


    I never said the Christian (none / 0) (#19)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:00:46 PM EST
    fundamentalist wing is any better.  They are worse.  Of course, I feel confident that Obama has legitimized a Christian fundamentalist wing to the Democratic party now, and I see no reason why he wouldn't placate that wing in his judicial appointment, particularly in the area of gay rights, we he opposes, so he says, on religious grounds.

    OK then. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:03:36 PM EST
    So we are in agreement that Obama was the better choice.

    Will you please get off my back now?


    I will stay on anyone's back (none / 0) (#28)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:07:39 PM EST
    who thinks that Obama is part of the solution, and not part of the problem, when it comes to gay rights and women's rights in this country.  The fact that there are other parts of the problem is, of course, true.

    The solution is (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:10:23 PM EST
    you get off you lazy butt and participate in democracy.

    You railing against me has ZERO impact. Maybe it makes you feel better, but it has no impact on OUR cause other than to piss me off.


    Neither does (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:15:19 PM EST
    supporting homophobes.

    Wrong. (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:18:53 PM EST
    Obama does not want to legislate homophobia. The other side does.

    Ergo, voting for Obama helped.

    Look, the federal govt. is not going to swoop in and save you on this issue. It has to be a ground-up movement and you really should consider participating.


    Really? (none / 0) (#43)
    by sas on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:30:47 PM EST
    I maintain that you do not know what Obama wants in regard to homophobia.

    I believe he is quite content to let the matter rest as is, and will continue to believe that until I see some concrete ACTION on the matter.


    I am contrasting him with (none / 0) (#44)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:31:41 PM EST

    I don't want to fight with you (none / 0) (#41)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:23:29 PM EST
    we are both hurting right now.

    Still waiting for you to (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    tell me what you did to defeat prop 8.

    Will I get an answer? Or another attack? Enquiring minds want to know.


    Good grief. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:04:56 PM EST
    So, the next time a women gets beaten up by her husband, I should tell her "hey, sorry about that, I feel terrible, but did you phonebank at the local domestic violence clinic?  No?  Well then tough luck."



    I take that as a "no" (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:08:47 PM EST
    I take that as a "I expect democracy to work magically in my favor"

    Good grief. No on 8 really could have used your help.

    And in your scenario, I am the person trying to help you and you are spitting on me.


    No, you should take it (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    as asking me whether I phonebanked or not is stupid and irrelevant.  

    But your last comment really says it all.  The patronizing "I am the person trying to help you" garbage.  Listen to yourself.  Not being a bigot does not earn your a medal, and it does not make you morally superior.  


    Not a medal (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by CST on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:15:30 PM EST
    Maybe some respect though.

    hug to CST. (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:16:08 PM EST
    Didn't say it did. (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    That doesn't change the fact that you failed to pull your weight on this issue.

    I hope you change that in the future.


    If you read, you will note (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:24:02 PM EST
    that I have not said what I have done for the cause of gay rights and gay marriage in particular.

    This is about whom Obama will appoint to the federal judiciary.  I simply pointed out that he is a homophobe and that Justice Kennedy's track record on gays in the law is now infinitely better than Obama's.  I'll pick the judge who nullified anti-sodomy laws over the President who gay-baited and legitimized homophobia to the point of drawing out voters who agreed with his homophobia enough to ban gay marriage in two of the largest states in the country.  I've pulled my weight, and our President-elect has too..unfortunately he is pulling it in the wrong direction.


    no. you did more than that (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:33:16 PM EST
    you attacked me, in this thread and the last.

    But I don't want to fight with you any longer.


    Talk Left or Talk Trash (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Michael Masinter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:42:00 PM EST
    Is dk a P.U.M.A. troll?  President elect Obama is not a homophobe; what "evidence" dk cites does not remotely support that ridiculous claim.  Obama has never even hinted that he thinks Lawrence was wrongly decided; to the contrary he has stated repeatedly that he would not have appointed Justices Scalia or Thomas, two authors of Lawrence dissents, to the Court.

    Obama did not gay bait during his campaign; he has spoken respectfully towards the LGBT community throughout his campaign and career, and that community has embraced him in return.

    But here's what really grabbed my attention: dk writes that Obama:

    legitimized homophobia to the point of drawing out voters who agreed with his homophobia enough to ban gay marriage in two of the largest states in the country.

    Let's unpack this claim.  Black voters turned out and voted in overwhelming numbers for Obama.  Black voters also disproportionately supported Prop 8 in CA and Prop 2 in FL.  Per dk, Obama is responsible for the votes of those who supported him.  I would have thought that any self styled leftist would recognize the racism inherent in holding black candidates responsible for the votes of black voters -- do you hold white candidates responsible for the votes of white candidates?  Is Joe Biden responsible for the white voters who voted for Prop 2 and Prop 8?  Of course not.  White voters are each individually responsible for their own votes.  We white voters make our own mistakes, but black voters -- finish dk's thought here and recoil.

    I generally don't feed trolls, but this time I'll make an exception.  We'll reverse Prop 8 in another election soon enough; Prop 2 will take longer, but eventually it too will fall, and the LGBT community will finally share in the full and equal citizenship the rest of us take for granted.  That day will come much sooner under President Obama than it would have without his leadership.  Even as I mourn the passage of Prop 8 and Prop 2, I take heart in his election and to the better world it promises.


    Darn straight I hold candidates (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:52:01 PM EST
    responsible for their supporters regardless of race.  For years I have held republican officeholders responsible for the votes of christian fundamentalists of all colors because of the gay-baiting they did, why should it be any different when a democrat specifially says he opposes gay marriage becuase of religion (and don't even pretend that Obama hasn't specifically said that.  Go find the transcript of the Saddleback church debate and read it for yourself).

    And if you don't think what Obama did in South Carolina wasn't gay baiting, then you're the troll.  I can't believe the depth that some people are going to in order to defend this guy.  


    the next (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by sas on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:32:44 PM EST
    time a woman is beaten by her husband, I hope she goes and buys a gun and shoots the prick

    he wont do it again  - to her at least


    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:52:04 PM EST
    OT, but I am always telling my husband " If the UN handed out guns to the Darfur women in the camps, things would be different"

    i'm hoping he does not (none / 0) (#21)
    by sancho on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:01:05 PM EST
    make that issue a dealbreaker b/c i agree with your concern. no one ever thought lbj would be the civil rights president. maybe obama will surprise us. we wont know for sure until he does--or does not.

    I would think (none / 0) (#24)
    by JamesTX on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:02:13 PM EST
    he would surely see that now is the time...if it is. There are some other matters to consider in the Senate first. It may be a while before the nature of that environment is clear.

    One post on an earlier thread caught my attention:

    How about overturning it with a seminal decision (none / 0) (#52)

    by magster on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:58:15 AM EST

    from the US Supreme Court full of Obama appointees?

    It's not right for people to have to wait for that day though.

    I do not mean to disparage magster, who surely may have been speaking hypothetically or in jest. I think a lot of our party, especially those we have won over (or rather those who GWB won over for us with his antics), may have been operating on some faulty political knowledge during the time they have been yanking R levers and doing the "markets-are-natural-good-things-which-will-save-us" dance. I think many people really didn't realize what the conservatives were doing to the courts, and how incredibly permanent it is. I believe they thought that if they got tired of conservatism, they could change it all overnight with an election like the one we had yesterday. The fact is we can't expect Obama to have an opportunity to change the ideological composition of the court in any meaningful way, even if he serves two terms. That damage is done -- period. I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying "I tried to tell you" to our new friends, but political education must be one of priorities of the progressive movement. Now that we have people on our side, we need to educate them about these things, and most importantly, about the rest of the ballot after the presidential race, the midterms, and local politics.


    yeah. (none / 0) (#32)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:12:38 PM EST
    at best he can retain what we already have.

    I still want Lawrence Tribe (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:11:37 PM EST
    but I think he has some sort of history that makes him not work.

    Better to appoint someone younger. (none / 0) (#39)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    Obama was one of his top two students (none / 0) (#40)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    maybe we can get the other one???

    one (none / 0) (#47)
    by sas on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:34:49 PM EST
    is plenty

    Do yo even know who (none / 0) (#48)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:46:25 PM EST
    Tribe is, or what he stands for?

    If I had my pick, (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:47:20 PM EST
    I would like to see Scalia take a hike.  He is the worst of them all, although Roberts and Alito are runners-up, and younger to boot. I have always been amazed by those Democrats like Harry Reid (who initially noted that he would not object to Scalia replacing Rehnquist), who admire Scalia with the old, I do not agree with him but he is so smart routine.  Just review Scalia's dissent in Evans v Roemer to see an example of his "intellect".  To me, it bears naked the crazed hand of just another ignorant right-winger.  For those who criticize Justice Kennedy, he, to his credit, wrote for the majority  that the issue was "born of animosity toward gays".

    Well (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:47:45 PM EST
    Scalia does have a potent intellect, and he's written some truly compelling opinions.  But he clearly has a weakness when it comes to certain culture-war issues (and, more recently, some of the war on terror cases), where he fails to realize that he's just as guilty of "because I say so" reasoning as the liberal judges he loves to criticize.

    Guess the potency of Scalia's (none / 0) (#56)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 03:08:32 PM EST
    intellect escapes me, unless I give credit to his cleverly dismissive rants against his brethren and his crafty approach to minimizing civil rights.  Indeed, he does demonstrate "weakness"  (being nice in the spirit of this celebrated day) on culture-war issues, confusing, in my view, legal opinions with Opus Dei-like tracts.  But, if I cannot get my wish of Scalia begone, I will take Thomas, even, if necessary, without a replacement.  Just give Scalia two votes and we save, at least, money for office support.

    No kidding (none / 0) (#50)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:50:38 PM EST
    I want Nino gone baby gone. He is an evil SOB.

    Excuse me, (none / 0) (#3)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:48:38 PM EST
    But after the gay votes in Florida and California (California?) how can their be a 'mandate' for equality?

    You don't assign a litmus test (none / 0) (#5)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:50:51 PM EST
    you just appoint liberal judges and trust that they will do the right thing.

    Speak for yourself (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:51:47 PM EST
    I damn well do have a litmus test.

    Well.. (none / 0) (#9)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:52:38 PM EST
    you don't assign an OUTWARD litmus test. Let's put it that way.

    I do (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:56:46 PM EST
    Obama may choose to speak differently in public. (I will always respect John Kerry for being upfront about what he would insist on in judges).

    hmm. (none / 0) (#18)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:00:03 PM EST
    Well. maybe you are right. But back to the mandate issue that was mentioned (above).

    Civil rights is a minority-rights issue. Therefore it's not decided by popular mandate.


    Well, it should not be (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:01:17 PM EST
    but last night proved that it is.

    It's naiive to think that (none / 0) (#25)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:02:22 PM EST
    it wouldn't be, but you are right that it shouldn't be.

    Please Justices Alito and Roberts (none / 0) (#4)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:48:38 PM EST

    Or.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by coigue on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:51:29 PM EST
    do something else that leaves a vacancy.



    I don't think Ann Coulter (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:51:25 PM EST
    will be joking about poisoned creme brulee anymore.

    Federal Courts (none / 0) (#11)
    by wasabi on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:55:29 PM EST
    I've always thought that one of the most important outcomes of this race would be reflected on the makeup of the federal courts.  It's time to drag the makeup of the courts back from the heavily influenced Federalist Society.

    Bill or Hillary on the ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:56:13 PM EST
    Supreme Court?

    mandate? (none / 0) (#53)
    by SarahinCA on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:47:13 PM EST
    How can the author look around at all the anti-gay bigotry and end to affirmative action and say that the country is committed to core Constitutional values?  

    Sheesh, will the story telling ever stop?