Supreme Court

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 »

Justice Scalia, RIP [UPDATED]

Featured image Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of modern conservative jurisprudence, died today on a ranch near San Antonio. He was 79. The cause of his death is not yet publicly known. Chief Justice Roberts made this statement: On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by »

Scalia’s Death to Set Off Battle Royal In Senate [With Multiple Updates]

Featured image Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today. Scalia was a towering intellect and a great justice. His sudden death is tragic on several levels. The immediate impact, however, will be political. President Obama will use the vacancy to try to expand the lawless bloc on the Court. Senate Republicans must do all they can to prevent this from happening. Will it be possible for Republicans to run out the clock, »

More on the Supreme Court vs the EPA

Featured image The Supreme Court’s stay of Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” yesterday is fairly unusual. But it may have come about because the EPA essentially dared the judiciary to stop it. Jonathan Adler has some useful observations up on this point at The Volokh Conspiracy yesterday: Looking back over the various stay applications, I suspect that the EPA’s arguments against the stay were undermined by the Agency’s own statements about the potentially »

Breaking: Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Climate Plan

Featured image This is huge. The Supreme Court, by a 5 – 4 vote, has just issued a stay of Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” pending a full review of the case by a lower appeals court. ABC News reports: A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved. The surprising move is a blow to the administration »

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 »

Supreme Court to hear executive amnesty case

Featured image The Supreme Court decided today to review a decision adverse to the government in the legal challenge to President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules. At issue is a program that would allow as many as five million illegal immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program under which they would receive work permits and avoid the possibility of deportation. »