Orin Kerr To Be Special Counsel To Cornyn On SCOTUS Nominations

I must say this seems a surprising development to me:

I [Orin Kerr] have accepted a position as Special Counsel for Supreme Court Nominations for Senator John Cornyn for the duration of the Sotomayor nomination.

Kerr's blogging on Sotomayor has been, how can I put this - sane, reasonable and intelligent. And generally speaking, Prof. Kerr is one the brightest and most reasonable minds on the Right. Something does not add up here.

Speaking for me only

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    What does not add up? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:05:18 PM EST
    That the reasonable Right may want her, if they're reasonable?  Or they're not reasonable enough on some issues, and so she may not be, either?  I'm trying to figure out what the lawyerly thinking is.

    There are unreasonable Lefties, after all.:-)

    Perhaps it doesn't add up (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:18:25 PM EST
    because Kerr is reasonable, but Cornyn is not. Just why would Cornyn hire this reasonable fellow who does not appear to foam at the mouth over Sotomayor, as his point person on her nomination?

    Speaking for me only. : ).


    Ah, of course. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 07:09:01 PM EST
    I was factoring in Sotomayor and Kerr but forgetting to factor in . . . Cornyn.  Okay, I get it: What is a reasonable Rightie even doing around him?  Thanks.

    Cornyn (none / 0) (#13)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 07:42:07 PM EST
    It may be that: Cornyn is from Texas. (See also: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is sounding deferential, etc.)  The future electoral position of Texas looms in the background, mayhaps?

    My hope is that (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:21:29 PM EST
    Professor Kerr will only embellish his reputation as being bright and reasonable.  We do need to be cautious, however, as this was once said about Kenneth Starr.

    Are you kidding me?!? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:50:56 PM EST
    Orin Kerr is a power-mad tyrant who banned me from his blog simply for having the name Steve.  I am not even joking!

    (I am actually not joking, but if you sense there might be more to the story, you could always click here and read down.)

    Pretty scary. (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:57:35 PM EST
    Funny (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 07:04:47 PM EST
    I think you both made interesting points.

    I like him (none / 0) (#12)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 07:16:40 PM EST
    He is one of the few contributors at that site who not only posts in the comment section, but actually engages in a constructive give-and-take, the way a law professor might during a good classroom discussion.  And BTD is correct that while he's a man of the center-right, he always seems quite fair-minded on political issues and willing to acknowledge (and ridicule) the existence of hypocrisy on both sides rather than just one.

    VC has almost made my RSS (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 08:43:57 PM EST
    a couple of times. In a way, it's often more readable than Balkin's place.

    The reason lies between the Rio and the Red (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jake Left on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 08:33:25 PM EST
    Cornyn is in a hard place. He is the most eager of boot lickers and republican yes-men. But he cannot do his tricks if he is not elected and he must be elected in Texas.

    Cornyn and Saxby Chambliss (none / 0) (#17)
    by oldpro on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 08:59:19 PM EST
    (what the He** kind of name is THAT?) always look to me like they came from central casting for a particularly bad B movie being made on the back lot.

    Loved your choice of "eager boot lickers" to describe Cornyn.  Perfect.


    Central Casting (none / 0) (#19)
    by ricosuave on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:59:05 PM EST
    Funny you should use those words.  Cornyn caught criticism in the last election for having a california ad agency dress him up like a B-movie cowboy in one of his ads.  The black hat and untucked shirt were very Hollywood, but not very Texan.

    He's a transparent phony, (none / 0) (#20)
    by oldpro on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 12:39:21 AM EST
    that's why.  And dumb!  Even I know the hero should have worn a white hat...sheesh...

    I recently read an analysis concluding (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:00:32 PM EST
    Judge Sotomayor is to the right of Justice Souter re criminal procedure issues.  Kerr helped "write the book" on criminal procedure.  

    P.S.  "Offblog."  Is this new?

    Justice Souter of the NH Supreme Court (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 08:40:44 PM EST
    and Judge Souter of the U.S. Court of Appeals (First Circuit) were also to the right of Justice Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court.  While it is true that Judge Sotomayor dutifully follows (conservative) precedent in criminal law and criminal procedure cases, Supreme Court Justices have considerably more freedom to express (and gradually develop) individual views.  Of course, there is no guarantee that they will do so, or that if they do, that those views will grow more progressive (cf. Frankfurter, White or Thomas).  But often, a Justice does become more progressive on the Court than s/he was before joining, including Black, Warren, Blackmun, Stevens and Souter.  There are no guarantees.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#3)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:13:27 PM EST
    they'll ask some HARD but sensible questions.

    I, for one, will appreciate that.

    Well, for all the bluster, (none / 0) (#4)
    by dk on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:15:12 PM EST
    the Republican leadership in the senate has pretty much indicated that they are not going to fight this nomination.  Since the public has not been provided with much, if any, evidence of Sotomayor's actual policy views, perhaps in private the Republicans have been given enough information to know that overall she is a centrist and about the best they could hope for from their perspective (of course, she may be a liberal, but our liberal champions have not made much of an attempt to find out).

    If that is the case, I can see that they would rather have a "sane" conservative like Kerr running the show rather than some pitbull.

    Since she's getting in anyway (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 06:54:36 PM EST
    why should the Judiciary Committee Republicans risk messing with her off to the point she might take it personal?

    Unexpected to say the least (none / 0) (#18)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:27:34 PM EST
    I've enjoyed reading Kerr's posts the last few weeks and also thought they were sane.

    Maybe this is a dry run to test out the relationship -- so that if Scalia or Thomas unexpectedly drops dead during Obama's term of office Cornyn will have available staff to hit the ground running on day one.  

    Cornryn has actually been fairly reasonable (none / 0) (#21)
    by ericinatl on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 08:07:21 AM EST
    with respect to Sotomayor.  He has taken Gingrich and Limbaugh to task for their comments, claiming they are not elected officials and do not speak for the Republican senate leadership.  He has been publicly outraged by the "race" baiting.

    That's not to say he's not a fool.  But on this issue he understands that to attack Sotomayor on anything related to her background or race is to further alienate the growing Hispanic population (particularly in Texas).