The First Salvo At Kagan

Many legal observers expect the President to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. As expected, an early salvo has been provided by Glenn Greenwald:

The danger that we won't have such a status-quo-maintaining selection is three-fold: (1) Kagan, from her time at Harvard, is renowned for accommodating and incorporating conservative views, the kind of "post-ideological" attribute Obama finds so attractive; (2) for both political and substantive reasons, the Obama White House tends to avoid (with a few exceptions) any appointees to vital posts who are viewed as "liberal" or friendly to the Left; the temptation to avoid that kind of nominee heading into the 2010 midterm elections will be substantial (indeed, The New York Times' Peter Baker wrote last month of the candidates he said would be favored by the Left: "insiders doubt Mr. Obama would pick any of them now"); and (3) Kagan has already proven herself to be a steadfast Obama loyalist with her work as his Solicitor General, and the desire to have on the Court someone who has demonstrated fealty to Obama's broad claims of executive authority is likely to be great.

I think this is a misreading of Kagan. I will try and offer a cogent rebuttal in the next few days. But in the meantime, Greenwald begins to develop what will be the principal case against Kagan from the Left - her supposed fealty to Executive Branch power. I think this misreads Kagan. I'll try to persuade you tomorrow.

Speaking for me only

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    Personally, (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    I just think she plays a centrist on TV. I could be wrong, of course, but if we're going to use identity politics as heuristics, I think it's a pretty good bet.

    Sadly, she will be unable to actually tell us anything about what she believes if she's nominated.

    That's been true since Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    rightly shot down Bork for being a ur-conservative bordering on fascist (god, that would have been a freaking nightmare- Scalia would be rhaspodized as the "sensible moderate" on the court.)

    Citizens accept this premise. (none / 0) (#18)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:46:02 AM EST
    Bork's nomination was derailed because he really was and still is a radical loon.  Now they hide.  We really shouldn't accept that as a matter of course for such an important position in our government.

    And, I'll add that I think that Democrats were complicit in allowing the Roberts and Alito appointments to go largely content-free fearing that if anyone really figured out how conservative those men's views were, they'd be forced to actually make a fight out of the nomination process.


    Alito and Roberts (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:58:42 AM EST
    are way, way too conservative for me, but their not as far out as Bork- the man was and is basically Ayn Rand on issues of economic freedom and John Edwards on issues of personal liberty ("Eyes of an Angry God" Edwards not cheat on terminally ill wife Edwards).  

    We didn't even get the slightest (none / 0) (#40)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:02:19 PM EST
    hint about their views during those hearings.  We got to see how beautiful John Robert's family was, though!

    It is a dishonest process.  American's can't be expected to hold their Senators accountable for their confirmations if they are never even allowed to hear the views of the nominees - and the truth is that all of these Senators LIKE it that way.  The way they do it now is the path of least resistence for the politicians.  It is lazy and damaging to the integrity of our system.  We should not accept it as a practice.


    I don't mean to be petty (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:04:54 PM EST
    but was I the only one who upon seeing Roberts family actually liked him less- my god they seemed creepy.

    I liked all of them less. (none / 0) (#46)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:07:13 PM EST
    The Senators on both sides, the candidate, the media and, well, just all of them for playing what I thought was an outrageous game of distraction.

    Very hard to get the nominee (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:22:36 PM EST
    to be more transparent and honest on a hot topic issue that might come before the Ct -- unless they have some paper trail on the subject as a judge or academic -- because they can always plausibly argue that they wouldn't want to prejudge a case that they might soon have to hear, etc.

    Only way around all that fogging and fruitless backing and forthing, absent the track record of a nominee on the issue, is to amend the Con to make it a 15 yr term instead of lifetime.  Nominees have gotten much too sophisticated about leaving behind a clear record to attack, since the days of Bork, and they're being coached by the admin to skillfully fudge just about everything.  

    Plus Congress has never shown the guts to go after a nominated Justice for perjurious testimony (e.g., Rehnquist).  Thus the process has greatly favored the nominee in the past 20+ yrs.

    Of course, in the old days, the nominee would be passed through in a day.  Iirc, Justice Earl Warren even went ahead and took his place on the Bench provisionally until the senate could get around to formalizing his nomination.


    Maybe law schools (none / 0) (#61)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:28:20 PM EST
    should start making position papers a graduation requirement.  

    The scarey part is (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    Bork is considered a hero and borderline martyr-to-the-cause to many, if not most, conservatives.

    "Loon" though he may be.


    what do you expect (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:29:08 PM EST
    these are the same folks who made Oliver North a hero.

    And idolize Palin n/t (none / 0) (#82)
    by Coral on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:43:54 PM EST
    So Kagan's Playing 11 Dimensional Chess (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:30:11 AM EST
    Nah, just SG for Obama (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:31:21 AM EST
    I don't think so (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:32:57 AM EST
    I think she is a centrist. But the Center is what the Right thinks is Left.

    I think Greenwald is caughgt too much in tone and not enough in the substance of here views.

    Apart from his disagreement with her on preventive detention (and I agree with Kagan, but with details added), I will be interested in seeing his case against her.


    Let me modify: (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:39:27 AM EST
    She's really a centrist, but she's playing a right-winger on TV.



    Sort of (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:50:12 AM EST
    On terror issues, she plays a right winger. On anything else? Not really.

    Isn't everything about Teh Terror now? (none / 0) (#93)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:27:05 PM EST
    So if Kagan is a right winger on "terror issues" that encompasses a whole helluva lot doesn't it - domestically and internationally.

    Most obviously, Bush and Obama's abuses of executive power are all about "terror issues", so it would be a good a$$-covering move to lard the Supreme Court with a like-minded crony.


    Didn't the GOP make the case and (none / 0) (#12)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:41:44 AM EST
    prevail that they could appoint a very conservative Justice to replace Rhenquist?

    Don't we get to have a one for one appointment too?

    Oh and Kagan's wiki entry's primary emphasis is on Kagan's favorable position towards Executive Power - and her resume sort of says as much too.  Not that wiki is a deep and all-knowing source on such things, but it was somewhat consistent with Greenwald says.

    I think it was interesting that Larry Summers appointed her to her position as Dean of the Law School at Harvard.


    Obama is the President (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:49:40 AM EST
    Not you or me. Since he is not a liberal, why would you expect him to appoint one>

    I don't, but I think he should. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    How's that?  lol

    But he is not technically alone in the process of deciding.  He does have to seek approval from the Senate - not that they are liberal either - but just sayin' because this notion of the President's eminent domain over SCOTUS appointments has gotten a bit out of hand in recent decades, imo.


    Thinking of printing this comment to (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:41:04 PM EST
    ape above my computer screen.  Save lots of angst.

    Ape/tape. Whatever. (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:41:55 PM EST
    Executive power (none / 0) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:08:21 PM EST
    is hard to read as a left/right issue- I mean a lot of liberals were rightly okay with Eisenhower sending in the troops for integration, etc. (though I guess you could say thats more of a states-rights vs. federalism issue- though even there the dichotomy isn't clear- see, Scalia, et al on drug offenses).

    I don't know that I think of it as (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    as left-right issue as much as it seems that the remaining defenders of the balance of power between the branches seem mainly to reside on the left these days.

    But having just said what I said, there (none / 0) (#70)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:37:54 PM EST
    is another way to look at it in our political landscape which is that there are a growing number of Americans who seem to favor the idea of empowering one figure of authority with the bulk of power which isn't really in line with classical liberalism and democracy.  George Washington did turn down the offer that was made to him to become king.

    "post-ideological" (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:19:13 PM EST
    is that the new "realpolitik", only lacking a Kissinger to make it a dirty word?

    I'd open with the point (none / 0) (#5)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:34:30 AM EST
    that there is literally no confirmable nominee that would maintain the status quo- Stevens is a more liberal justice than any nominated, much less confirmed in the last three decades- the man was a throwback to the Marshall-wing of the Burger court. I honestly can't think of any possible nominee that would be similar (and not just anyone Obama would nominate, I mean any possible nominee who is both young and idelogically similar to Stevens).

    I think this is revisionist history (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:36:56 AM EST
    Stevens is not a liberal justice at all.

    This is an example of the OVerton Window having been moved to the Right.

    Stevens is a centrist Justice and will be rpelaced by a centrist Justice.


    He's a centrist of his time (none / 0) (#9)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:38:44 AM EST
    yes, but are you arguing he wasn't the most left leaning justice? Because frankly, I feel that's been the case since Marshall retired (though I could see an argument for Ginsburg).

    RBG is to his left in some ways (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:40:06 AM EST
    Ginsburg easily to his Left (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:43:29 AM EST
    Souter was to his Left.

    By and large, Stevens was comfortable in the Center portion of the Court - (Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and now Sotomayor.)

    There are almost no votes you can point to that put Stevens on the extreme Left of the Court.

    His Hamdan decision, after all, garnered the usual 4 votes, plus a concurrence from Kennedy.

    Kewnnedy has been the Great Decider since O'Connor retired. Before that, they shared that role.

    Stevens was firmly esconced in the Center of the Court.


    I do think he's to the left of Breyer, though (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:45:31 AM EST
    Breyer's results (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:48:33 AM EST
    are the same as the rest. He just writes a lot of claptrap around it.

    Mediocre Justice imo.

    Souter was a great Justice, the best of recent vintage imo.


    I agree that Souter was great (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:51:42 AM EST
    His Glucksberg concurrence was really excellent.

    As to Breyer, I think he's clearly more conservative than even Kennedy in First Amendment cases. I'm thinking of U.S. v. Playboy, for example.  


    I'm curious as to your read on Kennedy (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:45:42 AM EST
    does he actually have a consistent judicial philosophy, or is he as indecisive as his concurrences read?  

    Hard to tell what makes Kennedy tick (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:47:36 AM EST
    He certainly is a relatively dim bulb imo.

    Above Thomas (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:54:07 AM EST
    good god, seriously, was it clear he was this derivative and frankly dim when he was nominated or did the allegations (I would say fact, but given the nature of this blog that would probably be going too far) that he was a lech distract from his intellectual short-comings?

    In the period before (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:20:42 PM EST
    the Anita Hill accusations became public, yes, the very tentative and delicate argument was about his intellectual firepower.  But that was a very tough case for liberals to make against the first African-American SC nominee.  Which, of course, is exactly why Bush appointed him in the first place.

    Oops. (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:27:14 PM EST
    Second AA nominee, of course.  (Sorry, Thurgood!)

    When he gets up on the right side of the bed (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:53:00 AM EST
    I do think that he has a strong sense of personal liberties. He's sure  inconsistent, though.

    Does he still vote to uphold in Casey (none / 0) (#34)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:55:58 AM EST
    or is he steered differently now that the courts balance has shifted?  I'd like to think he'd vote the same way but I'm far from certain.

    Carhart II puts a lump in my throat (none / 0) (#37)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:59:57 AM EST
    on that question.

    No doubt (none / 0) (#41)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:03:49 PM EST
    on the other hand you could read that as an extension of the incrementalism approach he (and O'Connor) endorsed in Casey (which it could be argued- though I would personally disagree-- was suggested in Roe). I mean I'm almost certain he'd slap down South Dakota's whacko fetal personhood legislations (heck, that might actually be one of those rare "Scalia goes off the reservation and mocks conservatives" moments).

    Arguably, the real undoing of Roe (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:05:47 PM EST
    was in Casey. But for the 90s, it was a strong enough substitute. The problem was losing O'Connor.

    How is it even (none / 0) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:11:10 PM EST
    arguable? It endorsed far more broadly reaching restriction on choice than were laid out (much less envisioned) in Roe-- Casey basically gave the right a roadmap on how to take away choice-- incrementalism.  

    Allow me to clarify (none / 0) (#15)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:44:13 AM EST
    I think since Reagan the countries consistently shifted to the right politically with certain generational exceptions (gay rights most noticeably)- compare the centerist position on a host of issues- from Nuclear Arms reduction to Abortion to Health Care to Immigration (for godsakes- Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty bill), I feel this is true in the judiciary as well.  (The case could of course be made that its simply due to White House control that this seems to be the case- Dems holding for 10 years the GOP for 20, but I'm not sure this is completely explanatory. Or you could argue my definition of time is arbitray- essentially encompassing my life-born in 1982- and that a larger window would reveal a different picture)

    He's no Brennan, that's for sure (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:42:39 AM EST
    The wing of the Court that dissented in this case, for example is basically gone.

    Brennan is the gold standard (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:00:25 PM EST
    for liberals....Brilliant and personally persuasive....

    Brennan, Marshall, Douglas--the last of the liberals.....

    Marshall reportedly watched the Watergate hearings on t.v. as if it were his personal entertainment....responding to the testimony with "you lie!" in between bouts of laughter...


    You could make the (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:31:36 PM EST
    case that Marshall was the most effective/influential Lawyer of the 20th century- massive Civil Rights record, Good Supreme Court Justice, First minority on the court(non-Jewish), etc.

    You would win that case (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:46:43 PM EST
    TM did have some quirks (none / 0) (#68)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:35:09 PM EST
    to his personality and seemed a bit of an ill-tempered type.  What was it he said about Poppy Bush towards the end of his tenure (ca '89-90) -- "He's a dead man"??  Kinda strange comment.  And not really a persuasive voice on the Ct.

    Neither was Justice Douglas, who was a bit offputting apparently, and stayed way way too long given his deteriorating health and mental state.

    Agree about Brennan.

    And, amazingly, appointed by a Repub -- Ike.  Though I think Brennan is a J who actively evolved leftward over time, just as a Justice Byron White devolved rightward.


    Marshall (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:41:45 PM EST
    gets the benefit of his pre-SC career-- I mean Brown v. Board of Education its kind of hard to think of another decision that's had such a massive impact (Roe is basically the only one that comes to mind in the last half century or more-- well, that and Bush v. Gore).

    Or Douglas (none / 0) (#19)
    by magster on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:46:38 AM EST
    who opined in a dissent on an environmental case that trees should have legal standing.

    Represented by their next friend, the Lorax (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:49:07 AM EST
    no doubt. :D

    Did you know that the entire (none / 0) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:23:00 PM EST
    "movie" of The Lorax is available for viewing on Google (I think it was Google)...one of my kids' very favorite Seuss stories :)

    Justice Douglas (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    And not only the trees...the rivers too. In addition to his liberal bona fides, J. Douglas wrote as if writing poetry. Remember the labor organizing case...can't recall the name, but can definitely recall the recognition of the reality he observed <in likening the granting of a vacation to its equally coercive opposite> to the "iron fist in the velvet glove." One of my personal favorite memories was hearing him speak in those faraway Vietnam War days about the environment and violence (and the signature he so graciously gave on the back of an anti-war flyer that day, a signature stored in a jewelry box still.) But, coming down to earth, even the brilliant Douglas had his mistakes--later recognized--as seen in his upholding the confinement camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII. So, since none of the Justices have a perfect record insofar as I know, I'm basically hoping for a good, solid Justice...someone, perhaps, who has room to grow as Justice Stevens has done.

    WW2 and the Civil War (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:01:55 PM EST
    Are the most obvious places where you could see otherwise good men who are often held up as being paragons of liberty faltering under the weight of their burden- I mean my god Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus (though given the allowance for such due to "rebellion" its constitutionality seems probable) and FDR on internment is horrendous (its not even a "racism is necessary for Social Security to pass" style compromise its just wrong).  

    Douglas and language, (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:25:58 PM EST
    how can we forget his "emanations" and "penumbras" from that 1965 rt to privacy case?  Dunno though if that rationale has held up very well over the years.  Still, I have more positive thoughts about him as Justice than not.  One of a kind strong-willed Justice for the liberal cause.

    And how history might have been different if FDR had gone with him for VP in 1944 -- he was on the list of final 2 or 3 -- instead of the more conservative and less self-confident HST.  Though his decision on the internment case suggests he was just as conservative as the rest in some respects back then.


    "penumbras" et al (none / 0) (#103)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 05:05:37 PM EST
    'Always sort of liked "penumbras;" they reminded me of the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Seriously, J. Douglas gave meaning to context. I prefer that to the so-called "strict constructionists" with their obscured view of the forest as they analyze the vein of a leaf. For those who might put emphasis on the certainty of a word--without context or spirit--my question generally starts with asking for a definition of "sanction." What an all-purpose word...all by itself having two opposing meanings. (Anyway, I do take your point about "penumbras" and rather chuckle at the head-scratches and yelps Griswold v. Connecticut produced even as it gave real meaning to "life, liberty, & happiness.") Thanks again, brodie and Socraticsilence, for your illustrations of how we are all formed by the times we inhabit. Of course, it doesn't excuse the injustices of our past; but, it does reinforce for me the need to be humble in critique.

    Sounds like the Repubs are already (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:37:33 AM EST
    guarunteeing a fight regardless.  Obama has to make this a political fight to embarrass the GOP and rally the base for the Dems.

    Too bad he already burned the latino card (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:49:24 AM EST
    that combined with Immigration reform could push the, how shall I put this, less enlightened wing of the GOP over the edge and in the current populist climate could lead to the sort of visible extremism (in signs and chants) that would push hispanics into the Democratic Party like Goldwater's opposition to the Civil Rights Act coupled with the populist nutters pushed African-Americans to the Democrats in the mid-to-late 60's.

    You All Never Learn (none / 0) (#25)
    by bselznick on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:49:48 AM EST
    This is really funny.  Magster nailed it, the GOP will fight regardless of who not nominee is.  Obama could nominate Newt Gingrich and the GOP would be on the TV and radio 24/7 saying what a socialist liberal Newt is and has proven to be, and how this is the final nail in America's coffin.  

    Can we ALL agree on that concept already?  Let there be no doubt from sea to shinning sea that in the eyes of the GOP Obama will nominate a GODLESS COMMIE !!!  Even if that commie's name is Newt Gingrich.  That card will be played, that is their only playing card.

    So why not nominate a progressive?  The attack is going to be all out, full bore, unrelenting, and INSANE no matter who the nominee is or how qualified.

    Ugh what? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:51:47 AM EST
    If you somehow read this to be some prediction that the Right will not fight, then you have some special kind of glasses.

    Ridiculous comment.


    Who would be the single (none / 0) (#30)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:51:49 AM EST
    most offensive nominee to the GOP- one of the "Gitmo 7" or what?

    Michelle Obama n/t (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by CST on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:53:05 AM EST
    Bill Ayers (none / 0) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    Cite his "strong academic background" and life-long struggle for freedom?

    Winnie Mandela (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:05:21 PM EST
    The foreign, black, female, more extreme version of Bill Ayers.  Not to mention divorced :P

    Hmm... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:12:53 PM EST
    If only the head of the ICC was a gay, muslim, Arab whose husband was an Ob/Gyn. That way we'd get the one world government types angry as well.

    Hillary Clinton? (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:51:28 PM EST
    she's a gay (none / 0) (#97)
    by CST on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:12:55 PM EST
    muslim, arab?  I had no idea Bill was an OB/GYN :)

    after writing that I realized (none / 0) (#98)
    by CST on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:24:02 PM EST
    Bill Clinton - OB/GYN - too... many... jokes... ahhhhhhh!

    Med schools (none / 0) (#102)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 05:02:31 PM EST
    don't give credit for prior experience in a field.

    Anita Hill (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:43:38 PM EST
    Karlan of Stanford (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:15:25 PM EST
    Really, really smart--and unabashedly liberal....In another world, she would be nominated....

    Richard Paez of the Ninth Circuit....Bill barely got him on the Ninth Circuit and did so with a Republican Senate...Is from Utah and went to BYU....but that is deceiving as to his views...

     Paez was a long time lawyer for the rural poor in Central California and worked for a legal aid clinic for years....

    Boxer got Paez through the Senate by working a deal with Lott.


    Is Paez mormon? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    If so couldn't we pull the Utah Justices along?  (like hispanic Republicans back Sotamayor)

    Paez was raised Mormon (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:32:42 PM EST
    But he is so clearly liberal.....don't think it would make a difference to Hatch and Bennett that Paez went to BYU, etc...

    I don't know (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:39:19 PM EST
    I mean sure they'd disagree but the temptation to get the "first [insert group here]" Justice has worked in the past, heck Thomas was the 2nd African-American and some people still argue that its one of the only reasons he wasn't utterly destroyed in his confirmation hearings.

    Upon further review, (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:27:35 PM EST
    Paez's Mormon mother who resided in Utah personally lobbied Hatch who voted for Paez....

    One of his rulings was that a pan-handling statute violated free speech....

    If you wanted an advocate for the poor.....


    Downside would (none / 0) (#87)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:18:02 PM EST
    be possible squishsiness on choice (its the same reason some abortion rights groups were hesitant on Sotamayor), and the very real danger that it would give Romney a perfect "I don't listen to the Pope" moment- he could condemn Paez and thus prove to the evangelicals that he wasn't a cultist.

    It won't be Paez (none / 0) (#88)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:25:35 PM EST
    His nomination was slow-walked in the 1990s because the Republicans feared he would be the first Latino Supreme Court Justice.  Paez's time has passed....

    Al Gore or either Clinton (none / 0) (#35)
    by magster on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:56:44 AM EST
    would send the baggers over the cliff -- to bad they are all over 60.

    Dawn Johnsen? Anthony Weiner? Grayson?


    Greenwald (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:14:27 PM EST
    though I saw and followed a back link on a recent post of his to "Free Republic" and the nutters liked it since he told "the truth about Obama"

    Is there a modern equivalent of a (none / 0) (#27)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 11:50:50 AM EST
    Thurgood Marshall- an advocate who isn't a tenured scholar or current admin employee who would make a good nominee?

    Arguably, Paul M. Smith (none / 0) (#104)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 02:51:35 PM EST
    ... a top gay rights attorney-advocate, a partner at a DC corporate law firm, no less.  Arguably, five years too old to be ideal, though.  Or Bryan Stevenson, of Alabama's Equal Justice Initiative.  Or -- to go out a little further on the limb -- Van Jones, pioneering advocate of environmental justice.

    When I think back to the (none / 0) (#47)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    Bush years, waiting for the day when we would have a Democratic president and a possibly majority Democratic Congress, it was beyond exciting to think about the possibilities of Supreme Court nominations.



    "Excited" is not the right word, not by a long shot, not after seeing issue after issue take rightward turns, not after seeing even greater and more dangerous use of executive power, not after seeing DOJ defense of state secrets.

    So...I have no reason to trust Obama's judgment on a nominee, and plenty of reason to worry about why he wants this person - whoever it is - on the Court.  

    On top of that, what do I expect of the Senate?  Nothing but trouble and dysfunction.  Again.  Or as usual.  Dems will somehow give credibility to every harebrained GOP objection, and fail to register the obvious and legitimate objections - if any - of their own.

    Makes my stomach hurt thinking about the whole thing.

    Heck, maybe big O will nominate (none / 0) (#96)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:53:01 PM EST
    someone like Ted Olson. Heh.

    You're forgetting that TM (none / 0) (#51)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:13:03 PM EST
    was Solicitor General under LBJ, after JFK had named him to the fed bench.

    But some non-admin non-scholar names that have come up this round are in the pol category mostly:  Gov Granholm for instance.  Still young enough (iirc), smart, and might be politically at a dead end once she leaves the gov's office in MI (unless Sen Levin announces his retirement).

    What are her qualifications (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:19:55 PM EST
    I mean Warren was AG of California before becoming Governor, so at least one could assume he had legal chops- whats Grahmholm's pre-Gubernatorial qualifications.  She'd be the first non-American Born Justice in nearly half a century.

    She has her JD from Hahvuhd, (none / 0) (#62)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:28:38 PM EST
    and was AG in MI, just as EW was AG in CA.  Very similar those two in background, actually, including both governors.  And like EW, she was considered P material (until people saw that she was not US born ...).

    Could be worse.  She's a real lib.  Smart and youngish (51).  Personable.

    Dunno if the Ct life would be to her liking, though.  EW wanted it.  Don't know enough about JG to say one way or the other.


    Are Thomas (none / 0) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:34:54 PM EST
    and Sotamayor the only non-Ivy people on the court, and if so isn't that kind of sad? I mean I neither respect nor agree Clarence but his life story is inspiring (as is Sotamayors) does our insistence on Formal qualifications unnecessarily discredit otherwise deserving canidates?

    Both of them are "Ivy people" (none / 0) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:45:22 PM EST
    Both Yalies in fact.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#84)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:06:07 PM EST
    I keep forgetting JD not just undergrad.  I still think that's needlessly restrictive- I mean I'm not arguing that someone should be nominated right out of night school or anything but someone from a State School who put in impressive post-graduation work (in the real world not as a clerk- since the prestige clerkships are again likely closed to non-Ivy types)- someone (and I hate to keep harping on him) like a Marshall (who apparently wanted to be a Terp in Law School, but went to Howard due to racially discriminatory admissions).

    Stevens for example (none / 0) (#85)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:13:12 PM EST
    went to Chicago then Northwestern, and frankly I would argue that this is still highly elitist- what about a Public School type- say a UC or UM grad people who worked hard but perhaps didn't get great undergrad grades and but turned it around in Law School.  I get the general point of such restriction and generally I'm sympathetic to elitism but in this case such selection bias unnecessisarily restricts the pool to either the economically elite or the exceedingly small handful of those from less privileged backgrounds who locked in early in life.

    Both UC (Boalt Hall) (none / 0) (#90)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    and UCLA Law are both public but considered "elite" law schools, just not Ivy.  Elite isn't just Ivy.

    Different backgrounds (none / 0) (#78)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:09:49 PM EST
    After all the appellate court elevations in recent go-rounds, it might be nice to see someone with a different pedigree. Diversity of experience can be quite helpful. In that sense, the gubernatorial pathway is interesting in its potential pragmatism.

    I'm actually suprised (none / 0) (#86)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:15:40 PM EST
    after the dearth of Senator's appointed to the High Court- I can only assume its due to age- I mean it would seem to be the single best proving ground outside of the judiciary and Senators would hopefully know which of their own is actually intellectually qualified and which is carried by his/her staff.

    JMG (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:59:12 PM EST
    Is Catholic.   Obama won't put another Catholic on the bench to make 7.

    Sorry to learn this, (none / 0) (#92)
    by brodie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:21:15 PM EST
    but there it is in the fine print of wiki.  Catholic.

    Agree.  Too many already.  Scratch Granholm.


    You can be darned sure Obama will find (none / 0) (#60)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:26:32 PM EST
    someone who agrees that the fed govt has the right to force Americans to buy health insurance. Wouldn't it be great if the individual mandate was determined to be unconstitutional... (just wishin').

    Be more than a bit disturbing (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:37:10 PM EST
    since the only way I can see it happening is if the Interstate Commerce Clause stuff gets thrown out (an epochal shift in American Governance- essentially doing so would endanger almost every major federal intervention of the last 75 years).

    Jeff Toobin had a lot to say (none / 0) (#77)
    by oldpro on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 01:08:44 PM EST
    about his long-time friend and classmate...all positive, all 'works with both sides' middle-of-the-road reasonable was the message.

    Sounds like a villager.

    Apparently Jeff (none / 0) (#94)
    by lilburro on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:42:29 PM EST
    Sessions is going to ask a bunch of BS questions about the health care bill during confirmation.  (TPM)  This makes me want to Googlebomb Jeff Sessions with the word "twit."

    It's only going to lead to the Fox News crowd escalating their attacks on Obama to "he's trying to take over the Supreme Court to uphold his Commie laws!!"  Fortunately, there is absolutely no relationship between what they say and political violence, so I guess I won't worry about it.  ...

    Ah, that Sessions (none / 0) (#101)
    by shoephone on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:46:26 PM EST
    proving, once again, that he is the stupidest of Senators.