Obama's Supreme Court Pick

I read the other contenders withdrew from the race.

I couldn't disagree more with Obama's announcement that he's tapped Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.

We don't need another Alito on the Court. It's got enough conservative law and order type former prosecutors.

Republicans will love this choice. It seems to me Obama just wants to appease them and get them to back off their position that the next president should get to choose Scalia's replacement.

So disappointed.

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    My best guess (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Belswyn on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 03:20:16 AM EST
    is that he concluded that Garland won't be confirmed and decided to put maximal political pressure on Republican Senators up for re-election.

    That or he's gone back to the kumbaya Obama of 2008 where he wants everyone to work together and get along.

    Yeah, I'm sure Garland will appreciate... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:48:18 AM EST
    ...being some sort of eleventh dimensional chess piece destined to fail. Stop making excuses for Obama, he is just not, at all, a politically imaginative cat. As in he has ZERO.

    Pretty Sure... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:26:05 AM EST
    ... whomever he nominated understood that this is going to be a nightmare and the odds of them getting on the court are slim to none.

    The good news, this could turn the Senate back over to D's.  R's up for re-election in states that lean left:

    • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
    • Rob Portman (R-OH)
    • Pat Toomey (R-PA)
    • Ron Johnson (R-WI) up against Feingold
    • Mark Kirk (R-IL)

    They only need 4 seats if HRC wins, 5 if she does not.  IMO getting Feingold back, alone, would be worth the circus as he was/is one of the best.
    What all of these vulnerable senators have in common is that their success depends on winning a fair share of relatively moderate voters who traditionally vote Democratic in presidential elections. All of the Republicans won in no small part by faring better than Republican presidential candidates usually do in socially moderate areas, like the suburbs around Philadelphia, Columbus and Chicago. Rob Portman, the Ohio senator up for re-election, won Columbus's Franklin County by three percentage points, a county Mr. Obama would carry by 23 percentage points in 2012.


    Not sure who would qualify for the SCOTUS that would give Obama imagination, but this is certainly a showdown with little risk to the the party and quite a bit of upside.

    I also suspect if HRC wins and they do not confirm, she has good cause to nominate a very liberal candidate, and will.


    I guess ones position on this (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:30:40 AM EST
    depends on how they feel about the supreme court vs. the senate/presidency.

    He's older, he's moderate, and everyone else withdrew (for good reasons).  He doesn't strike me as another Alito.  Certainly not another Scalia.

    Not a ton of downside, and the upside is winning the senate because the republicans are fools.

    If you don't think he's going to be confirmed - Garland is the perfect pick.

    If you think he will be - he's okay, not great, not terrible, we can live with it.

    I personally fall into that first group.


    Yeah... (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:55:55 AM EST
    ... I don't in anyway think he will get a hearing, much less a vote, and certainly not a confirmation.  McConnell response and was pretty firm & quick, I don't see how they walk all the talk back without looking like complete hacks.

    For the reasons that you stated & more (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:21:21 PM EST
    I consider the nomination to be quite brilliant.  Frankly, Garland is light years to the better than Scalia was and Alito is. When the nomination is as important as this one is in terms of generational change of direction, the President's strategy in naming a fairly moderate, qualified, respected jurist is unassailable in strategy (occupying the position of reason in resisting the all too obvious ideological split) and wisely circumspect (figuring that a sizeable number of opinions would be categorized as liberal or moderate.)

    For me, some appealing parts of the intro yesterday: (1) Garland clerked for two powerful, reasonable judges ... the 2nd Circuit's Judge Friendly & the SCt's solidly liberal Justice Brennan. (2) As a young lawyer, Garland opted to move from the fairly lucrative partnership he attained early on and dedicate himself to the public service vis-à-vis government DOJ.  (3) He and the President spoke of the law beyond the constrained letter in referring to the need to consider the real effect on real human beings ... an indicator, imo, of the application of the fullness of the law.  (Plus: As my mentor US Circuit Judge once advised me ... empathy & understanding of real effects are to be grasped, not feared.)

    Recognizing the high-level theatre being played out in this nomination, my not so secret hope is that Judge Garland could break the fruitless divide in part by shifting the long static framework for decision.


    He likes comic books and Harry Potter... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by magster on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:44:36 PM EST
    And, one of the best qualities (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 10:22:35 AM EST
    ...A sense of humor. It helps.

    I'm so distracted, up to my ears (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 04:25:15 PM EST
    I have no time, zero time to investigate and explore this. But your take and temperature on such issues usually equal mine, so imma gonna keep on keepin on with things. It's all good. If it goes South hopefully you'll let me know :)

    Why will Repubicans (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:33:40 AM EST
    not vote for a candidate who won't confirm a Democrat??

    And given the huge number of new voters/Reagan Democrats that Trump is pulling, why do you think they will split their vote and not vote for the other Repubs??


    Going (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:00:52 AM EST
    against someone who is a centrist as Garland is reputed to be would definitely show to everyone how radical the GOP has become.

    You're right that voting against Garland would probably not hurt these people with the GOP base but the GOP base isn't enough to win. Their strategy of not voting for him turns off 60% of the voters out there.


    It's like (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:10:59 AM EST
    He didn't even bother to look at the states in question.  So I'll put it here again:

    NH, OH, PA, WI, IL

    All states which hate Obama and Democrats so much that they voted for him twice.

    Also, for all that Trump is supposedly winning over blue-collar democrats, he's performing worse in the midwest than in other parts of the country.  If I were a Trump supporter I'd be very worried about the fact that he lost Ohio and Hillary won.

    Honestly I think a lot of it comes down to temperament.  People on the east coast are much more forgiving of @ssholes/blowhards/etc...  Hell, we even like/respect "telling it like it is", in a way.  In the midwest - not so much really.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 11:06:37 AM EST
    and those are just the blue states. I wonder how damaging this is going to be to the very purple states.

    Garland (none / 0) (#41)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:07:53 PM EST
    Would reverse Heller

    Some of those purple states just might not like that


    Yeah (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:13:09 PM EST
    reason to believe there is going to be a shoot out at the GOP convention this year. I hope nobody gets murdered or even maimed.

    I recall reading that, though he (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:14:06 PM EST
    was not on the three judge panel, Judge Garland requested an en banc hrg. on a case challenging the constitutionality of restrictions re firearms in D. C. Then he voted to void those restrictions.

    It's (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by FlJoe on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:14:14 AM EST
    not necessarily The Republicans but independents and other swing voters. if there is one thing Americans agree on is their disapproval of Congress(closing in on a whopping 90%).  This Supreme Court fight is going to shine a very bright light on the Republican's obstructionism.

    Any increased awareness of Republican Senators "refusing" to do their jobs will do nothing but hurt them.


    Confirmation ? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:28:26 AM EST
    who won't confirm a Democrat

    As far as I can tell, they don't want to meet with him, much less give him a hearing.

    Not confirming isn't the problem, not doing their jobs is.  If they don't go through the motions described in the Constitution it will cost them in the Senate with the added benefit of giving HRC one more nomination.

    Basically, republicans are betting that 1)no one cares, 2) Trump will win, and 3) he is going to nominate a conservative.  They call that the trifecta, a bet only fools and junkies make.


    Scott, would you please (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 06:57:48 PM EST
    show me where it is in the constitution that says the Senate has to hold hearings within X number of days??

    Again Jim... (none / 0) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 09:33:14 AM EST
    ... it is a question if doing it, delaying until it cannot be accomplished is not full filling one's obligations.  Elections are just under 8 months out.

    I hope more like you are leading the party down this path, getting the Senate back and giving HRC the nomination would really good.


    It is politics (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 02:22:27 PM EST
    And in the past both sides can show you how the other side used them.

    Remember Biden.

    So quit complaining. If you win the Senate and the Presidency you can do what you want.

    If you don't, the Repubs will.


    Sorry, Did You Mistake My Comment for... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 02:42:07 PM EST
    ... complaining ?  I hope no one evens opens a door to visit with Garland.  If republicans don't want do there job I am not going to complain.

    Republican Senators aren't doing their duty because... of a democrat, Biden at that.  Love it, more please.

    Next round of shovels is on me.


    because people in those states (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:46:13 AM EST
    aren't all Republicans and don't hate Democrats.  Trump (or any other GOP nominee) is very unlikely to win those states.

    Trump is bringing new people in, but he's also losing a lot of voters, and Hillary right now is beating him in almost all the national polls (I know, polls don't matter yet, but they're all we've got).

    Turnout may be up, but he still hasn't managed to pull in more than 50% of the Republican vote in the primary.


    In any other year (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 06:55:37 PM EST
    I might agree.

    But all those new voters are making this a whole new ball game. Will his new overcome the fabled losses? I don't know... But how far behind was Reagan around this time of the year in '80??

    As for the %...85% of the Repub voters didn't vote for Rubio...so I don't pay any attention to those numbers. The question is what will hey be now that it is a 3 way race.


    It's (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:11:02 PM EST
    not 1980 anymore and a lot of those voters are dead and there's completely different demographics at play now than there was then.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#45)
    by Suisser1 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:35:39 PM EST
    obviously something is going on, but it's not "Reagan Democrats". It's some whole new breed.

    I agree (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 02:47:23 PM EST
    that it ain't 1980. ;-)

    But the dynamics are  pulling new voters, many of them Demo and Ind, to Trump. Now, if, and this is what scares Hillary and her folks, Trump is able to reassure the pure as the driven snow conservatives that he is better than Hillary and if they don't vote for him they elect Hillary, which shouldn't be too hard for the PADS to understand, then Trump has a chance.

    It is obvious he has written off the young unmarried female and black votes. As well he should because there is nothing he can say or do that will pull them to him. But Carson may help with the blacks and Carly with the female. And yes, I know that Carly won't help with the committed Left winger but she will with your average young female voter who didn't graduate from an Ivy League school with a degree in Women's Studies.

    The thing is that both their positions have become worse under Obama.

    So it is much like the Evangelical's Repub votes. It is all about belief and social issues.

    But as the Repubs are now discovering ....see Cruz's results in SC, GA and TN, that the social issues run out when the economy gets bad enough and the promises haven't been kept anyway.

    In the meantime, Trump has stated that Planned Parenthood does good work. And he isn't afraid to attack Hillary with humor and insults. He ain't your average politician.



    Carson and Carly? (none / 0) (#71)
    by CST on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 02:57:55 PM EST
    How well did Palin help McCain with the female vote?  And McCain wasn't nearly as toxic as Trump.

    This is about as clueless as it gets.

    Humor and insults will turn just as many voters away as it will get him.

    There are a lot of married women who have been waiting a very long time for this moment.  Feel free to underestimate that, but IMO, it's not the "young unmarried women" that will be his biggest problem.  It's the ones who've been hearing the same "humor and insults" for decades and are sick of that $hit.


    Carly (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 03:03:53 PM EST
    is going to be no help with female voters. She actually hurts women with her leadership at HP. Carson is not going to help with African Americans. He's also written of Hispanic voters.

    But whatever. Donald doesn't use humor. He uses insults. However, I'm sure Hillary will have a good time poking fun at Donald.


    McConnell to Obama: (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 07:44:24 AM EST
    CNN: "Democrats started the SCOTUS wars"

    Washington (CNN)In an awkward meeting at the White House this month, Mitch McConnell had a message for his adversaries: Democrats had only themselves to blame for the escalating war over the Supreme Court.

    McConnell, according to two sources familiar with the session, singled out the four Democrats in the room: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama himself. He said all four of them did something he and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley did not do: Attempt to filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination in 2006, setting a new precedent in the Supreme Court wars.

    "You reap what you sow," McConnell said, according to the sources.

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:27:09 AM EST
    But I think republicans are going to do some reaping before this is over.

    I think this was a brilliant pick.   It was done to box the republicans in.  They look like idiots if they don't move on it and even better they look like idiots if they do.

    As far as his judicial temperament, IMO it's almost  irrelevant in this case.  He will not be confirmed.  And I assume Obsma knew that when he was picked.   The guy has been on the short list for a long time.   As far as him being used as a pawn, boo hoo.  

    This was smart on several levels.  The one big problem republicans have with the guy is his decision on Heller, the gun decision.  Just one more way to keep guns in the news.  

    Obama could have nominated someone like Corey Booker.  To gin up the vote this fall.   I was one who earlier thought that was the smart thing to do.  I see now I was wrong.  If he had done that they would have reacted pretty much exactly the same way but could have made it look legitimate by saying he was just making a political pick.   That's impossible now.  The only ones looking political now are the republicans.  Hatch said just a few days ago that if Obama wanted to make a serious pick he would pick Merrick Garland.  But of course he won't do that said Hatch.

    Guess what?

    And again the bottom line, the guy will not be confirmed.  Even if they manage to get him a hearing they wil NEVER confirm him.  Thr republicans look like fools either way.   Obama looks like the adult once again and Hillary gets to make a better pick later.

    To add to the cravenness, I think this is almost unbelievable, some republicans have said publicly that if Hillary is elected they would confirm him in the lame duck period.  Now, this is even making republicans roll their eyes.

    It was a brilliant pick.


    I think Garland could be confirmed. (none / 0) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 12:10:24 PM EST
    If Clinton or Sanders, whoever is the nominee, wins the general election the Republicans could confirm Garland during the lame duck session in Nov.-Dec. That would ensure that the incoming president does not get to appoint a liberal justice.

    I think Obama missed a great chance to both fire up the base for the general election, including any voters upset by the results of the primary, and move the Court to the left.

    I think this was a bad move on his part, trying one more time to appease the GOP or appeal to their nonexistent better angels.


    If the GOP moves to confirm Garland (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 12:46:09 PM EST
    in the lame-duck, after Hillary wins (thus actually denying the people the right to chose the person who will pick the next Justice -- a new low in shameless hypocrisy), Garland can always withdraw, if he would just as soon stay where he is. Or he can go on the Supreme Court for a few years and then retire.  Either way, Hillary gets to pick (and I do believe she will pick better, and have a Democratic Senate to back her up).

    Yes (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 12:47:49 PM EST
    I thought the same thing.

    Has there ever (none / 0) (#25)
    by Suisser1 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:07:53 PM EST
    been a placeholder Justice? I can't really imagine anyone, even an apparent mensch like Garland, willingly giving up a seat on the bench. Especially one who is a public sector guy. Where does he go from there? What's left, teaching?

    Judges retire from the bench, including (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 02:02:08 PM EST
    the Supreme Court, all the time. And not just because they realize they can no longer do the job. (Indeed, some just resign, even though they are not yet eligible to retire, such as to make more money, or because they are bored with the job, or other personal reasons.) Most notable recent example would be David Souter.

    I suppose I meant (none / 0) (#34)
    by Suisser1 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 02:29:27 PM EST
    within a 4 year , say 3 year timeframe. If I read your post correctly that he would willingly retire during HRC's first term. Souter was on the bench for what? 10 years? Just curious, not trying to be argumentative.

    Why put the onus on the GOP and/or Garland? (none / 0) (#89)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 06:53:33 PM EST
    President Obama could always withdraw the nomination.

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 12:46:46 PM EST
    I assume he can withdraw the nomination after a period of time.

    But the thing is the republican controlled senate is not, in an election year with the senate in play, ever going to confirm an Obama nominee.  They simply are not.  The base would lose its mind,  it would confirm everything Trump has been saying about them being "afraid to fight".  The collective head of the base would explode.  You think Donald and his mouth would be a problem fir senate republicans?  They would rise up in total revolt.  It won't happen.

    I don't think he s trying to appease the republicans at all.  I think he has punked them.  Again.


    Pretty Weak, McConnell (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 10:17:52 AM EST
    Was there a cloture vote to get action on Alito?  He got confirmed.  If  they want to do something analogous, maybe they should just try to filibuster Garland.  But no, they don't have ideological objections to bring up.

    It really is almost unbelievably stupid (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:14:38 PM EST
    There are so many ways they could have stopped this nomination without looking like total partisan fools.  But no, Scalia was not cold yet when Mitch was on the floor of the senate saying they would do something entirely unprecedented.  Simply refuse to even consider the candidate.

    Kindergarten... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:19:15 PM EST
    I Learned All I Need to Know About Congressional Behavior in Kindergarten

    If either Mrs. Clilnton (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 11:51:36 AM EST
    or Senator Sanders are elected president, I do not believe that either of them should ask President Obama (assuming Judge Garland is not yet confirmed) to withdraw Judge Garland's name or ask him to withdraw.

     And, particularly, at this point, to announce that such withdrawal would be asked, as Senator Sanders has done (Rachel Maddow show, March 17)disrespects, if not undermines the argument that the nomination is his Constitutional duty so long as he is in office.  The nomination should be honored and the confirmation process should be allowed to play out--hearings, committee action, and vote.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 01:18:57 PM EST
    that was a particularly tone deaf thing for Sanders to say. He should have said vote the nomination up or down and then move on.

    See NPR for Nina Totenberg's (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    interview of Pres. Obama. Quite interesting.

    The Nina Totenburg interview (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 05:56:02 PM EST
    Obama in a nutshell (3.50 / 4) (#7)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:46:32 AM EST
    A giant piece of nothing, as always. When it comes time to fight the good fight, he cowers and capitulates, believing it strategic brilliance, when really it is comprehensive imaginative failure. Nothing surprising, just depressing.

    Nothing surprsing about (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 11:16:43 PM EST
    your comment, unfortunately. I miss your more creative writing.

    lol. nicely done, Oculus. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 05:57:35 PM EST
    NYT Stolberg and Liptak: (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 12:37:14 AM EST

    It's interesting that Judge Merrick clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly and Justice William J. Brennan Jr.

    http://www.thinkittraining.in (none / 0) (#3)
    by riyaz on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 04:36:48 AM EST
    Thank you for posting the nice article and i got some valid information with this site.

    Software Testing Training

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 06:30:58 AM EST
    Jeralyn, Have You Dealt With Garland Personally? (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickyJim on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 08:39:22 AM EST
    Since he was involved with the McVeigh case you two might have met up and that may explain your reaction.

    I think what's missing here (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:36:17 PM EST
    Is that a) a very liberal justice was never going to be nominated in this climate, and b) since this is a pick to replace Scalia, if Garland gets confirmed, the needle has already moved substantially to the left on many issues. (Yes, I'm aware that in criminal law issues, he does not).

    Tom Goldstein, of SCOTUSblog gives a very thorough analysis of Judge Garland's jurisprudence history. (Try not to get confused.  He incorporates an article he wrote in 2010 when Garland was talked about to replace Stevens, so sometimes he compares those two men).

    Dahlia Lithwick (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:46:06 PM EST
    No mans conservative, said last night on Maddow that he was a moderate liberal.

    Howdy: Gut reaction from me (none / 0) (#46)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:38:47 PM EST
    I truly believe that Judge Garland's history and outlook could well lead to surprisingly positive results from the standpoint of most people here.  And, I'm not all that certain--even tho that is the CW of the day-- that he will be denied confirmation.  His persuasively direct, almost humble, appearance transmits quite well in TV-land.

    Also ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:19:10 PM EST
    ... there's no guarantee we won't have President Trump or Cruz. Garland seems chosen to be at minimum very difficult for the Rs to refuse to confirm. Strategically best to replace Scalia with a moderate now, if possible, than gamble on being able to appoint a liberal later. There will be more SCOTUS appointments for whoever wins the election ...

    I'd be interested in knowing where... (none / 0) (#29)
    by magster on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:38:59 PM EST
    ... Jeralyn read that others withdrew from consideration.

    Labor and environmental groups are praising the choice, so he'll probably be OK. I'd rather have a 35 year old healthy hippie appointed who can serve for 60 years, though.

    I do hope President (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    Obama asked Judge Garland his view's re Roe etc.

    Of that, I have (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    no doubt at all. And everyone will piously deny it.

    The media reported it (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 02:47:22 AM EST
    Google is your friend. Example:

    Miami-based federal judge Adalberto Jordan recently withdrew his name for consideration to the post. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson tells CNN Jordan withdrew due to what he called a "personal family situation" involving his mother. The Cuban-born Jordan has served on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2012.

    Jordan is the second potential candidate in as many days to remove their name from the court search. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman said attorney general Loretta Lynch would not consider the post.

    :( I did, but only about the other two (none / 0) (#83)
    by magster on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 11:15:38 AM EST
    rumored to have been part of the final 3.

    Bernie's bud, James Inhofe, on the nomination: (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 02:15:10 PM EST
    Inhofe: 'It doesn't matter if Obama would nominate George W. Bush'

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Wednesday said he would not entertain any Supreme Court nominee from President Obama, even if he nominated former President George W. Bush.

    "It doesn't matter if Obama would nominate George W. Bush," he told host Chuck Todd on MSNBC's MTP Daily. "I still would not do it. None at all."

    "I thought it was very clear what Mitch McConnell said, and I was very proud of him making that statement," he added of the Senate majority leader.

    According to political scientists... (none / 0) (#35)
    by magster on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 03:37:20 PM EST
    ... who analyze such things, Garland is to the left of Kagan and Breyer.

    This is all frankly absurd and ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 05:09:36 PM EST
    A judge's freedom to act in accordance with her/his own judicial principles and beliefs is totally different on the Supreme Court than it is on the Court of Appeals, which is bound by precedent in nearly every case to a far, far greater extent than is the Supreme Court. Plus, Justices have historically shifted markedly (both left and right, but happily more often leftward) after being elevated to the Supreme Court. You cannot compare Breyer's record on the Supreme Court (or Kagan's) to Garland's on the D.C. Circuit, and come up with anything meaningful. It is apples and oranges.  

    But, but.... they made a graph! (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by magster on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 07:20:21 PM EST
    Was it a bar graph? (none / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 11:17:23 PM EST
    I love bar graphs. They make me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

    Peter: His clerkships tell me something positive (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:41:42 PM EST
    Don't really agree (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 06:41:22 AM EST
    I clerked for a Nixon-appointed Republican judge. A great judge, but not one I aligned with politically. In fact, that was one reason he picked me. You never know. Especially with a S.Ct. clerkship; a young lawyer would accept any such position s/he was offered.

    Why exactly is he bad? (none / 0) (#48)
    by linea on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 09:59:18 PM EST
    I'm not sure what being a "moderate judge" means. I would have assumed that meant he was pro-busines to the detriment of actual people but I haven't actually heard that about him. The link above says he's "left" but I don't know if Daily Kos is a liberal or conservative blog

    Jeralyn wrote, "he's known for siding with the Government in criminal cases and tough on terrorism." I'm not sure why that's bad. Does that mean he isn't serious about protecting defendant's rights? I would think most people want judges who are tough on terrorists. Don't they?

    Eric Posner (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 09:26:33 AM EST
    Of the University of Chicago Law School, writes:

    The political scientists Lee Epstein and Andrew Martin looked at the data using regression analysis and found that conservative justices generally vote to strike down liberal statutes and liberal justices generally vote to strike down conservative statutes. After controlling for irrelevant differences in the cases, the authors find that the Republican appointee Chief Justice John Roberts voted to strike down liberal laws 46 percent of the time and conservative laws only 17 percent of the time. For Samuel Alito, the numbers are 54 percent and 2 percent. The pattern holds, but in the opposite direction, for the liberal justices. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by Bill Clinton, voted to strike down conservative laws 67 percent of the time, and liberal laws only 17 percent of the time. For Justice Stephen Breyer, the numbers are 53 percent and 16 percent.

    How would a Justice Garland fit in? I have tried to figure out why people think that he is a "moderate liberal." He does not have a history of political activism but hardly any Supreme Court justice does. Tom Goldstein, a lawyer and Supreme Court expert, read Garland's opinions back in 2010 and observed that Garland frequently voted against criminal defendants. Garland was a prosecutor, and may well be less sympathetic to criminal defendants than most liberal are. But he seems liberal on regulation, civil rights, and environmental law.

    It's true, though, that one cannot predict much from the votes of an appellate judge. Circuit judges, unlike Supreme Court justices, do not make law, and they almost always vote the same as their colleagues. Everyone scratched their heads when Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito were nominated as well. Their opinions revealed almost nothing about their politics. Prosecutorial background also reveals little; Sotomayor and Alito were both prosecutors, and now they vote in opposite directions on criminal cases.

    And here I thought Congress did this. (none / 0) (#76)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 06:25:04 PM EST
    Circuit judges, unlike Supreme Court justices, do not make law, and they almost always vote the same as their colleagues.

    The things I do learn from law professors.


    Whatever you may think, Jim, you do not (4.67 / 3) (#80)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 10:19:03 AM EST
    know better than Professor Posner. He well understands, as all educated Americans do (excluding Donald Trump, who thinks judges "sign" what he calls "bills"), that the Supreme Court does not write or enact statutes. But in our complex legal system, statutes are not the only source of "law." When the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution -- and even when it interprets ambiguous and contested statutory language -- the precedent it sets has the force of law, because it is binding on all lower courts, state and federal, that may deal with the same question. This is the sense in which the Supreme Court makes law, and there is no question in my mind, as there was none when I read Posner's essay, that that is what the professor was saying.

    I see that sarcasm is wasted (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 10:43:05 AM EST
    on you.

    And while I would never argue law with a lawyer I will note that my sarcastic comment is  what the vast majority of the US population use to think.

    Now, after years of brain washing, not so much.

    I won't live to see it but if our republic is to survive the SC must be made non political. Presently both sides are intent on putting judges in place they know will support their positions.

    I have seen it characterized as Dukes making Kings.


    Sarcasm is not wasted on me. I understand (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 09:17:13 PM EST
    that sarcasm is a form of humor in which you assume a superior position and make a joke of demonstrating your target's absurd errors or dishonesty. It is therefore a dangerous or risky form of humor to attempt, when it turns that it was you, and not your target, that was wrong or being dishonest. This is what I was pointing out to you, Jim: that your sarcasm failed, because Prof. Posner's claim that Supreme Court justices routinely "make law" in a way that Circuit judges generally do not is accurate. It was not, as you glibly tried to suggest, a stupid mistake that confused legislating with judging. He was right, and you were wrong. Therefore, your sarcasm failed. The rest of your comment in response to mine was just an attempt to change the subject (to whether the Supreme Court is a political institution; a point I did not engage you on and would not dispute).

    Well, I'm sorry it failed (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 12:12:07 PM EST
    Because one of my pet peeves is the making of law by the courts.

    Often the criticism of the courts (none / 0) (#101)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 04:16:20 PM EST
    for "making law" is just a thinly disguised disagreement with the substance of the decision, in an area where the courts have undisputed authority to develop the law, as I explained earlier. The modern reactionary political criticism of courts' "making law" tends to focus on two areas of constitutional law -- equal protection (starting with Brown v. Bd. of Education) and substantive due process explication of the concept of "liberty" (starting with Griswold v. Connecticut, the birth control decision). Progressives had analogous criticisms of earlier (Lochner-era "liberty of contract" doctrine) and later (Bush v. Gore's "equal protection" rationale, Heller's argumentative Second Amendment history) decisions. Whether one or another line of decisions is legitimate can be debated as a matter of jurisprudence. Sloganeering will not resolve the issue, however.

    You might want to read this (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 10:55:26 AM EST

    Legal scholars and political historians have begun responding to such questions by noting the relatively frequent occurrence of Supreme Court nominations and confirmations during election years. Yet while such specific parallels do offer precedent for this moment, focusing on them also implicitly reinforces the notion that Supreme Court appointments more broadly have been less tied to political concerns or events. A notion, in turn, that ties into our collective narratives and ideals of the Supreme Court as something outside of, or at least distinct from, political debates and conflicts.

    It is not. In fact, that's quite literally never been the case

    The Supreme Court Has Always Been Political


    There is nothing in the Constitution (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    that puts a time frame on when the Congress must respond. Nothing. And, as I wrote, both sides can show you examples of how the other said no actions should be taken until after the election. I gave Scott Biden as an example. I am sure anyone can show me one on the Repub side.

    So I agree on the reality. My hope would be non political judiciary because if the actions become too obvious then we are in real trouble. Perhaps we are at that point now.

    From your link

    "We can and should dismiss the calls from Mitch McConnell, numerous members of Congress, and every Republican presidential hopeful for President Obama not to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia"

    The author, then, wants to ignore the fact that, as a political statement, the country gave the Repubs a majority in the Senate.

    Perhaps it is time that the SC be elected. Say we replace three every four years. That would give us a turn over every 12 years....and it might make them more receptive to congressional term limits.


    Ah, if Biden (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 01:07:40 PM EST
    Had only obstructed when Clarence Thomas was nominated....

    Rather than savaging (none / 0) (#91)
    by sallywally on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 07:31:29 PM EST
    Anita Hill.

    With You Jim... (none / 0) (#97)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 12:01:12 PM EST
    ... it is impossible to detect since nearly everything you write is absurd.


    • The Earth is cooling
    • It's OK to kill children used as shields
    • Trump is a great candidate
    • The new Biden rule

    When you say crazy S, no one thinks you are joking.  Don't blame us for not being able to distinguish from your normal jackassery from jokes.

    Scott, go to an Open Thread and I will respond (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    No Thanks. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 03:58:26 PM EST
    Our hostess, who wrote this (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 17, 2016 at 11:21:25 PM EST
    post, is an attorney who represents defendants who are charged with federal crimes, including acts of terrorism.

    Actually, given her position re 2nd Amendment rights, perhaps Judge Garland has some "favorables."


    Judge Garland (none / 0) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:18:40 AM EST
    has a bushel full of favorables.

    Actually, I meant "favorables" from J's (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:05:42 PM EST

    We both know that the "so disappointed" (none / 0) (#64)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 12:42:53 PM EST
    mostly rests on one case.

    "How the Merrick Garland nomination... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 06:33:29 AM EST
    ... explains the rise of Donald Trump"

    The problem is not the Republicans' growing ideological extremism, troubling though that may be. The problem is that they decided some time ago that there are rules and there are norms, and while rules need to be followed, norms can be torn down whenever they find that doing so advances their momentary political goals.

    While others might locate a different starting point, I'd argue that the seminal moment of this trend was the "Brooks Brothers riot" that occurred on November 19, 2000, during the counting of the disputed votes in Florida. Worried that election officials recounting votes in Miami-Dade county might produce a result favorable to Al Gore, Republicans sent congressional staffers posing as ordinary Floridians to the offices where the counting was taking place. They proceeded to shout, pound on doors, and generally intimidate the election officials, who eventually became so frightened for their safety that they stopped the counting.

    And what lesson did Republicans take from all that? 'We won!'

    The headline is illogical (none / 0) (#58)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 10:38:53 AM EST
    Op-ed writers don't write the headlines (none / 0) (#84)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 11:21:53 AM EST
    A better title would have related the gop's blustering pre-reaction to the President's Supreme Court nomination - to the increasingly thuggish behavior of the gop, both at the top and bottom.

    Trouble brewing in GOPville (none / 0) (#66)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 01:19:39 PM EST
    Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is calling out fellow GOP senators.

    Kirk said GOP senators need to "man up and cast a vote" on Judge Garland.

    Mark Kirk (none / 0) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2016 at 02:35:59 PM EST
    is vulnerable.  He has a tight race afoot with Representative Tammy Duckworth. Judge Garland does not look so bad to him.

    As has happened way too many times (none / 0) (#90)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 07:13:29 PM EST
    over the past 7-8 years, the Democrats retreat submissively, and mutter under their breaths, "those mean Republicans."

    If the situation were reversed, how do you think a President Trump, or the Republicans in general, would react?

    I'll say it again, just look at what the clown, Donald Trump, has been able to accomplish with just a mic. Yet, the President, with the biggest mic in the world, his Bully Pulpit, basically lets it slide.

    Why not speak to the American people, especially people like Trump's followers, and use this episode as an example of why none of their complaints are being addressed? Even low information voters understand that when the American people elect a Boss/President, he/she should be allowed to do his/her job.

    Chalk it up to another perfect "teaching moment" gone to waste.


    Obama picks (none / 0) (#77)
    by bassclef on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 01:48:29 AM EST
    Why are we surprised with yet another limp Obama pick?
    (1) Tim Geithner, slave of Wall Street; (2) Eric Holder, too chicken to investigate prima facie Constitutional violations by Bush & his administration; (4) Robert Gates, left-over Bushie; (4) too many drab Cabinet Sec'ys to count.

    Obama should have picked a strong civil rights/civil liberties advocate and not let himself be bullied (again) into making nice with the GOP creeps. He will (alas) never change. It would take a total spinal transplant....

    And (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 08:34:52 AM EST
    Have it DOA and then make it so that strong libetal choice will never get another shot at that job?

    bassclef: One's "spine" is not related (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 02:35:20 PM EST
    to whether you agree with the President's selection.  You may have wanted someone else ... but that he or anyone else disagrees with you does not relate to spine or fortitude in any way. Frankly, it would be difficult to find another elected leader with such fortitude as President Obama has displayed ... time and time again as he practices a strategic perseverance that has a remarkable tendency to actually accomplish more positive national results than others could only imagine.

    Interim Appointment? (none / 0) (#87)
    by RickyJim on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 02:29:04 PM EST
    Suppose after a few weeks, the Republican leadership hasn't budged.  What is to prevent Obama from putting Garland on the court at that point as an interim appointment until Congress acts?

    What's to prevent an interim appointment? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 19, 2016 at 09:31:38 PM EST
    Do you mean a recess appointment? Only the fact that the Senate does not and will not "recess" long enough (under the Supreme Court's recent decision defining that term as used in the Appointments Clause of the Constitution) to permit it. Even if the President wanted to try it, which I doubt he would. (A number of respected constitutional scholars believe that a recess appointment of a federal judge is not consistent with the better reading of all the relevant clauses. Even though there have been quite a few such appointments over the years.)

    The President Could Argue (none / 0) (#95)
    by RickyJim on Sun Mar 20, 2016 at 08:50:17 AM EST
    that as far as the Garland appointment is concerned, the Senate has declared itself to be in recess.
    The United States Constitution requires that the most senior federal officers must be confirmed by the Senate before assuming office, but while the Senate is in recess the President may act alone by making a recess appointment to fill "Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate." To remain in effect, a recess appointment must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress, or the position becomes vacant again; in current practice this means that a recess appointment must be approved by roughly the end of the next calendar year. Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:
    The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

    Did you look at the link I provided? (none / 0) (#96)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 10:00:01 AM EST
    The Supreme Court has determined what constitutes a "recess" for this purpose. The President (i.e., the Dept. of Justice) doesn't just get to "argue" something else (except in a Supreme Court case seeking to overturn or modify that precedent), since unlike some people in our government the President seems to value being taken seriously.

    This Is a Situation Like No Other (none / 0) (#102)
    by RickyJim on Mon Mar 21, 2016 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    The link you gave is not about a case where the Senate was in session but declared that a nomination won't be considered until the president leaves office.  It seems to me that McConnell's declaration is at least as unconstitutional as Obama making a recess appointment now and something should be done to have it argued before the Supreme Court ASAP. Suppose a hostile Senate refused to consider the cabinet appointments of a new President.  Would he/she have no recourse?

    Portraits of Merrick (none / 0) (#103)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Mar 23, 2016 at 02:29:36 AM EST
    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 16, 2019 at 06:57:24 AM EST