Judicial nominees

Joe Biden’s revisionist history of his own views [UPDATED]

Featured image When politicians sanctimoniously advocate positions that everyone knows are the opposite of the ones they would take if the partisan setting were flipped, they reinforce the contempt Americans feel towards them as a class. The dispute over whether to hold hearings for and/or to confirm Merrick Garland is a case in point. Both sides are guilty to some degree of advancing positions they would denounce if the shoe were on »

Another Reason to Be Glad We’re Rid of the Bushes

Featured image Last month I noted that the New York Times had found its newest “conservative” pet, University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, who offered up a “conservative” case for campaign finance reform. Today Painter, who served in the White House counsel’s office under George W. Bush, returns to the Times to tell us that “Bush Would Have Nominated Garland.” His advice boils down to: when the other party holds the »

The Case for GOP Obstructionism

Featured image Further to my observation this morning that game theory argues in favor of Republican obstruction of Judge Garland’s Supreme Court nomination, Bay Area Power Line reader Emmett C. Stanton sends along the following article which he submitted to the San Francisco Comical immediately following the death of Justice Scalia, but which the paper rejected. Here Stanton explains more fully why the logic of “prisoners’ dilemma,” the core exercise of game »

The Supreme Court and the Hypocrisy of the Left

Featured image Lately I’ve been arguing with lefty acquaintances of mine who say, “Isn’t it terrible for the Republicans to play tit-for-tat over Court nominations” that surely they don’t seriously expect Republicans never to reciprocate for the shameful treatment of Republican judicial nominees, starting with Bork. Over 50 Bush judicial nominees were never given a hearing, let alone a vote—and not just in the final year in office. Democrats blocked a hearing »

John Kasich would consider Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court

Featured image Republicans are united behind the idea that Judge Merrick Garland should not be confirmed this year, given President Obama’s lame duck status and the fact that Garland would give liberals a clear majority on the Supreme Court. Most Republicans don’t even think Garland should have a hearing. But John Kasich has a different perspective. In an interview to be aired tomorrow on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” the Governor Can »

Obama nominates Judge Garland to Supreme Court

Featured image President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, for the Supreme Court. Last night, displaying my usual powers of prophesy in these matters, I suggested that Garland’s inclusion on the short-list was a “head fake” and that Obama would select someone younger and further to the left. Sometimes you can fake yourself out. The selection of Garland wasn’t »

Meanwhile, on the Supreme Court front

Featured image President Obama reportedly has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three. They are Sri Srinivasan, Merrick Garland, and Paul Watford. The first two serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Watford is on the Ninth Circuit. Garland is the most interesting of the three. He’s left of center and bad on the Second Amendment, but not an out-and-out leftist. Moreover, he’s 63 years »

Occupy Tony Cheng’s restaurant

Featured image Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke today at the monthly luncheon of the Washington Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society in Chinatown. I had wanted to attend, but couldn’t due to illness. According to a report from a reliable source, Sen. Hatch’s address was interrupted when about half a dozen youngsters jumped up and began yelling “Do your job.” They waved yellow placards expressing the view that “doing your job” means confirming »

Breaking: Sandoval Out?

Featured image Reuters is reporting in the last few minutes that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration for the Supreme Court. Here’s the tweet: »

SCOTUS Grand Strategy

Featured image I see that John has beat me to this story, but here’s my two cents on it as well: The news wires today are buzzing with the trial balloon of Nevada’s moderate Republican Governor Brian Sandoval as a possible Obama nominee to the Supreme Court. I believe it is a head fake, but it is worth starting out at face value. On the surface, the idea is plausible. You would »

Biden’s 1992 advice: Don’t nominate Supreme Court Justice in election year

Featured image Speaking on the Senate floor in 1992, Joe Biden stated that if a Supreme Court vacancy were to arise while the “political season [i.e., the presidential campaign] is underway,” President George H.W. Bush should follow the “practice of the majority of his predecessors” and not nominate anyone to the vacancy until after the election. Biden added that that if President Bush were to ignore that advice, the Senate Judiciary Committee »

Confirmation Bias, NY Times Style

Featured image I haven’t read the New York Times editorials on the Scalia succession, and I’m not going to unless they pop up on my screen by accident. But I did happen to stumble across their 1987 editorial on why the Senate was correct to reject Robert Bork, and one of the reasons was that. . . well, take in this paragraph for yourself, but not with a mouthful of milk or »

Confirmation Bias

Featured image A lot of people think Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a mistake in saying that any Obama Supreme Court nominee wouldn’t even get a hearing, let alone a vote, but I think he was perhaps very canny. Knowing Obama’s ideology, he might have been deliberately provoking Obama, as Paul suggested over the weekend, to send a deeply ideological—and preferably minority nominee—for political purposes, but which would make McConnell’s job »

Republicans have no constitutional duty to vote on Supreme Court nominees

Featured image The procedural debate over filling the Supreme Court vacancy resulting from Justice Scalia’s death has become tiresome already. Both sides are dressing up their arguments in constitutional clothing, to which the Democrats are adding a dose of moralism. Yet everyone understands that if positions were reversed — if a Republican president wanted to fill a vacancy and the Democrats controlled the Senate — Democrats would be prepared to block any »

Obama’s new appellate court nominees should be blocked

Featured image In his final year in office, President Obama remains in a position to continue his project of transforming America. He can do so through Executive Orders, for example. Republicans, though, are in a position to close the book on one front — the transformation of the federal judiciary. In November 2014, the GOP took control of the Senate. Consequently, no federal judge can be confirmed without Republican complicity. Indeed, as »

Jeb to Conservatives: Drop Dead

Featured image Back in September in “Bush League De-Regulation,” I took note of Jeb Bush’s Wall Street Journal op-ed about his views on regulation. I wondered whether he really understands the problem sufficiently, and concluded: This is another sign that Bush, as good as he is in many ways, is not good enough. He doesn’t get the full depths of the problem. Like his dad and older brother. Today, as reported by »

Let’s hear it for Senator Perdue

Featured image When Democratic presidents nominate leftist minority group members to the federal bench, it’s win-win for them. Either they get a leftist confirmed plus the right to brag about how much they’re doing for minorities or the Democrats can castigate Republicans for being mean to minorities. The nomination of Dax Lopez to the federal district court for the Northern District of Georgia is a classic example. Lopez is Hispanic (and Jewish »