Supreme Court

The eight member Supreme Court as an expression of congressional disgust

Featured image In defending their unwillingness to proceed with the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Republican Senators argue that the confirmation of a new Justice should await the upcoming election. “Let the people decide” has become the mantra. It’s an okay argument, made stronger by decades of Senate practice regarding the treatment of judicial nominees in a presidential election year. But it implies that there should be no obstruction »

Confirmation Bias, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Confirmation Bias,” I discussed “Confirmation,” an HBO film about the 1991 hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against him. When I wrote the post two months ago, Senators John Danforth and Alan Simpson, two moderate Republicans who supported the Thomas nomination, had complained about the script they saw. Simpson called it a “seriously distorted” version of the »

Oral argument in DAPA case highlights the need to block Merrick Garland

Featured image The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in United States v. Texas. This is the case in which Texas and 25 other states challenge the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy (DAPA), otherwise known as executive amnesty, an attempt to give legal status and work authorizations to more than four million illegal immigrants. We have written often about the case. See here and here, for example. Elizabeth Slattery of the Heritage Foundation »

Can Obama get Garland on the Court without Senate confirmation?

Featured image Gregory Diskant, an accomplished New York lawyer, argues in the Washington Post that President Obama could appoint Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court without the Senate having confirmed the nomination. How is this possible? Because, says Diskant, the Senate could be deemed to have waived its “advice and consent” role on a Supreme Court nomination if it “fails to act” on the nomination within a “reasonable” time. Diskant’s argument »

Meeting with Merrick Garland is not a big deal

Featured image We haven’t written much about the Senate’s treatment of, and the posturing by Senators surrounding, Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The reason I haven’t written much is that the state of play seems clear: Judge Garland will not get a hearing before the November election. Afterwards, if a Democrat wins the presidency, Republicans will consider their options. In the absence of any real suspense, the discussion has »

Justice Scalia will be missed at the Birchmere

Featured image The Birchmere is a legendary music hall in Alexandria, Virginia. It presents top-notch bluegrass, country, folk, and jazz performers. In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Washington Post asked some of the artists who know the club best to share their recollections. All of the responses are worth checking out, but Power Line readers may be most interested in that of 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs. He says, in »

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 »

Judge Garland’s “judicial restraint”

Featured image The mainstream media, serving its traditional role as tool of the Democratic Party, is breathlessly pushing the talking point that Judge Merrick Garland is a practitioner of “judicial restraint.” Robert Barnes of the Washington Post peddles the theme here. David Savage, writing for the Los Angeles Times, does so here. Greg Weiner demonstrates, however, that the “judicial restraint” displayed by Judge Garland consists of deferring to the administrative state, not »

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 »