Justice Antonin Scalia Dead at 79

You'll have heard this by now.

The big issues - President Obama will nominate a replacement. The GOP Senate will not vote or confirm the nominee. What will this mean?


[Update TL below]}

Thanks, BTD for posting this. I hadn't seen the news when I posted the open thread. I just wrote a post on it but in the meantime, you got this post up, so I just deleted mine. Here's what I said:

How absurd that conservatives are suggesting President Obama should forego nominating a replacement for Justice Anton Scalia and let the next president do the honors. Obama put the kabosh on such nonsense tonight. He will (and should) name Scalia's replacement.

How did Justice Scalia die? I'm not seeing a cause of death yet (I've only been online a few minutes, and would not have known Justice Scalia died but for the comments in our open thread.)

< Saturday Open Thread | Valentine's Day Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    My Scalia joke ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 07:29:45 AM EST
    that so far, no one has appreciated.

    Antonia Scalia is dead.  But the strict constructionists refute this, claiming it must be decided by the states.

    lol; spit it out in Daffy Duck's voice... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:56:11 PM EST
    strict constructionist

    on twitter: Scalia is dead: (none / 0) (#70)
    by Palli on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 08:46:50 AM EST
    A group of 20 women will decide if the body should have a full autopsy & a internal ultrasound after waiting 72 days.

    and more dangerous to the driver (none / 0) (#71)
    by Palli on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 08:47:18 AM EST
    Justice Anita Hill! (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Towanda on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 10:50:54 AM EST
    There is a petition on change.org.  Pop the popcorn.

    I suggested this to one of our grown daughters (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:20:35 PM EST
    yesterday, and she almost fell out of her chair laughing with delight.

    My god (none / 0) (#46)
    by smott on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:25:46 PM EST
    Would she want to even be within 50 feet of him ?

    I actually thought (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by smott on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:26:29 PM EST
    Bubba !
    Just to see heads explode...

    Prof. Charles Ogletree (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:30:55 PM EST
    of Harvard Law School predicts Obama will nominate a woman of color.

    Wishful thinking, maybe?


    And Tom Goldstein (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    of SCOTUSblog predicts Judge Paul Watford of the Ninth Circuit.

    The best candidate politically would probably be Hispanic.  Hispanic voters both (a) are more politically independent than black voters and therefore more in play in the election, and (b) historically vote in low numbers.  In that sense, the ideal nominee from the administration's perspective in these circumstances is already on the Supreme Court:  Sonia Sotomayor, the Court's first Latina.

    On the other hand, I think the President personally will be very tempted to appoint a black Justice to the Court, rather than a second Hispanic.  His historical legacy rests materially on advancing black participation and success in American politics.  The role Thurgood Marshall previously played in that effort is inescapable.  The President likely sees value in providing a counterpoint to the Court's only black Justice, the very conservative Clarence Thomas.

    For those reasons, I think the President will pick a black nominee.  I've long said that the most likely candidate for the next Democratic appointment was California Attorney General Kamala Harris.  She is fifty-one.  A female nominee has significant advantages as well.  That is particularly true for the candidacy of the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.  For reasons I've discussed elsewhere, I think her nomination is difficult to oppose ideologically, given her history as a prosecutor.

    If Harris wanted the job, I think it would be hers.  But I don't think she does.  Harris is the prohibitive favorite to win Barbara Boxer's Senate seat in the 2016 election.  After that, she is well positioned potentially to be president herself.  If nominated, she would have to abandon her Senate candidacy and likely all of her political prospects.  So I think she would decline.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who is fifty-six, is a serious possibility.  But she would likely have to recuse from her job, leaving that position open indefinitely.  I also think that the Republicans would have an argument that the attorney general's position shouldn't be left open.

    No other black woman immediately comes to mind as a nominee, though I haven't researched the question in some time.  But there is an obvious black male:  Paul Watford, an Obama appointee to the Ninth Circuit.  Watford is in his late forties.  He is well respected and reasonably well known in Democratic legal circles.

    Watford was confirmed by the Senate in 2012 by a vote of sixty-one to thirty-four, which is a filibuster-proof majority.  Nine Republicans voted in favor of his nomination.  That gives the Administration considerable ammunition to argue publicly that Republicans, by refusing to process the nomination, are blocking someone who is recognized to be qualified.

    Logistically, the fact that Watford was vetted so recently also makes it practical for the president to nominate him in relatively short order.  There is some imperative to move quickly, because each passing week strengthens the intuitive appeal of the Republican argument that it is too close to the election to confirm the nominee.  Conversely, a nomination that is announced quickly allows Democrats to press the bumper sticker point that Republicans would leave the Supreme Court unable to resolve many close cases for essentially "a year."

    McConnell better make sure to not let ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 11:23:48 AM EST
    ... the Senate go in recess this year. The GOP reaction to a recess appointment might be the most entertaining spectacle to watch ever.

    A guy can dream.

    Notorious RBG's statement.... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 02:04:09 PM EST
    Thanks--saw this and other articles (none / 0) (#64)
    by NJDem on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 08:25:24 PM EST
    places a whole different spin on things.  Maybe because like it or not he was on the Court my entire adult life, just weird to imagine him not being there (although it's better for us...)

    VC Link (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 12:55:34 AM EST
    What an odd parallel universe you inhabit (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 16, 2016 at 09:05:46 AM EST

    This Warren story seemingly sticks in your craw forever, but when your candidate of choice calls Dumbya a liar and his and your WMD theories a monumental pile of bullcrap, it doesn't even register on your radar..

    "Why We Like Trump" just called you a liar. Maybe you should work on assimilating that bit of harsh reality.

    Yes (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:10:51 PM EST
    The president Will nominate a replacement.   IMO it means the whole shebang just got thrown into a cocked hat.

    Pass the popcorn.

    Yes - the year just got even crazier, (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:18:31 PM EST
    just when I didn't think it was possible.

    At this point I would say (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:27:25 PM EST
    Don't ever EVER say that.

    oh yeah this (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 10:06:20 PM EST
    will be a fight.  and conservatives were ghoulishly thinking it would be rgb.

    RBG (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 10:06:52 PM EST
    I think it means (none / 0) (#2)
    by smott on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:11:38 PM EST
    A 4-4 court for quite some time.
    Maybe til either Repubs are in the WH or Dems own the Senate?

    They'll vote after the election (none / 0) (#5)
    by Trickster on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:30:41 PM EST
    If a Republican wins - which, really, seems unlikely - they'll reject the nominee.  

    If a Democrat wins, probably they'll confirm him/her out of fear of getting a more liberal nominee on the other side.  GOP Senate gains might make them a little more inclined to hang tough and block the nominee.  

    Question is: will Obama throw down the gauntlet and nominate a genuine liberal?  Or will we see another modlib?  That, of course, would also affect the calculus.


    They can still make decisions I believe (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:06:47 PM EST
    As long as there is a quorum. Does Roberts break a tie?

    No, the Chief gets one vote like any other (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:17:19 PM EST
    Justice on cases. 4-4 counts his vote. A tie vote affirms the decision of the court from which the case was appealed to the Supremes, but it does not make that lower court decision a binding national precedent the way a Supreme Court decision would be. This is going to be important in a number of dangerous cases this year, such as the case that threatened to invalidate affirmative action in admissions to state universities, which might well have come out badly by a 5-4 vote. It won't affect that many cases, though, since not that many Supreme Court decisions are really decided by a 5-4 vote.

    Oops, I was wrong about the affirmative action (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:25:13 PM EST
    case (Fisher). Because of prior participation in the litigation, Justice Kagan is recused from that case. So it was already an 8-member Court. With Scalia gone, the decision now might be 4-3 to disallow affirmative action in public education. (My link is to the SCOTUSBlog item discussing this year's close cases in light of justice Scalia's death.

    Thanks for that (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:28:24 PM EST
    Peter, can you please,address (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:22:30 PM EST
    What happens to those cases currently in the pipeline?  I know a case isn't considered decided until it's announced, so if the Court had opinions they were going to to release in the next few weeks or so, will we still see decisions with 9 votes?

    Pretty sure that a Justice's vote is not final (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:30:36 PM EST
    until the decision is announced. So even if a Justice reads the briefs, hears argument, and votes in conference for a certain outcome, and even if s/he approves a draft opinion, that Justice's vote is disallowed if s/he dies before the opinion is filed and publicly announced. This is a different rule from what applies in lower federal courts, by the way. And let me say I am not 100% sure about this. Was asking myself the same question earlier. Have not tried to research it to confirm.

    From your link (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:33:31 PM EST
    "The passing of Justice Scalia of course affects the cases now before the Court.  Votes that the Justice cast in cases that have not been publicly decided are void."

    Well, if that's what Tom Goldstein says (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:40:58 PM EST
    then that's correct. I should have read more closely. Obviously missed an important sentence!

    All good (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:43:08 PM EST
    I didn't even think to go to SCOTUSblog in the first place!

    And, as a result, one can only say (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 10:44:04 PM EST
    that any planned obstructionism to delay and/or prevent the filling of this position would work a substantial injustice on the Courts and the American people in undermining the full operation of the judicial process contemplated in the Constitution.  Such an obstruction may well be said to be contrary to the Congressional responsibility to "Advise & Consent."

    Politically: While delays in certain areas can be effective, it is quite likely here that such rabid obstructionism <as initially announced by Sen. McConnell> will be viewed as a petulant, imprudent, irresponsible act that harms the judicial system of law & order in our land.  IMO, should the Repubs really push through with the tantrum, the Democrats will have markedly increased the odds of retaking the Senate.

    Most importantly: The sudden demise of the Justice--a significant event in its own right--serves as a thunderous reminder about how rapidly, how abruptly the parameters of American public and political life can shift.  (In fact, the only other comparable change catalyst is a foreign policy crisis ... a situation not unheard of in our country from time to time.)

    An aside: In one of the articles on the circumstance of yesterday, I read that the late Justice was at the Texas resort to address or participate in an event? If so, has anyone heard more specifics as to the group, the agenda, the nature of the participants??? And ... while I appreciate that the rather remote resort might not have had available or fairly accessible medical personnel...it is, nonetheless, surprising that such an expensive get-away (with such moneyed clientele) did not have access to one who could make a death declaration following an onsite visit rather than via phone, as indicated in some stories.  The procedural matters after & surrounding the death of Justice Scalia seem rather lucy-goosey.


    More (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 06:46:34 AM EST

    The court is not yet halfway through the 80 or 90 cases it deals with each term, but many of the most contentious have already been heard. Normally, justices meet the week a case is argued, and vote on the outcome. So they have most likely already voted on pending cases on apportionment and affirmative action, for example. But weeks or months can go by while the justice assigned the opinion circulates drafts. Any justice can change his or her vote at any point during that process, and often does. It's all very hush-hush, so there is no way to tell how far along the cases Scalia heard are in the pipeline.

    There is no constitutional provision, no case law and no official policy about what the court should do with cases that have been argued and voted on when a justice dies. If the vote in a case that hasn't yet been handed down was 5 to 4, as one might expect with these controversial rulings, can Scalia cast the deciding vote from beyond the grave to change the way America chooses every legislature in the land or integrates its public universities? A court that cares about its image and constitutional role will not rule in the name of a majority that counts on a dead justice, especially on the core issues of American social life. Such posthumous decisions are so unprecedented they would make Bush v. Gore look like responsible judicial behavior. Chief Justice John Roberts, who in matters entirely internal to the court like this wields some extra power, is known for his concern for institutional prestige, and he would be right to weigh in against issuing opinions based on what Scalia did in past conferences.

    So in the cases that Scalia was already a part of, what's most likely is that the court will do what it has done in the rare, similar circumstances in the past, when important cases like abortion were argued and the personnel on the court changed or where a predictable swing justice was out sick: They will order the cases argued again and voted on again.

    Of course, the justices will also continue to hear future arguments, but upcoming closely decided cases -- such as the abortion case out of Texas also widely predicted to lead to a 5 to 4 vote -- will now be tied, 4 to 4. In this term's contentious, controversial docket, split decisions are inevitable. The court can reargue the pending cases and hear the upcoming ones, but they will be too divided to decide anything truly sweeping. Unresolved cases will stack up.


    But the GOP might soon reconsider if they see the implications of refusing to allow Obama to replace Scalia: A divided court leaves lower court rulings in place. And the lower courts are blue. Nine of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals have a majority of Democratic appointees. That means liberal rulings conservatives were hoping the Supreme Court would overturn remain law.


    Two-thirds of the people in the country live in blue-court America.

    To clarify your source's reference (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    to a case being "reargued":  The Court has the option to have the lawyers come back and argue a case again (with or without new briefs) to the newly constituted bench, which may mean the 8 (or 7, if one is recused) remaining Justices, or it could mean 9 Justices (or 8, if one is recused) if a replacement is confirmed. An option they have, although not at all the most likely to be chosen. Not unless Ch.J. Roberts believes reargument will break a 4-4 deadlock in a particularly important case, I would guess.

    If its 4-4 (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:12:46 PM EST
    It's null.  The lower court decision stands.

    I read that if there is a tie (none / 0) (#13)
    by Towanda on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:13:18 PM EST
    the decision reverts to the lower court's ruling.

    I hope that is not necessarily so, since I have a few cases in mind that are coming to the court. . . .


    Yes, I know there are some important ones (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:16:20 PM EST

    Otoh (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:18:49 PM EST
    It might be good news with abortion, contraception and affirmative action on the docket.

    Don't know what the lower court rulings were on those but they can always be brought again when the odds are better.


    with abortion (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 10:10:46 PM EST
    kennedy was the swing vote.  so now 5-3 in favor of abortion rights, i believe.

    Reports are (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:31:09 PM EST
    He died of "natural causes".

    He apparently did not feel well went he went to bed last night, and he did not wake up.

    Sounds exactly like what happened to my father.  I mean, Scalia was 79 - it's not a complete surprise.

    I hope I go like that (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 08:57:27 PM EST
    RIP. Nino. And of course it is a shock to his family going so fast.  Today a very good friend of mine is moving her terminally ill father into her home for hospice care, where his whole family can be with him. I don't know which would be harder. My father went suddenly at 82, and I think that was easier, even though a shock.

    I have considerable experience (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:01:57 PM EST
    With dying slowly.   Way to much actually.

    I want to drop dead watching Game of Thrones between mouthfuls of popcorn.


    You are (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:09:08 PM EST
    too funny.

    But not tonight, I might add (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:15:11 PM EST
    I have to know how this election turns out. Plus, it's the Cubs' year.

    There's a handful of those in my expanded... (none / 0) (#40)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 11:20:39 AM EST
    ... circle of family and friends -- going to bed not feeling right and then not waking up the next day.

    Scalia impersonator makes news (none / 0) (#9)
    by Towanda on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:01:57 PM EST
    when with a tweet, by mistake, by Ron Johnson.

    Seems karmic, since Johnson impersonates a Senator.

    So.... is it possible (none / 0) (#21)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:30:08 PM EST
    that we can have an 8 person Supreme Court for the next 9 years supposing that a Democrat wins the pres election?

    Or maybe a seven... (none / 0) (#23)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:31:40 PM EST
    or six person court if any more justiced pass away.

    Yes (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 09:47:48 PM EST
    a quorum of 6 is needed to hear a case.

    The question of how long it took (none / 0) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Sat Feb 13, 2016 at 11:04:47 PM EST
    to take votes on nominees or have the name withdrawn

    is answered here

    Sri Srinivasan (none / 0) (#32)
    by Green26 on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:41:21 AM EST
    2d Circuit Judge. Confirmed in 2013 by 97-0 vote. Played basketball at Kansas with Danny Manning.

    Judge Srinivasan does not sit on (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:16:26 PM EST
    the Second Circuit. He is a judge of the D.C. Circuit. Not that that matters much, but just for accuracy's sake.

    BTD is really hyping him on twitter. (none / 0) (#44)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:18:10 PM EST
    What are the risks of him being a Bizarro-world David Souter? I don't want to appoint a conservative just for the sake of having someone appointed. I'd rather have a tie for a year and let Hill/Bern make a home-run appointment.

    I read the tweets (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Towanda on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:39:34 PM EST
    as not hyping him but saying that it could be him.

    And I read BTD as hyping Karlan.


    He's very pro corporate (none / 0) (#48)
    by smott on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:29:14 PM EST
     I think there are better choices, unless BTD knows something we don't .....

    Cibolo Creek Ranch... (none / 0) (#33)
    by desertswine on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 01:25:35 AM EST
    Just curious.  A luxury resort type place.  Hunting, horseback riding, massages, etc.

    "Bird hunts Cibolo" (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 12:59:09 PM EST
    is the name of several room packages.  

    There's something sicko about traveling long distances to kill something that can't threaten you and you don't need.  That tells me more about the man than any of his legal opinions, the reasoning in which I lack the training or context to understand.  

    Power tripping?

    The Cibolo brochure-ware dangles in front of prospective visitors a long list of wildlife.  What they don't mention are rattlesnakes.  30,000 acres of rattlesnake-free Texas is pretty hard to imagine.


    One of his frequent hunting buddies (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 02:27:04 PM EST
    Is Justice Kagan.

    Backstory on Cibolo (none / 0) (#82)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 02:17:14 PM EST
    NYTimes has provided details (none / 0) (#87)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 03:29:01 PM EST
    on Scalia's death at Cibolo Ranch. John Poindexter, millionaire owner of the Ranch, said Justice Scalia arrived Friday (Feb 12) and after a cocktail and dinner party, retired to the presidential suite. In the morning, Saturday, when Scalia did not appear for breakfast, Poindexter knocked on his door, but no response.

      Just after 11 am, Poindexter and a friend of Scalia's returned, tried the door again, and then entered. It took no medical training, said Poindexter, to recognize that Scalia was dead.

      Poindexter called a hospital and a hospital official assessed that it would be impossible to resuscitate Scalia, and ranch officials then called the US Marshall's Office.

    Judge Beebe, a justice of the peace, and County Judge Cinderela Guevera, had pronounced Scalia dead by telephone and "ruled it natural causes based on credible information."  A priest was called to administer last rites of the Catholic Church.  Around midnight on Sunday, Feb 14, a hearse left the ranch for the Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso, about 200 miles away.


    Scalia on the SCOTUS (none / 0) (#34)
    by gaf on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 02:05:59 AM EST
    It would be great for us non-lawyers if Jeralyn or BTD could write a diary on their perspective of Scalia's time on the SCOTUS. The good, the bad, the ugly.    

    The Donald Trump (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 08:53:51 AM EST
    of the Supreme Court.

    Peter? (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 01:25:56 PM EST
    Thanks for asking, but (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 01:43:31 PM EST
    way too much to take on. A complex and multi-faceted topic.

    He was brilliant. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 06:04:49 PM EST
    Some may have loathed some of what he said but he certainly had a way of saying it.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg's statement: "We are different, we are one," different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve"

    "Call us the odd couple," Scalia said last year at a George Washington University event alongside Ginsburg. "She likes opera, and she's a very nice person. What's not to like?" he asked. "Except her views on the law."

    Yes, and some (none / 0) (#63)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 06:46:59 PM EST
    did loath much of what he said and the way he said it.   Justice Ginsburg does have a moving tribute to a colleague and friend. The opera language she cites indicates the shared commitment to the constitution and institution.  But, the commitment sure took different forms.   I do concur that Scalia's writes "pungent opinions," if defined as having an odor. And, that he was smart, too part it was funneled in such a damaging manner to so many.

    In his later years, (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 10:59:29 PM EST
    the late Justice's writings & speeches seemed to evidence more than an argument of ideas.  One doesn't have to search far to see growingly acerbic remarks aimed directly at the person. The use of sarcastic ridicule and misplaced personal derision often resembled unvarnished, nasty ad hominem attacks ... a "technique" far different than reputed brilliant legal commentary.

    You are describing half the posts on Talkleft (none / 0) (#83)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 02:21:50 PM EST
    How many of Scalia's opinions have you actually read?

    A number; tho, I don't have a count (none / 0) (#101)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 08:50:36 PM EST
    Given that my career essentially started as a staff attorney with a U.S. Court of Appeals, I became accustomed to reading--routinely--federal opinions at the Appellate and Supreme Court level.  At the time, I was expected to extrapolate from the readings, etc., sufficient background for citing in memos to the Court and opinions as directed.  Over the years, I have not lost the habit of reading opinions for content and for style.  Justices have their style (just as we all do); and, imo from reading cases and excerpts of Scalia's writings, I believe that his later writings--as well as his later oral commentary--show a marked tendency toward belittling, even ridiculing, the opposition.

    Understand that my conclusion as to style represents only my consideration.  The late Justice has not been laid to rest at this date ... so, further I sayeth not.


    I believe that the period (none / 0) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 12:44:02 AM EST
     immediately following one's passing  should not be used to dwell on the deleterious acts perpetuated by the deceased during his/her lifetime. On the other hand going out of one's way to find positive things to say about someone who has been instrumental in causing such profound pain and suffering for millions of powerless, innocent people would be, in my opinion, a disengenuous attempt at a politically correct "balance," not to mention a betrayel of all those whose lives were irrevocably damaged by his actions.

    I don't find anything noble in our history of stretching the misapplied term, "two sides to every story," in cases where there's truly only, "one side."

    I recently heard a statement that pretty well expresses my feelings on this subject:

    "For his family, I extend my sympathies,
    For the country, I share its relief."


    Scalia (none / 0) (#38)
    by mogal on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 09:36:19 AM EST
    It would be wise for prominate democratic office holders to stay out of Texas, in my opinion.

    booman makes an interesting case to... (none / 0) (#53)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 12:56:11 PM EST
    ... appoint a sitting Senator who would appeal to the Senate's collegiality, namely Amy Klobuchar.

    As if there is a shred of (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by caseyOR on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 06:21:21 PM EST
    collegiality left in the Senate. That is magical thinking. Nominating a sitting senator will not make them more amenable to confirming Obama's choice.

    Why? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 05:09:22 PM EST
    So we can put yet another Democratic seat up for grabs in a very purple Minnesota? Unless there's a compelling reason for nominating Sen. Klobuchar to the High Court, such as a towering legal intellect, I'd rather prefer that she stay just where she is.

    For argument's sake... (none / 0) (#59)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 05:26:04 PM EST
    her impact would be greater on the Court and MN being a blue state would likely result in that seat remaining blue. The Dem governor might even be able to appoint someone for the remainder of her term.

    Antonin Scalia: (none / 0) (#54)
    by magster on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    Well, it looks like the (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 14, 2016 at 06:30:21 PM EST
    Repubs can look to Senator Schumer for for guidance on what to do.

    Or they could look to St. Ronnie (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 02:04:15 PM EST
    Ronald Reagan's Airtight Case For Senate Approval Of Scalia's Replacement

    Well, it does appear that we have our (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 03:05:08 PM EST
    examples of partisanship.

    Unfortunately Reagan didn't have Hiawatha Warren opining. You know, representing the views of our poor downtrodden Native Americans.



    Hiawatha Warren? (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 03:41:48 PM EST
    You are really dispicable. I did read in a book this weekend though that the dogged Internet troll is quite often a psychopathic personality :)

    if it makes you feel better (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by CST on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 03:51:49 PM EST
    Her senate seat is probably safe as long as she still wants it, and the above commenter really has no say in the process.

    At least, that makes me feel better.


    Oh, no doubt (none / 0) (#92)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 05:02:23 PM EST
    And she should be a lock for a VP slot with Bernie, of she wants it.

    Uh, she earned that name by (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 05:01:13 PM EST
    flying under what is known as false colors/

    Other than that bit of nastiness, how ya been MT?
    Ready for us to carpet bomb ISIS??


    It's not false colors (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 07:28:15 PM EST
    It's just not. She lost family connections over a Native American marriage that resulted in her birth Jim. It was a family shunning fight. It doesn't matter if you like it or not, she was emotionally connected to her Native American heritage through that and from what I can tell of her history, she sought some healing from that.

    I find your assault of her distasteful, maybe even a little psychopathic.


    Warren: (none / 0) (#86)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 03:20:28 PM EST
    Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets".[18] According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate.[29]

    <snark> Geesh, what a terrible person.  </snark>


    Had a thought last night (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 07:32:54 AM EST
    about what might be the perfect candidate to replace Scalia.

    Particularly if the republicans stick the nonsense about letting the next president place the nomination before the senate.

    Young brilliant African American constitutional law scholar.

     Former president Barack Hussein Obama.

    Gotta admit, all the right heads would explode.

    What about the soon to be former first lady? (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Feb 16, 2016 at 09:52:48 AM EST
    If you really want to see heads explode.

    There are federal laws regarding nepotism. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 18, 2016 at 05:31:34 PM EST
    Per 5 U.S.C. 3110, federal officials are expressly prohibited from hiring / appointing / nominating a close family member, regardless of position or federal office. And for that law, you can thank President John F. Kennedy's nomination of brother Bobby as his U.S. Attorney General back in Jan. 1961.

    Regardless of the fact that RFK turned out to be a pretty good AG, the concept of nepotism is actually the very antithesis of the democratic ideal. It's a corrosive and abusive practice that can't help but foster public resentment and undermine confidence in the system, if it's allowed to occur and continue. (And yes, it does occur more often than one might think, because there are still some states and cities which have no laws in place to prevent it.)

    The sight of an official using his or her office to facilitate the placement of relatives on the public payroll stands as Exhibit A to cynics and critics alike, who can then argue with no small amount of justification that with due regard to equal opportunities for government employment, some people are clearly considered to be more equal than others.



    Jesus H. Christ. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Feb 19, 2016 at 02:10:35 PM EST
    Always got to be the turd in the punchbowl.  Its pretty damn clear that we are talking about the next President making the appointment - if you would have taken the time to follow the thread.  

    I think Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 09:24:43 AM EST
    Would be even better.

    he's too old (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by CST on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 10:35:29 AM EST
    You want someone who is going to be around for an extended period of time.

    I was kidding (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 11:08:44 AM EST
    But it would make conservative heads explode.

    someone already asked Hillary (none / 0) (#74)
    by CST on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 10:33:48 AM EST
    And she said she thought it was a great idea.

    Then someone asked Obama and he said - thanks, but no thanks.


    Of course he says that now (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 11:42:28 AM EST
    Might have a different answer in Jan 2017.

    But I was half joking,


    EM Wheeler on DC House & Senate (none / 0) (#72)
    by Palli on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 08:51:30 AM EST

    EM Wheeler on DC House & Senate

    Scalia's (none / 0) (#81)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 02:16:08 PM EST
    I'm almost afraid to look. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 18, 2016 at 07:44:22 PM EST
    Well, it looks like (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 05:16:56 PM EST
    both sides have their "example."

    The Demos have Reagan, probably the only time in history where anyone here has agreed with him.

    And the Repubs have Chuck Shumer, aka as Rubio's little immigrant without papers helper. Or at least that's what Cruz claims. Or was it Trump claiming? I swear (oops! can't do that) you can't tell the claimers without a score card.

    But seriously. Outside of all the fun of arguing who Obama should nominate...and you know you'll support him/her no matter who...plus the Repub bashing... why not just let the game play out??

    No matter who Obama selects the Repubs will do everything possible to block it. I mean there is no Repub alive, who expects to ever win another election, that will vote to confirm.

    And it is a win win for the Demos. Nothing could be better for them....

    Maybe we do need an autopsy on Scalia... Where's NCIS when we need'em??  

    I agree with you here jim... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 06:47:26 PM EST
    But seriously. Outside of all the fun of arguing who Obama should nominate...and you know you'll support him/her no matter who...plus the Repub bashing... why not just let the game play out??

    No matter who Obama selects the Repubs will do everything possible to block it. I mean there is no Repub alive, who expects to ever win another election, that will vote to confirm.

    And it is a win win for the Demos. Nothing could be better for them....

    As I alluded to before, if the Dems can't take a win out of losing Scalia from the SCOTUS, there really is no hope for them as a party.


    You know, after watching both Demos and Repubs (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2016 at 07:57:12 PM EST
    think they can lie,distort and in general behave like crooks and thieves.....in this age of social media...I have doubts that either can survive.

    When it comes to judicial selection, ... (none / 0) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 18, 2016 at 07:35:52 PM EST
    ... and maybe I'm biased, but I think my state does it right.

    Per Article VI, Sec. 4 of the Hawaii State Constitution, we have a State Judicial Selection Commission (JSC), which is composed of nine members who served staggered six-year terms, and of whom no more than four may be attorneys. The governor, House speaker and Senate president each appoint two members apiece to the JSC, the Hawaii Bar Association appoints two, and the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court appoints one. None of these five parties can block another's nominee to the JSC.

    Again per our state constitution, district court judges serve six-year terms, and circuit court judges serve ten-year-terms, and members of the State Appellate Court and Hawaii Supreme Court serve ten-year terms. All judges, regardless of position and length of time left on a term, face a mandatory retirement age of 70. (A proposed constitutional amendment which would have raised that retirement age to 80 was soundly rejected by voters in November 2014, 73-27%.)

    When the expiration of a given judicial term is pending, the incumbent judge can file with JCS a "Notice of Petition for Retention," which the  JCS both posts online and publishes in all newspapers of general circulation, and in which the JCS invites all interested persons to submit written comments or fill out an evaluation form on whether that particular judge should be retained in office for a new term. (All written comments and evaluation forms regarding said judges are strictly confidential and not available for public review.)

    Should the JSC decline a judge's bid for retention, or that judge declines the opportunity to serve another term, or a judge resigns or dies in office, a "Notice of (Anticipated) Judicial Vacancy" is posted online and published in all newspapers of general circulation, in which all interested and qualified individuals are solicited for applications for the position. (Again, all applications are strictly confidential and not available for public review.)

    Once the six-week application period has closed, JSC members first review and evaluate all applications for the vacancy in executive session, and then vote by secret ballot to select no more than five qualified individuals from the pool of applicants, whose names and applications are then forwarded to the governor for his or her consideration. The governor cannot nominate someone to the judiciary whose name does not appear on this list, but does have the option to reject the list in full once, and request that the JSC forward a new list of prospective nominees.  

    Once the governor has nominated a candidate from this list for the bench, that candidate's name is then forwarded to the Hawaii State Senate to advise and consent, and senators then have 30 days to consider the nominee, schedule a public hearing and vote to confirm.

    At this point, it's important to note that a judicial candidate cannot be rejected simply by the State Senate's failure or disinclination to act upon his or her nomination within that requisite 30-day period. The burden is on the senators to expressly decline to confirm by their votes, if their desire is to block the nomination. If the Senate either fails or declines to act upon a nomination within that 30-day period, said nominee is then considered confirmed and accordingly, can be sworn into office and take his or her place on the bench.

    Usually, the governor will withdraw a candidate's name from further consideration if members of the Senate Judiciary Committee recommend that he or she not be confirmed. However, the governor does have the option to request a floor vote by the Committee of the Whole, that is, all 25 members of the Senate.

    (In all my years out here, I've seen that happen only twice, first in 1994 and then again in 2010, both times concerning nominees to the Hawaii Supreme Court. And both times, the Senate rejected that nominee on the floor.)

    While no such system is entirely foolproof, obviously, ours is designed to facilitate the entire judicial selection process so that from beginning to end, it is completed in a timely manner. The hard deadlines tend to preclude opportunities for partisans to play politics with nominations and potentially hold them hostage, something which sometimes plagues other states.

    And finally, the JSC ensures that members of our state judiciary are generally of the highest caliber, can operate independently of the two other branches of government, and are not necessarily the subjects of political patronage by either governor or state legislature, or the result of any quid pro quo deals between those two.

    In that regard, the State Judicial Selection Commission has served the people of Hawaii very well.



    Question about Cruz's Legibility (none / 0) (#104)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 at 09:42:32 AM EST
    What happens if this goes to the SCOTUS and it's a split decision ?

    Then Cruz and his family are ... (none / 0) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 18, 2016 at 07:43:19 PM EST
    ... immediately detained and subject to deportation back to Canada. Yeah, okay, I know, that ain't never gonna happen -- but surely, a boy can dream, can't he?