Supreme Court

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 »

Sandoval: The Silliest Trial Balloon Ever?

Featured image Today, numerous news sites reported breathlessly that President Obama is considering nominating Brian Sandoval, the Governor of Nevada–a Republican!–to the Supreme Court. The Washington Post led the charge: The White House is considering picking the Republican governor from Nevada to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court, scrambling political calculations… Political calculation is the only thing going on here. …in what is expected to be a contentious confirmation battle »

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

Featured image We have observed before that the American left never gives up. That’s admirable when it comes to matters of principle and policy. Here, conservatives also fight hard, though they probably could take a page or two from the left’s playbook. But when it comes to he-said-she-said type factual disputes about personalities or events — was Alger Hiss a Russian agent; did Clarence Thomas harass Anita Hill; did Dan Rather and »

The Times Does Supreme Court History

Featured image On Wednesday, the New York Times published an article on the impending nomination of a replacement for Justice Scalia headlined Should Obama Pick Nominee? Your Answer May Depend on How Much History You Know. The point of the piece was to suggest that better-informed people–those who know the most about history!–want the choice of the next justice to be President Obama’s. No surprise there. What’s funny about this is that »

Obama’s phony regret

Featured image More than 3,500 days after the fact, President Obama claims he regrets filibustering the nomination of Justice Alito to the Supreme Court. To be more precise, White House press secretary Josh Ernest makes this claim on Obama’s behalf. Obama himself has made no such public statement. Instead, as Scott notes, he has tried to talk his way out of the obvious contradiction between his filibuster of Altio and his insistence »