Patterico's Pontifications

1/26/2022

Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:23 am



[guest post by JVW]

Pete Williams of NBC News appears to have broken the story, so we’ll give his network the link:

Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Breyer is one of the three remaining liberal justices, and his decision to retire after more than 27 years on the court allows President Joe Biden to appoint a successor who could serve for several decades and, in the short term, maintain the current 6-3 split between conservative and liberal justices.

At 83, Breyer is the court’s oldest member. Liberal activists have urged him for months to retire while Democrats hold both the White House and the Senate. They contended that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stayed too long despite her history of health problems and should have stepped down during the Obama administration.

President Biden, of course, has pledged to nominate a black woman for the seat, so it would appear that approximately five percent of the eligible jurists in this country will receive consideration. Mandatory set-asides and such, I suppose.

With the Senate deadlocked at 50-50, with an election year coming, and with Biden having failed miserably at the whole “restore dignity and cooperation to Washington” goal, it’s bound to be a really fun confirmation process. If I were Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer, I don’t think I would be antagonizing Joe Manchin for any reason whatsoever this coming spring.

– JVW

120 Responses to “Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire”

  1. I’m sure at this point the Biden Brain Trust (such that it is) would probably like to shed the awful Kamala Harris, but even they wouldn’t dare appoint her to the Supreme Court, would they? And she probably thinks she is next in line for the White House (and sooner than Joe Biden probably realizes), so I don’t see why she would accept the nomination. Besides, being an Associate Justice requires some actual work such as reading briefs, and from what we are told that’s not anything of interest to the current VP.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. @1; It requires maintaining a staff and she’s also not very good at that.

    This is telling me the D’s are expecting whatever is on the dial past shellacking.

    frosty (f27e97)

  3. If Biden wants an easy slam-dunk confirmation, he’d pick Garland, although he’s getting up there at 69 years old.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  4. If Biden wants an easy slam-dunk confirmation, he’d pick Garland, although he’s getting up there at 69 years old.

    I don’t know. A lot of Republicans are pretty angry about the whole school board memo thing as well as other issues where the Biden Justice Department has tacked hard left. I suppose he would likely hold all 50 Senate Democrats and maybe pick up a few Republicans, but I could easily see Garland being run through the wringer in a confirmation hearing and being confirmed only on VP Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  5. If they want a relatively easy confirmation they will find a black woman who doesn’t have a radical past, who has been a reliable supporter of progressive causes but hasn’t exactly been an activist and has never had a Twitter account or appeared on MSNBC. She would probably get 10 or so Republicans to support her nomination, maybe more if the GOP figures that this is the best they are going to get from Joe Biden and Ron Klain.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. But it doesn’t matter what Republicans say, JVW.
    McConnell took care of that as soon as he reclaimed his Majority Leader slot and got Gorsuch through.
    I don’t see any Democrats objecting to an already approved nominee. Do I think it will happen? I’d say less likely than more likely, because of the age thing.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  7. Garland is too old. More likely Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (51) of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (confirmed last year 53-44), Justice Leondra Kruger (45), of the California Supreme Court, or District Court Judge Michelle Childs (55) of South Carolina.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. I forgot that Biden promised to pick a black chick for the Supreme Court.
    Maybe Rachel Dolezal can advise non-black candidates in how to identify as African American. It would enlarge the pool for this bumbling president.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  9. Tina Turner.

    Charlie Davis (6775d5)

  10. So now the radical left has to kiss the ring of Sienma and Manchin.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  11. Four women on the Court. If you thought you heard a pain-filled cry of “Eloi, eloi, la ma savachthani” a little bit earlier, you did. It was John Roberts.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. being an Associate Justice requires some actual work such as reading briefs

    The Wise Latina and her sister from a different mother would disagree…their only concern is how the phrasing of their positions would advance the Communist agenda or give more power to the Feds. Their clerks can read the briefs.

    Horatio (9b6665)

  13. @8. I forgot that Biden promised to pick a black chick for the Supreme Court.

    Never forget: he’s a racist, a sexist and a classless bum as well. After 26 years of service, the ‘stupid son of a bitch’ doesn’t even have the discipline nor courtesy to let Breyer announce his own retirement first.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. Interesting. I don’t have any real opinion on on Justice Breyer. I’m sure the Dem’s will appoint whoever they pick and make a hash of it in the process.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  15. Fr a long time now, (and actually since the debacle in 1968, with one exception, in 1991) Supreme Court justices have felt that they need to retire in the first two years of a presidential term, and since 193, only if the president’s party has a majority in the Senate.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  16. Fox News SCOTUS sources report Justice Breyer is very unhappy at how this news was leaked from the WH and it was ‘pushed’ before he was ready to put the word out himself.

    So at 83, Breyer will retire– and at 82, Wicked B-tch of the West Pelosi decides to run for another two year term. Classless, racist, sexist Biden remains a stone around Uncle Sam’s neck at 79, Krusty the Clown Schumer is still performing shtick at 71… and Turtlenecked McConnell is left on a fencepost at 79.

    Putin is 69; Jinping is 68.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. 9. Tina Turner.

    Kamala Harris. Which may explain why ol’Joe bought a VP Kamala keepsake mug yesterday with his ice cream cone. It’ll be a collectable!

    That’s one way to get rid of her.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. Unless Breyer is ill, the timing on this is odd- usually it’s an end-of-term announcement. But midterm attitudes are locking in and polls suggest Joe’s pattern of incompetence is fueling loss of support w/t minority communities so this change-the-subject-hail-Mary-I’m still-your-guy is tossed out.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. So, if Harris was the nominee, and the Senate deadlocked 50-50, she would be voting for herself. What do the Senate rules say about a Senator voting on his confirmation to another office? Not that she’s a Senator.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  20. The timing is so that even with a failed nomination or two, they still have time before next January. OF course, everyone will deny the timing wasn’t Breyer’s to decide.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  21. Note that Biden made this same pledge wrt Harris. How’s that working for ya, Mr President?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  22. Maybe Breyer plans to overturn Roe, and this is his escape plan.

    felipe at a different terminal (084d77)

  23. So, if Harris was the nominee, and the Senate deadlocked 50-50, she would be voting for herself. What do the Senate rules say about a Senator voting on his confirmation to another office? Not that she’s a Senator.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 1/26/2022 @ 12:51 pm

    That would be a decent way to pour kerosene on the current political climate. They could top it with an announcement from Psaki along the lines of “remember when we promised to pack the court; we’ll we’ve decided to make good on that promise”.

    frosty (f27e97)

  24. Former Speaker Ryan testified in favor of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at her original appointment hearing. They are in-laws. I’m not sure this helps her with Republicans, as she only got 3 GOP votes in 2021.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  25. That would be a decent way to pour kerosene on the current political climate

    There’s a kerosene and match shortage in DC.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  26. Whites, Asians, Hispanics, men not encouraged to apply.

    Why are there no Asian justices?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  27. 18. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 1/26/2022 @ 12:19 pm

    Unless Breyer is ill, the timing on this is odd- usually it’s an end-of-term announcement.

    It might have something to do with planning or not planning to hire law clerks for next session.

    (In the past, other spots have been found for the now orphaned new;y hired law clerks)

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  28. , so it would appear that approximately five percent of the eligible jurists in this country will receive consideration.

    Less. Closer to 1% It’s not the percentage of the populatioo but the percentage of lawyers of a certain age and background.

    But there are still plenty for Biden to choose from. It’s a political decision anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  29. Leondra Kruger seems the best short-lister from my point of view, although the wokesters will have issues. Her mother was an immigrant, her father Jewish, she has impressive credentials and received praise from Paul Clement, who she worked for at the end of the Bush administration, before continuing in the Obama regime. She has argued 12 cases before the Court.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. Breyer’s retirement, like that of Earl Warren, will probably be effective with the appointment of a successor. But maybe not before July 4 or so.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  31. It might have something to do with planning or not planning to hire law clerks for next session.

    Interesting factoid: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a former Breyer clerk. May work in her favor.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. So, if Harris was the nominee, and the Senate deadlocked 50-50, she would be voting for herself. What do the Senate rules say about a Senator voting on his confirmation to another office? Not that she’s a Senator

    Probably, since she still would be VP. But I doubt she will be picked. No judicial experience, but according to this list, it certainly is not determinative. Some the most consequential justices were not former judges: William Rehnquist, William O. Douglas, Lewis Powell, Earl Warren, Byron “Whizzer” White, Harlan Fiske Stone, Louis Brandeis, Charles Evans Hughes, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (great name!), John Jay, Joseph Story, and not the least John Marshall.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. old lady obama should please the 81 million morons, and for you DCSCA, dopra winfrey

    mg (8cbc69)

  34. Biden hasn’t done enough to unite normal people with the MAGASphere. Maybe he should appoint The Q-Annon Shaman to bridge that gap.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  35. There’s a kerosene and match shortage in DC.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 1/26/2022 @ 1:03 pm

    Sounds like there might be a least one supply chain problem JB knows how to fix

    frosty (f27e97)

  36. I think it’s to early to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. We’ve got the midterms coming up and America has the right to speak on this issue.

    frosty (f27e97)

  37. Now you just need to get a couple dem senators to agree with you.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  38. In 3-2-1- hack mcconnell will be spewing praise on all the communist nominees.

    mg (8cbc69)

  39. Judge Kruger would probably have the easiest nomination since she has worked under both Republican and Democrat Solicitors General. She’s considered a swing vote on the CA court (fwiw). She clerked for Stevens, has degrees from both Harvard and Yale, and taught at University of Chicago Law School.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  40. Would 57 year old Kamala Harris trade her three years left sloshing around a warm bucket of piss for a nice cool seat on the SCOTUS for life?

    You betcha.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  41. The republicans will not fight to stop her. If it turns ugly the republicans will turn off the squishy moderates and not harvest that vote.
    The Chickenschiff Club.

    mg (8cbc69)

  42. I think it’s to early to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. We’ve got the midterms coming up and America has the right to speak on this issue.

    Someone made that argument in 2018. It wasn’t valid then, it isn’t valid now. Midterms are not the same as Presidential elections.

    Voice In The Desert (6fff93)

  43. Do you guys realize that a 50-50 vote in the senate, when there is no VP, doesn’t pass? If k Harris becomes a justice, who replaces her?

    Appalled (9b7600)

  44. @43. If the vice president dies in office or resigns, the president chooses a successor under the 25th Amendment. The president’s selection is subject to confirmation by majority votes of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Maybe that’s why Nancy chose to run again. 😉

    “I trust his judgement!” – Nancy Pelosi

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  45. Since the Republicans are unable to filibuster any nominee, it will be all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  46. 15th Level of Chess Move:

    Nominate Mitch McConnell. There’s currently a Democratic Governor in Kentucky. Getting rid of Mitch from the Senate would give the Democrats a 51-49 edge in the Senate. In addition, Mitch is nearly 80, so he wouldn’t be on the SCOTUS for long. Plus, you look all bipartisan and stuff.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. @45

    Since the Republicans are unable to filibuster any nominee, it will be all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/26/2022 @ 5:19 pm

    Not out of the realms of possibilities according to this:
    https://hotair.com/allahpundit/2022/01/26/report-no-bidens-not-going-to-put-kamala-harris-on-the-supreme-court-n444339

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/09/23/opinion/no-hiding-behind-pences-skirt-supreme-court-nomination/

    whembly (7e0293)

  48. I wonder how Biden intends to monetize this pick. Blago can give him some tips on what not to do, but I wonder if any of them buy art?

    steveg (e81d76)

  49. I like Tina Turner better:
    1. She was born in Nutbush, Tennessee. Name another Supreme Court Justice who was!
    2. She renounced her U.S. some time during the Obama years and moved to Switzerland. How cool is that? Lots of people talked they would, but she went and did it!
    3. She’s 82 years old. Three-fourths of the commenters here would be mesmerized by her on the bench as fully as when she was on the stage.

    nk (1d9030)

  50. She renounced her U.S. *citizenship*

    nk (1d9030)

  51. Not out of the realms of possibilities according to this:

    Republicans still can’t (not won’t) filibuster, unless the Democrats repeal Mitch’s nuclear option. And they haven’t.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. I clearly remember the nominee sexually assaulted me in high school

    Horatio (9b6665)

  53. I’m sure Alyssa Milano will be front and center in this judicial showdown.

    mg (8cbc69)

  54. Wouldn’t put it past Breyer to tell Biden he’s so pissed at the stupid SOB for the leak, he’s decided to stay on the court after all just to outlive Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. Four women on the Court.

    And all three current Democrat appointees would be female, as well as four of the last five appointees from a Democrat President. The future is female indeed, as Kirsten Gillibrand is fond of telling us.

    I like Tina Turner better:

    4. She shares a birthday with yours truly.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  56. Four women on the Court.

    So holding court becomes a ‘b-tch session’?? 😉

    “Nothing personal, pal.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  57. Biden should nominate stacy abrams for supremes.

    asset (b0a07f)

  58. Do you guys realize that a 50-50 vote in the senate, when there is no VP, doesn’t pass? If k Harris becomes a justice, who replaces her?

    Hillary.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  59. From the Lawrence Tribe article above (via Hotair and allahpundit, link also above)

    Harris cannot break a tie on confirmation:

    While the vice president has the power to cast a tiebreaking vote to pass a bill, the Constitution does not give him the power to break ties when it comes to the Senate’s “Advice and Consent” role in approving presidential appointments to the Supreme Court.

    You don’t have to take my word for it. Alexander Hamilton said the same thing way back in 1788, in Federalist No. 69: “In the national government, if the Senate should be divided, no appointment could be made.” Hamilton contrasted that rule with how appointments worked back then in his home state of New York, where the governor actually did have the power to break ties to confirm nominations to New York state offices…

    For those who care about the details, Hamilton’s view and the historical practice (up until this administration) is confirmed by the structure and drafting history of our Constitution. As a structural matter, the provision granting the vice president the power to break ties in the Senate is located in Article I, which addresses Legislative Power. By contrast, the Senate’s “Advice and Consent” power over judicial appointments appears in Article II, making it a form of power wielded by the Senate that is executive, not legislative, in nature. The vice president has some power to influence legislation, by casting a tiebreaking vote in the Senate, while the Senate has some power to influence executive appointments, by granting or withholding consent. Structurally, the vice president cannot smuggle his Article I legislative tiebreaking power into Article II to undermine the Senate’s unique Article II executive power of advice and consent.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  60. There are a number of white men who will become black women if that’s what it takes to get on the Court. And who’s to say they aren’t women!

    Kevin M (38e250)

  61. How about Maxine Waters?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  62. Breaking news for Los Angeles:

    Mike Bonin drops out of LA City Council race, choosing not to seek reelection. For those that don’t know, Bonin is the leader of the far far left faction on the council that has turned the city into a open-air homeless encampment.

    Here is the scene last year in Westchester Park, right outside Mike Bonin’s field office.

    Good riddance. I guess the polls showed he’d be recalled before the election even happened.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  63. A pick that checks all the party boxes, Joe:

    RuPaul!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  64. Someone made that argument in 2018. It wasn’t valid then, it isn’t valid now. Midterms are not the same as Presidential elections.

    Voice In The Desert (6fff93) — 1/26/2022 @ 4:24 pm

    By someone do you mean Blumenthal, D-Conn? I was joking with my comment but I’m not surprised that D’s have a double standard.

    frosty (f27e97)

  65. Bork the sob who becomes the nominee

    mg (8cbc69)

  66. Great objective article by Mona Charen on CRT
    https://www.thebulwark.com/everybodys-getting-critical-race-theory-wrong-on-purpose/

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  67. #66 AJ_Liberty – Thanks for the link to the Mona Charen article. It’s excellent, a great example of how journalism should be practiced — and occasionally is.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  68. @66; I’d posit that from the article it’s relatively easy to come to the conclusion that CRT is a form of racism.

    Example:

    Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, rejects the notion that racism is a character flaw in some individuals, declaring instead that “White identity is inherently racist.” That marks a dramatic departure from the traditional understanding of racism.

    The second part has been worded to avoid the obviously racist “White people are inherently racist”. This isn’t an accident and not only does this fall into our traditional understanding of racism this phrasing and the ideas behind it are covering both malice and hypocrisy.

    such as “affinity groups” wherein people are segregated by race to discuss certain issues

    And this is deliberately separate and not equal.

    In Massachusetts, the Wellesley public schools hosted a “Healing Space for Asian and Asian American students and others in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.” An official email explained that, “This is a safe space for our Asian/Asian American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as White.”

    The training strayed into racial essentialism like this: “To the African, the entire universe is vitalistic as opposed to mechanistic. . . . This precept suggests that African Americans have a psychological affinity for stimulus change, often exhibit an increased behavioral vibrancy and have a rich and sometimes spontaneous movement repertoire.”

    By racial essentialism the author is using a fancy phrase in place of racial stereotypes. Do all black people share this view of the universe? If you don’t will your black card be revoked? I’ll avoid the obvious implications of the idea expressed there. I’m not sure I can decode these but a psychological affinity for stimulus change seems to be a fancy phrase for short attention span, an increased behavioral vibrancy seems like cover for mercurial or overly emotional, and spontaneous movement repertoire is easy to decode as all black peoples can dance. This stuff is disgusting and it’s only a surprise that more people aren’t bothered by this.

    This is more of this garbage

    New York City has spent millions on training materials that disdain “worship of the written word,” “individualism,” and “objectivity” as aspects of “white-supremacy culture.”

    All people should be deeply offended by this racism and by the way this is being promoted.

    frosty (f27e97)

  69. The retirement of Justice Breyer leaked – he hadn’t had time even to inform all of the other Supreme Court justices.

    The reason for setting things in motion now – or at least not before – is that the Supreme Court had pretty finished with finalizing its calendar of cases for this term.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  70. If Biden really wanted to do a surprise pick, he could nominate Anita Hill, and it would have the added benefit of ticking the “black chick” box.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  71. > Why are there no Asian justices?

    There might have been if the Republicans hadn’t filibustered Goodwin Liu’s appeals court nomination.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  72. Good riddance. I guess the polls showed he’d be recalled before the election even happened.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 1/26/2022 @ 11:22 pm

    Recall proponents failed to gather enough signatures. As if one city council member has the power to solve a city-wide problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  73. > I think it’s to early to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. We’ve got the midterms coming up and America has the right to speak on this issue.

    the confirmation of Barrett confirmed that argument to be a partisan lie.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  74. Why are there no Asian justices?

    Or Native Americans?

    Ugh!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. @72 you misunderstood the question

    it wasn’t why are there no nutjob justices?

    JF (e1156d)

  76. Joe Manchin isn’t ruling out supporting a Supreme Court nominee who’s more liberal than he is.
    ……..
    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he’s open to supporting President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, even if the pick is more ideologically liberal than he is.

    “Whoever he puts up will have experience and we’ll be able to judge them off of that. But as far as just the philosophical beliefs, no, that will not prohibit me from supporting somebody.”

    — Manchin to West Virginia MetroNews’ “Talkline”

    ……..
    …….[T]his shouldn’t really be a big surprise. Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have supported Biden’s judicial picks this year …….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  77. Ol’Joe shoves Breyer under the bus to change the media cycle and reaffirms to the American people he’s a racist. He really is a stupid SOB.

    Darlin’ Nikki calls it right:

    Hayley says Biden, Harris should resign for ‘the good of our country’

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/591615-haley-says-biden-harris-should-resign-for-the-good-of-our-country

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  78. Hayley says Biden, Harris should resign for ‘the good of our country’

    And make Pelosi President? That’ll work!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  79. The last Supreme Court Justice appointed who had not been a judge of any kind was Elena Kagan, who had been president Obama’s Solicitor General.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  80. as for partisanship, the democrat scotus nominees in the past 30+ years have all gotten at least 63 votes at confirmation (Kagan), and RBG got 96, Breyer 87

    republican nominees have all gotten under 60, with Roberts being the sole outlier at 78

    any partisanship trend began with the democrats

    JF (e1156d)

  81. @79. “I trust his judgement.” – Nancy Pelosi

    😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. 79. Hawley (and some others) like to say things. He knows nobody will take him seriously, and he hopes spme people willl be ignorant and uninformed enough not to think of the replacement. Just resign.

    At least he included Harris in his resignation proposal.Maybe it has a more fully fleshed out form in which Harris resigns first, and President Biden proposes to replace her with a Republican.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  83. Hey Joe, in Vladimir’s America, affirmative action means you nominate the best Russian qualified for the job, regardless of sex or ethnicity.

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  84. 79. Hawley (and some others) like to say things. He knows nobody will take him seriously, and he hopes spme people willl be ignorant and uninformed enough not to think of the replacement. Just resign.

    At least he included Harris in his resignation proposal.Maybe it has a more fully fleshed out form in which Harris resigns first, and President Biden proposes to replace her with a Republican.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738) — 1/27/2022 @ 9:55 am

    It was Darling Nikki Haley who made the comment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  85. But you’re right that no one listens to her.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  86. Even Trumpworld doesn’t listen to Darling Nikki.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  87. I appreciate Manchin’s comments, that he won’t judge the nominee by ideology, but that isn’t saying much.
    Democrats only make it about ideology when the Republican is doing the nominating, and this goes all the way back to Bork.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  88. > it wasn’t why are there no nutjob justices?

    what’s the evidence that Liu is a nutjob? He’s done a fine job on the CA SCT.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  89. Even Trumpworld doesn’t listen to Darling Nikki.

    Which makes her the perfect VP for The Donald’s Redux. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  90. Biden made his promise to name an African American woman before the South Carolina primary in 2020, and Congressman James Clyburn used it as his hook to endorse him. (not quite sure about that last point – if it really was a hook or the main hook. Clyburn was probably really interested in electability and maybe was somewhat moderate himself.)

    Biden had finished fourth in Iowa (and there are usually said to be three tickets out of Iowa) and . fifth in New Hampshire and a distant second in Nevada.

    Biden also named or promised to name black women to other positions. Eight of his first 16 nominees to federal appeals courts have been African American women. (he has since nominated three more people – none of them African American woman. Maybe he filled his quota) Only two have been male whites.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  91. 85. I knew it was a typo but guessed wrong as to what the typo was. I did not check.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  92. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/26/2022 @ 2:01 pm

    Some the most consequential justices were not former judges: William Rehnquist, William O. Douglas, Lewis Powell, Earl Warren, Byron “Whizzer” White, Harlan Fiske Stone, Louis Brandeis, Charles Evans Hughes, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (great name!), John Jay, Joseph Story, and not the least John Marshall.

    They’ve been picking judges almost exclusively since Nixon in 1969 (because for one thing, confirmation might be a little bit easier.

    Lewis Powell was very much a favorite of Richard Nixon. He had tried to name him in 1969, but Powell declined at that time.

    Here’s Nixon discussing Supreme Court possibilities with Attorney General John Mitchell:

    http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/prestapes/f2.html

    ….. I like the fact it [Fordham] isn’t the number one law school. Goddamnit, I didn’t go to a number one law school, John. Ah, where’d you go? You go to Harvard?

    John Mitchell: Not recently.

    RMN: No.

    JM: As a matter of fact, I was touted off going to Harvard.

    RMN: Well, the whole point is that this number one law school bullXXXX is getting me down a little, isn’t it you?

    JM: It has for about thirty years. They just don’t produce the product.

    You can also see Nixon’s tendency to lie here. He tells Mitchell he wants to sound out Ehrlichman about the dean of Fordham Law School, not just to avoid saying it was Nixon’s idea, but (at first) to attribute the name to himself and then to Warren Berger! (he didn’t want to make it appear he was high on his list. He told Mitchell his intention was to nominate Powell, but this was a possible fallback choice.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  93. Anyone that writes “envisions the judiciary … as a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning.” needs to stay off the court. Democrats too often view SCOTUS as a super-legislating Robin Hood….adding elasticity to more than just the elastic clause.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  94. Stephen Breyer is the least known Supreme Court justice. (when asked to name Jstices, he is named by the fewest)

    I suppose the reason is he was confirmed the longest time ago, and he isn’t discussed that much.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  95. Handicapping President Biden’s Supreme Court Shortlist
    ……..
    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: 3-to-2 odds (40 percent)
    Age: 51 (born September 14, 1970)
    Current role: Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (since June 17, 2021)
    Education: Harvard University (A.B.), Harvard Law School (J.D.)
    ………
    Judge Jackson is widely viewed as the frontrunner—and one can see why. First, she has the credentials and experience we look for in SCOTUS nominees (for better or worse): two Ivy League degrees; multiple clerkships, including a Supreme Court clerkship; and judicial experience, including service on the prestigious D.C. Circuit and eight years as a district judge before that. Second, she enjoys strong support in liberal and progressive circles, thanks to her background as a former public defender and rulings against Donald Trump and his administration in several high-profile cases……
    ………
    Justice Leondra Kruger: 7-to-3 odds (30 percent)
    Age: 45 (born July 28, 1976)
    Current role: Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California (since January 5, 2015)
    Education: Harvard University (A.B.), Yale Law School (J.D.)
    ……..
    Like Judge Jackson, Justice Kruger has a dazzling résumé—Harvard, Yale Law, D.C. Circuit and SCOTUS clerkships, service in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office—and a solid seven years of service on the California Supreme Court. The main differences are that she’s younger and likely to be more moderate on SCOTUS than Judge Jackson, at least based on her record on the California Supreme Court, where she has sided with Republican appointees more often than her fellow Democratic appointees. Some observers also see Justice Kruger as “intellectually stronger” or boasting more “intellectual firepower” than Judge Jackson.
    ……..
    Judge J. Michelle Childs: 9-to-1 odds (10 percent)
    Age: 55 (born March 24, 1966)
    Current role: Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (since August 20, 2010)
    Education: University of South Florida (B.A.), University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D.)
    ……..
    Judge Childs has a number of things going for her, including more than a decade of judicial experience; a working-class, non-Ivy background, at a time when many are tired of dominance by elites; and strong support from Black lawmakers, especially Rep. Jim Clyburn (R-S.C.)……

    But Judge Childs also has significant weaknesses…….
    ……..
    Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi: 19-to-1 odds (5 percent)
    Age: 42-43 (born 1979)
    Current role: Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (since July 1, 2021)
    Education: Princeton University (A.B.), Yale Law School (J.D.)
    ……….
    Like Judge Jackson, Judge Jackson-Akiwumi has the advantage of having just gone through the nomination and confirmation process and winning 53 votes, including those of Senators Collins, Graham, and Murkowski. She has experience as a federal defender, which the left might like, and as a law firm partner (at Zuckerman Spaeder), which the right might like. Since she was born in 1979, she’s in her early 40s—impressively young.

    But Judge Jackson-Akiwumi’s relative youth also weighs against her……….

    Vice President Kamala Harris: 19-to-1 odds (5 percent)
    Age: 57 (born October 20, 1964)
    Current role: Vice President of the United States (since January 20, 2021)
    Education: Howard University (B.A.), UC Hastings (J.D.)
    ……..
    How do you solve a problem like Kamala? Her tanking approval ratings and claims that her operation is a “s**t show” have made some observers wonder whether she would hurt President Biden’s reelection prospects if she’s his 2024 running mate. But ditching Harris outright would look bad, a confession of error—so what to do? Put her on the Supreme Court!
    …….
    As a practical matter, though, it’s surely not happening (assuming Harris is even interested; my guess is she prefers politics to the monastic life of an appellate judge). What happens if the Senate is tied?……..

    ……..[Those] most excited by the prospect of a Harris nomination are Fox News pundits…….

    The field: 9-to-1 odds (10 percent)

    There are some interesting and impressive lawyers and judges whose names are being bandied about as possible SCOTUS nominees. The judges include Judge Holly Thomas, a California state-court judge who was just confirmed to the Ninth Circuit; Judge Tiffany Cunningham, confirmed last year to the Federal Circuit; Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, a federal trial judge in Georgia (and sister of Stacey Abrams); Judge Wilhelmina Wright, a federal trial judge in Minnesota (and a favorite of Senator Amy Klobuchar); and Justice Anita Earls of North Carolina (mentioned by Jake Tapper—but note that she turns 62 next month). The buzz-generating lawyers are a leading litigator and an academic superstar: Sherrilyn Ifill, outgoing president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Professor Melissa Murray, the Stokes Professor of Law at NYU Law School, respectively.

    But the SCOTUS nomination process loves predictability, and surprise nominees—cough cough, Harriet Miers—don’t always go over well. So I’d be shocked if the pick isn’t Judge Jackson, Justice Kruger, or Judge Childs.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  96. @97. The arrogance of the legal community always amuses; the nominee doesn’t have to be a judge or a lawyer to be nominated. Hell, a baseball umpire skilled at calling balls and strikes would likely do better.

    Don’t see RuPaul, Oprah or Whoopie Goldberg on that list, either. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  97. Recall proponents failed to gather enough signatures. As if one city council member has the power to solve a city-wide problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 9:26 am

    The LA Times article you cited states that there were 25,965 valid signatures, and that the petitioners claimed that they had submitted in excess of 39,000 signatures. Do you know whether it is typical for 1 out of every 3 signatures on a recall petition to be invalid? I’m genuinely curious.

    JoeH (e9031c)

  98. Recall proponents failed to gather enough signatures. As if one city council member has the power to solve a city-wide problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 9:26 am

    The LA Times article you cited states that there were 25,965 valid signatures, and that the petitioners claimed that they had submitted in excess of 39,000 signatures. Do you know whether it is typical for 1 out of every 3 signatures on a recall petition to be invalid? I’m genuinely curious.

    It’s possible signers lied about where they lived (I do that with a fake name and address when signing petitions for issues I oppose, technically a misdemeanor, but how would they know? ID is not required); may not have been registered voters, or may have not lived in Bonin’s district. They needed 15% of the registered voters of his Council District (27,387). They played it too close. If 50,000 signatures had been submitted it would have easily qualified.

    Most recall efforts have failed in the City of Los Angeles. From the article:

    …….
    Over the last six months, campaigns that sought to oust Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Kevin de León collapsed or fizzled out.
    ………
    Recall campaigns rarely succeed at City Hall. Over the last two decades, residents have announced recall bids against Garcetti, Councilman Paul Krekorian and former Councilman Jack Weiss, among others. None of them reached the ballot.

    The last successful recall of a City Council member was in 1928 and mayor in 1938.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  99. >The arrogance of the legal community always amuses; the nominee doesn’t have to be a judge or a lawyer to be nominated

    certainly there’s good reason to believe that the court would do a better job if it were drawing from a wider cross section of society than judges.

    but *being able to read, understand, and think about the law the way lawyers do* is a critical skill to being able to do the job well, because *reading and interpreting the law* is the essence of the job.

    it’s no more arrogance to say that a supreme court judge should be trained in the skills used in the job than it is arrogance to say that the person repairing the leaking pipe in my ceiling should be trained in the skills used in their job. sure, someone with no demonstrated skill at plumbing *could* do a fine job — but then again, they might not, and why take the chance?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  100. @100 It’s possible signers lied about where they lived (I do that with a fake name and address when signing petitions for issues I oppose, technically a misdemeanor, but how would they know?

    anyone surprised?

    JF (e1156d)

  101. Candace Owens probably isn’t black enough for that sob Biden.

    mg (8cbc69)

  102. anyone surprised?

    JF (e1156d) — 1/27/2022 @ 3:16 pm

    Surprised? No. I’d go with shocked. I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling signing with a fake name on purpose is going on in here!

    frosty (f27e97)

  103. @101. Right and wrong, balls and strikes, turn left, turn right, on/off is all you need and it’s the parsing, nuiances and so forth that messes life up for all of us. They work for us- and all the more reason THEY should stand up whjen citizens who pay their fright walk in the room.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  104. Reagan’s White House made sure the president stuck by his promise to a name woman to the Supreme Court — they knew the politics would help too
    ……..
    ……..If Biden is being “woke,” misguided, or corrupting the supposedly pure process of selecting Supreme Court nominees, then he’s not alone. President Ronald Reagan went by the same playbook.

    Reagan’s own words, news accounts, and the private memos his aides authored at the time make abundantly clear that both the conception and later commitment to the historic vow to name the first-ever woman to the Supreme Court was about more than just high-minded idealism.

    One top Reagan advisor told the president that delivering on his pledge to nominate a woman to the highest court “would be a good political move.”

    “It will strengthen our base among women and probably among men also,” the aide wrote.
    ………
    Reagan had some problems. As governor of California, his record of appointing women to the bench was anemic compared to President Jimmy Carter’s historic pace of naming women and people of color to federal courts. It didn’t help matters that Reagan opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, while first lady Rosslyn Carter and her husband took up the cause to finally push the ERA to ratification.

    “Reagan had to offer something in order to earn the vote of women who would care very deeply about that stark contrast,” (Renee Knake Jefferson, who co-wrote a book about women considered for Supreme Court nominations) said.

    Reagan knew he needed to do something to show women that they wouldn’t be forgotten in his White House. He acknowledged to reporters that he was lagging behind with female voters, though he disputed whether that was linked to his opposition to the ERA. At a news conference defending his record on October 15, 1980, Reagan made the commitment that would later lead to a historic moment.

    “I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can possibly find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all court appointments,” Reagan told reporters midway through a speech that began with him declaring that it was untrue that he was “somehow opposed to full and equal opportunities for women in America.”
    ………
    Lyn Nofziger, who worked for Reagan when he was governor and became a top White House advisor, laid out the stakes in a memo to the president and argued that the American people had “strong feelings” about the need to appoint a woman. If Reagan didn’t follow through, he wrote, it could come back to bite Republicans. Plus, he signed off, “It’s the right thing to do.” …….

    “I think also that if you do not appoint a woman you will be perceived as having reneged on your promise and that will hurt you in Congress in your effort to get your legislation package passed and will certainly hurt you in the polls, and all in all, will have a strong negative effect that will hurt your overall standing,” Nofziger wrote in the memo…….
    ………
    According to White House notes, Sen. Joe Biden assured them he knew of no fellow Democrats on the powerful Judiciary Committee who would oppose (Sandra Day) O’Connor. Senators grilled her and expressed dissatisfaction with her “vague” answers about abortion during her three-day confirmation hearing, the first ever to be televised.
    ……..
    …….. O’Connor was confirmed 99-0, the most votes a justice has ever received.

    Reagan had kept his word. The court would now have its first female justice.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  105. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 2:39 pm

    I wasn’t asking why signatures may be invalid, I was wondering if that percentage of invalid signatures to total signatures was typical. I guess I could try to research it, but I was being lazy and was hoping you knew!

    JoeH (e9031c)

  106. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 2:39 pm

    I wasn’t asking why signatures may be invalid, I was wondering if that percentage of invalid signatures to total signatures was typical. I guess I could try to research it, but I was being lazy and was hoping you knew!

    I have no idea. But there is this.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  107. This article discusses California recall history.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  108. Reagan’s White House made sure the president stuck by his promise to a name woman to the Supreme Court — they knew the politics would help too

    There is a difference, of course [thankfully…] can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em; but hmmmm… Has Pope Fauci declared RACE the new GENDER????? After all, ‘he is science.’

    And where’s the Apachie on the court– or maybe Joey thinks ‘Siouxing’ is enough for the legal system to manage!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  109. MAGA Supreme Court fantasy.

    Newsmax host: Is Breyer’s retirement the way Hillary ends up as president?
    ……..
    There’s been a strange fascination among righties in the past 24 hours with theories that Biden is going to punt Harris over to the Supreme Court, clearing the way for some more nefarious figure to replace her as vice president. There were conspiracies theories like that before the election too — except they ran the other way. Some speculated that the Biden/Harris ticket was an orchestrated bait-and-switch in which the electable “moderate” at the top of the ticket would be removed shortly after his inauguration by his cabinet on 25th Amendment grounds, giving us four years of far-left President Harris.

    Hasn’t happened. Justice Harris isn’t going to happen either. Although righty media outlets like Newsmax and Fox were pretty excited about the possibility yesterday:

    Justin Baragona
    @justinbaragona
    Fox News floats a theory that Biden is going to remove Kamala Harris as vice-president and place her on the Supreme Court.

    “I can’t be the only person who is seeing this,” Harris Faulkner says.

    “I think it’s a theory that could be credible,” Kayleigh McEnany adds.

    Hillary had better live forever. I don’t know what we’ll do without her once she’s unavailable to be a boogeyman anymore.
    ………
    If Harris was nominated to the Supreme Court, the confirmation hearing would be brutal, and Hillary probably couldn’t be confirmed if she was selected VP. But thanks for playing!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  110. HRC’s been on the public scene since June. 1969.

    Hillary is too damned old… for anything.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  111. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 5:54 pm

    Thanks for those two links.

    JoeH (e9031c)

  112. Ilya Somin is getting raked over the left-wing cancellation coals for his inartful endorsement of Sri Srinivasan over Biden’s “lesser black women” inferior candidates.
    Obama used to use the word “inartful” and MSM would just shrug and say, “well, okay”.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  113. As if one city council member has the power to solve a city-wide problem.

    No, but this one was excellent at creating and maintaining problems. In Los Angeles, city council members have great sway within their districts. It’s something they defend jealously.

    Bonin had opened up all the public areas within his district to “camping”, including right outside his district office. Since his district was the coastal area of Los Angles, from LAX up to the Santa Monica border, it was a really nice place to hang out. Never too hot, never too cold, the smog all blows inland. There is no house under $1 million within 5 mile of the coast and many are two or three times that. Why not live there for free, in a city that hands you cash?

    One of the things he did was to take a coastal commuting route and narrow it to one lane in each direction, something he called a “road diet.” He did this with no city approval other than his say-so, and did not back down for months. Of course, it wasn’t his commute.

    When people starting parking decrepit RVs along residential streets, being rented out as flop houses or being used for certain commerce, the homeowners were told by Bonin that there was nothing the city could do — any RV signage wasn’t legal. However, NO RV Parking signs could be seen near Bonin’s own home.

    Good riddance to his garbage councilman. He was my councilman before I left and a prime motivator in my leaving. I’m only sorry he wasn’t recalled.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  114. If you could condense everything wrong about California politics and distill it into one man, it would be Mike Bonin.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  115. Recall proponents failed to gather enough signatures.

    Yes. Last week. I missed that, here in New Mexico.

    A thousand or so short, the city said. Whatever. Still, the polls said he would have lost and his reelection chances were nil. Sadly, looking at who is now running and their platforms, I’m not very encouraged.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  116. I wasn’t asking why signatures may be invalid, I was wondering if that percentage of invalid signatures to total signatures was typical.

    This percentage has been rising of late. Since signature gathering is paid by the signature, it has become a common RF tactic to sign opposing petitions with false names. Not only does this cost them money, but misleads them as to how well the process is going.

    Since statewide petitions are sampled, rather than all 900,000 or so verified individually, RF’ing can be very effective if you can “predict” where the sampling will occur.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  117. “Ilya Somin is getting raked”

    Wrong Ilya Paul

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  118. Oops, Shapiro.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)


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