Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2010

White House Prepares for Supreme Court Vacancy

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 1:23 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

CNN’s Political Ticker reports the White House is gearing up for a possible Supreme Court vacancy:

“Most of the speculation surrounds Justice John Paul Stevens, who will turn 90 in April and is the oldest of the nine-member bench. CNN had previously reported Stevens has so far hired only one law clerk for the October 2010 term. Sitting justices may hire a full complement of four; retired justices are allowed one.

Sources close to him say the Chicago native has given no clear indication of his plans. One longtime colleague said Stevens has neither “encouraged nor discouraged any talk about his possible retirement, and has actually been amused at all the attention” his future has generated in news reports and blogs.”

Among notable possibilities are three women who made Obama’s short-list prior to Justice Sotomayor’s selection — Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 7th Circuit Judge Diane Wood, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano — and others:

“One source said if Stevens were to retire, there would be less political pressure on Obama to name another woman to the court. Souter’s exit led to universal agreement inside the White House that a woman should join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then the lone female on the court.

Among male candidates would be a Washington-based federal appeals court judge, Merrick Garland, 58; and Cass Sunstein, 55, an old law school associate of Obama and head of a key White House agency.”

— DRJ

48 Responses to “White House Prepares for Supreme Court Vacancy”

  1. I’m very tempted to go out on a limb and predict that it will be Hillary Clinton.

    Yes, she flunked the D.C. Bar exam.

    But she’s still Obama’s single most likely potential primary challenger for 2012, and it’s a lot easier to resign from a SecState position than it is from a SCOTUS seat.

    Beldar (14ebb7)

  2. (Remember, Obama is from Chicago. He has this great thing. He should give it away for nothing?)

    Beldar (14ebb7)

  3. the candidates will likely fall in 3 categories:

    hacks, quacks and crooks, with it a given that they will all be raving moonbat lefty scum.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  4. What about Biden?

    JD (40d677)

  5. I think Hillary would be more likely to replace Justice Ginsburg, although President Obama has shown he’s into quotas and appearances. Thus, I also think one of the next two nominees will be African-American.

    DRJ (6a8003)

  6. Napalitano? I don’t think so.

    SarahW (af7312)

  7. Napalitano? I don’t think so.

    SarahW (af7312)

  8. Cass Sunstein hates the constitution. Seriously. It’s in the way of so much GOOD.

    In other words, let him PLEASE OH PLEASE nominate Sunstein, since that will pretty much draw a close on illusions some still hold about Obama and his pressed pants.

    SarahW (af7312)

  9. What a list of mediocrities and worse. Napolitano? Yeah, that’s pretty unlikely after her Christmas performance. Cass Sunstein? Not really likely to be able to appoint a law professor these days, too many writings to use against him in confirmation hearings. And Sunstein has some real stupid ones.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Hillary Rodham

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  11. If he nominates someone who mirrors his views, or is even further to the Left, is that a battle he wants to engage during an Election Year?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f11a4c)

  12. Would President Obama really want to risk Hillary Clinton confirmation hearings, where easily the rehashing Travelgate, Whitewater, Vince Foster, heck, even billing records at Rose Law firm would be sure to come up? It seems a bigger risk than necessary and he’s already facing increasing criticism for his decisions. And this would be an enormous decision – not just SCOTUS, but the polarizing Hillary Clinton, as well.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  13. …and then there’s the ever-problematic Bill Clinton to consider…

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  14. After the ridiculous appointment of the inane “Wise Latina (who almost feel asleep during that State of the Union speech), the GOP has no choice but to go nuclear on anyone who’s not left of center.

    Dmac (799abd)

  15. Whoops, meant “go nuclear on anyone who’s left of center.”

    Dmac (799abd)

  16. Hillary Clinton would get a pass on her sex appeal alone.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  17. Hopefully it is someone younger than 45. Now what i would find interesting is if it was someone who hasn’t been a law professor or an appellate judge most of their professional lives.

    imdw (017d51)

  18. “It’s a lot easier to resign from a Sec[retary of] State position than it is from a SCOTUS seat.”

    Why is that? Because you have to dry-clean the robe before you give it back?

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  19. “Hopefully it is someone younger than 45. Now what i would find interesting is if it was someone who hasn’t been a law professor or an appellate judge most of their professional lives.”

    That being said, It would also be amusing for the president to nominate someone that teases out some prejudiced statements from wingnuts.

    imdw (5f60be)

  20. Dana, you’re right.

    I think the press and Senate would give Hillary a pass on “old news”. Not really a serious option, but this isn’t really a serious presidency.

    He’s probably going to focus group the race/sex/etc to fill and then reverse discriminate his way there like he did with Sotomayor.

    And while I grant she’s obviously a simpleton, her impact is less than a truly intelligent liberal’s would be.

    This pick better stay in Obama’s good graces or they might get hit with a tomato at the next SOTU.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  21. And while some on the left will use the obvious non white-male ness of whoever is picked to say that detractors are bigots, no matter who is picked or what is said,

    I dearly hope someone asks this judge about the idea that we have no 4th amendment right against constant surveillance via cell phones… no expectation of privacy and no need for warrants. Every American subject to constant real-time surveillance.

    It’s a shame we don’t have champions of civil rights like Bush and Ashcroft in power right now, but we need to make sure that the Supreme Court understand what an affront Obama’s police state would be.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. Sunstein would be the left’s equivalent of Judge Bork. The hearings would be a bloodbath.

    Napolitano irreparably damaged herself.

    Hillary WILL be running for Pres. in 2012, so she’ll let him know she’s not interested — which will be, in effect, her announcement to him that she is going to challenge him. She still believes that HE should not have challenged HER in 2008, and he’s in her office now.

    The choice will be a pro-choice liberal woman from the 7th Circuit which covers Chicago. Not sure who that might be.

    Shipwreckedcrew (96a8a6)

  23. Justice Napolitano

    oh man, that’s almost as bad as Justice Stevens.

    I hope SWC is right about Hillary running in 2012. It would be much better for America and the democrats.

    Let’s not forget that Justice Stevens is completely insane, and anyone Obama picks will probably be far to the right of Stevens.

    the hard left simple has no reason to be pleased, no matter who is selected.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. Isn’t Sunstein the brainiac who would like to provide legal representation to animals and some plant life?

    GeneralMalaise (4d34a1)

  25. Hopefully a wise latino that can get a basic statute of limitations case correct – that any first year law student would get. ie the eminent domain case Didden

    Joe (05b20d)

  26. “Isn’t Sunstein the brainiac who would like to provide legal representation to animals and some plant life?”

    If not, I’m sure he’s written something that can be caricatured this way.

    imdw (f7b257)

  27. I doubt that it will be Sunstein, if for no other reason than Obama’s narcissism cannot abide people smarter than him. Which is how we got the wise latina.

    Imagine how an Ayres or a Wright would think about the next appointee. Someone with lots of symbolism (leftards love them their symbolism) but with limited real, you know, intelligence or ability. Imagine the kind of nominee that the man who appointed Eric Holder to AG would find attractive.

    So unless Obama takes himself entirely out of the decision process, expect another fuster cluck out of this insane clown posse.

    iconoclast (4a423f)

  28. Hillary Clinton would get a pass on her sex appeal alone.

    Comment by Dustin — 2/12/2010 @ 2:21 pm

    DAMN YOU DUSTIN!!!!

    You owe me a new ke3yboardddddddd & monitor. Wheennnnnnnn I readddd that IIIIIII gaggggggedddd, thenn projectileeeeeeeeeeeeeee vommmmmmiiiiited all overrerrr themmmemmmmm.

    peedoffamerican (5acf59)

  29. Isn’t Sunstein the brainiac who would like to provide legal representation to animals and some plant life?

    He suggested in his book that Congress could grant animals that right. But he really seem to be wanting to allow animal rights activists better ways to harass people through lawfare–which is even worse.

    iconoclast (4a423f)

  30. I don’t know whether Hillary will run in 2012, but she is really the only person on the scene able to give Obama a run for his money. She is fuled heavily by her sense of entitlement and bitterness that he dared to take what was hers. And I think Obama’s extraordinarily tone-deaf public insult directed to her, “You’re likable enough”, has never left her and will always fuel her drive for vengeance the presidency.

    Obama will be at a disadvantage because he will have had just that much more time to alienate voters with his policy decisions. It will be interesting.

    General Malaise, from Sunstein,

    “[A]nimals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.”

    Sunstein also argued in favor of “eliminating current practices such as greyhound racing, cosmetic testing, and meat eating, most controversially.”

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  31. I suppose Obama could cash this chip in and make a deal. Some centrist judge in exchange for some health care bill.

    Oh well, who knows. He won’t pick Alito again, but anyone he picks will likely be a big improvement. I think he’ll replace Ginsburg soon, too.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  32. Dana, how dare you caricature Sunstein!

    I’m still going to guess it’s Hillary. It’s going to be a spectacle that distracts and polarizes. It eliminates a lot of problems for Obama. While this seems a little silly, this is par for the course. Dude picked Joe Biden to be VP… he isn’t going to do much homework on this.

    and I think Hillary would know she has her work cut out for her in 2012.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. Thanks, iconoclast and Dana. Seems pretty straightforward to me… no need for caricature or interpretation, although it does cry out for some ridicule.

    GeneralMalaise (4d34a1)

  34. General Malaise, makes me want to go have a big, juicy medium-well done top sirloin.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  35. Comment by GeneralMalaise — 2/12/2010 @ 4:09 pm

    No need to caricature the Obami–they accomplish that all by themselves.

    iconoclast (4a423f)

  36. Remember, quoting statements from Liberals is “smearing” and “hate speech”.

    Techie (43d092)

  37. Would President Obama really want to risk Hillary Clinton confirmation hearings, where easily the rehashing Travelgate, Whitewater, Vince Foster, heck, even billing records at Rose Law firm would be sure to come up?

    Absolutely.

    Because then the trashing would be fresh in peoples’ minds just in time for any insurgent run she might try for the Obama Party nomination in 2012.

    He puts her up, she gets trashed, he withdraws her nomination out of “respect”. He has effectively killed her as a political force that can challenge him without his hands being anywhere on the knife.

    North Dallas Thirty (416e07)

  38. What!!! No one is suggesting Holder?

    Cass Sunstein is married to Samantha Power. Memba her? Unfortunately, I think that uber lib Sunstein is a possibility–they’re all Hyde Park buds. Plus, having a reverse Borking would play well with the base and give them another reason to hate those eeevil republicans.

    The real tragedy is that Barry can’t put himself on the high court. His being a briliant Constitutional scholar and a great writer and all that.

    elissa (c7cd60)

  39. Maybe he’ll nominate his friend, Senator Coburn.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  40. I doubt that it will be Sunstein, if for no other reason than Obama’s narcissism cannot abide people smarter than him. Which is how we got the wise latina.

    Comment by iconoclast — 2/12/2010 @ 3:44 pm

    I think the key to the nomination of Sotomayor was her chosen quote in a college yearbook: “I am a champion not of lost causes, but of causes not yet won.” Who said that? Norman Thomas.

    Here’s another Norman Thomas quote:

    “Not merely or chiefly the Democratic or Republican parties, but the capitalist system behind them stands exposed in all its brutal stupidity. Its days are numbered. Its doom is written in its own failures. . . . The choice now confronting the world is between Socialism and catastrophe!”

    Remember what Obama said about being a great one-termer vs. a mediocre two-termer. If he thinks he’s likely to be one-and-done, he’s going to do as much damage — er, I mean “change” — as he possibly can.

    Anyone who knows Obama’s history knows that one of his biggest hangups is that legislation has been unable to make the “living” Constitution work for “The People.”

    the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.

    He’s got one of his mini-mes on the bench, and he’s warming others up in the bullpen, and he’s watching Stevens like a salivating vulture.

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  41. I think it would be fascinating for Obama to nominate someone to the bench who has never actually SAT at any bench before.

    Hillary – she won’t take the job. If she did look for some interesting commentary on cases contesting BHO’s policies/law when she writes opinions.

    Sunstein – THAT would be some serious theater to watch him get hearings.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  42. I think Hillary will pass, first she has ethical problems that can be dredged up immediately.

    Second – the Supreme Court is alot of work. Thats not in her repertoire – she lost the election by not planning, campaigning or executing after Iowa.

    EricPWJohnson (fef99c)

  43. > The real tragedy is that Barry can’t put himself on the high court.

    Hey, maybe he’ll just give up on a second term, and nominate himself to the position when he leaves office. :oD

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  44. “That being said, It would also be amusing for the president to nominate someone that teases out some prejudiced statements from wingnuts.”

    imdw – That would be a change from nominating somebody who has a record of making prejudiced statements themselves, such as Sotomayor.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  45. I’m surprised Cyrus Sanai has not dropped in to say he is disappointed about not being on the short list.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  46. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. It will spare him the embarrassment of losing his reelection to a Republican in November. He’s young, African-American, and a friend of Obama. He’s also a former member of the Clinton Administration, so presumably Bill will go to bat for him.

    JVW (53aeb2)

  47. Merrick Garland would be the safe choice if POTUS wants to avoid a fight. He is a moderate-liberal, has a fine track records on the D.C. Circuit, and is generally non-controversial. It’s about the best the Republicans can hope for from this President. But Obama’s based is likely to be sorely disappointed.

    Bored Lawyer (380bc0)

  48. Forget Sunstein, much too tame. How about San Fracisco’s own DA, Kamala Harris?

    What’s not to like? Won’t file a death penalty case against cop-killers or child-killers; loves illegal immigrants; and generally has no end to her goodness. The NY Times likes her, too.

    After all, we need someone so impossible that the failed confirmation savages the Democrats some more, and pushes the next nomination to the next Congress. Kamala’s just the woman for the job.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)


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