Supreme Court

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image Reuters is reporting in the last few minutes that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration for the Supreme Court.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

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 »

Obama’s shinola

Featured image Jeff Mason covers the White House for Reuters. At Obama’s press conference in Rancho Mirage, California yesterday, Mason asked Obama an obvious question (video below). The White House has posted the transcript of the press conference here and here. In the video excerpt below, Mason asks Obama how he squares his recent lecture on the Senate’s constitutional duty yada yada regarding the replacement of Justice Scalia with his own support »

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 »

Schumer’s Shinola

Featured image This past Sunday on This Week with the former Clinton enabler, the odious Senator Chuck Schumer instructed us in course to be followed in connection with the replacement of Justice Scalia on the Court: “Well, the job, first and foremost, is for the president to nominate and for the Senate to hold hearings and go through the process. You know, the Constitution, Ted Cruz holds the Constitution, you know, when »

The Supreme Court Controversy In One Sentence

Featured image The controversy over the Supreme Court vacancy is entirely predictable and playing out in predictable ways, but as of yet I haven’t seen anyone state the common sense of the subject directly. I am sure when Democrats tanked Robert Bork in 1987 someone among them—probably even Biden—must have known that what goes around comes around. Republicans have been waiting 30 years for payback for the shameful rejection of Bork; that »

Here’s a question

Featured image What if a Republican wins the presidency in November, but the Democrats gain control of the Senate? In this scenario, the Senate would have 17 days to confirm an Obama nominee before a Republican president could take office and withdraw the nomination. Normally, you wouldn’t expect a party that captures the White House to suffer losses in the Senate. But the Senate electoral map in 2016 is so skewed in »

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 »

Gaming the Scalia Seat (Updated) (Updated, no recess appointment)

Featured image Just curious: is the Senate in recess this weekend? If so, Mitch McConnell might want to have someone rush down to the floor right away to gavel it into session so Obama doesn’t fill Scalia’s seat today or tomorrow with a recess appointment, no doubt citing the grounds that he needs to end-run Republican obstructionism. [UPDATE: Elizabeth Price Foley explains why the Senate may indeed be in recess right now, »

Breakfast with Justice Scalia

Featured image Justice Scalia’s death in Texas yesterday represents a tragic loss for the Supreme Court and for our country. His nearly 30-year tenure on the Court is most notable for his adherence to, and elaboration of, the original meaning of the Constitution and amendments as publicly understood at the time of ratification. The brilliant style in which he explained himself in his opinions magnified his impact. He made an enormous contribution »

What kind of Supreme Court nominee will Obama select? [With Comment by John] [Updated by Paul]

Featured image I think that President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia will be dead on arrival at the Senate, regardless of whom Obama selects. I suspect that Obama will reach the same conclusion. If so, Obama will select the person whose rejection will provide Democrats with the most political ammunition. Most likely, this means Obama will select an African-American female. That way, when the Senate refuses even to bring the nomination »