The Vacancy: Who Will Be Next to Join the Supreme Court?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Vaderize03, Apr 9, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    Meh, I still think it's all a wash.


    Lose a moderate (O'Connor), gain a solid liberal (Sotomayor).

    Lose a solid liberal (Stevens), gain a potential moderate (Kagan).

    The net difference would only occur should Obama get another SCOTUS retirement, providing the opportunity for that dyed-in-the-wool liberal appointment that KW covets so much.

    Of course, depending on what the landscape looks like after the mid-term elections this fall, Obama's next appointment might hinge on what the Dems' Senate majority will be. (For the record, I'm not expecting a sizable shift in Tea Party/GOP insurgents getting elected.)
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Point of order!

    O'Connor was replaced by Alito. Sotomayor replaced Souter.

    Kimball Kinnison
  3. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Kagan certainly has some interesting positions on social issues, or at least positions shes argued for in court: late-term abortion bans, dont ask dont tell, enemy combatants, etc.

    I think her confirmation will mean a slight tilt in power towards the center right on the court. It will probably make Kennedy more of a pivotal figure than he already is.
  4. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    If Kerry had won, O'Connor would not have retired. She only did so to help her ailing husband in his last years, who passed away a few months ago.

    And I agree that there's no way Scalia would retire with Obama as President. Not sure about Kennedy though. Breyer will stay on as long as those two.

    Yes, I largely agree. But I am fairly certain that Ginsburg will retire next year, around the same time.

    Yup.

    O'Connor planned to retire, and Bush was going to replace her with Roberts, but then Rehnquist died, so Roberts was nominated to be Chief Justice instead as O'Connor delayed her retirement. I disagree with Roberts, but I do respect him.

    She was ultimately replaces by Alito, although Harriet Myers was nominated first. They could have found someone better than Alito, in my opinion.

    Souter was a moderate who slowly became a little more liberal. It's too early to tell if Sotomayor is a "solid liberal" or not.

    Stevens was the solid liberal and leader, which is why people have been so skeptical about Kagan.
  6. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    As an aside, anyone can find a poll to support his/her point of view.

    I think it would benefit if we leave polls out of the discussion. The Washington Post, like The New York Times, has it's own bend.

    On another note, I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks about the current political environment leading up to the confirmation hearings. Specifically, does the oil disaster help or harm Obama and the dems in terms of political capital? How about financial reform? The energy/immigration bills?

    I'm getting some sense that we are, at least for now, past the peak of insurgent anger and things are starting to stabilize again. The jobs report, while minimal, has shifted the news cycle away from all anti-dem, all the time, and that may start to resonate with voters, IMHO.

    One wonders if there isn't some political calculus there....he he.

    Peace,

    V-03
  7. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Yes, the Post does, but it tends to bend to the left, not the right. That would make the results of that poll even more incredible.

    It was extremely educational growing up in the DC area and reading both the Washington Post and the Washington Times side-by-side. Between the two slants (left and right, respectively), you covered pretty much all the major angles on any story.

    Kimball Kinnison
  8. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    :oops:
  9. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    I'm sorry, but that does not make him "out of touch" with the rest of the nation. What percentage of the nation can name all 9 justices? In terms of generally legal philosophy, the Court is divided into 4 left-leaning, 4 right-leaning, and 1 independent-right-leaning justices. To be blunt, I don't really care what a "survey" of the population says about the Supreme Court when I would be surprised if even a significant number even knows much about the Supreme Court. I know very few people outside of political junkies and lawyers who can name more than half of the Court, let alone the decisions they make (outside of some significant cases that make it to the media).
  10. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Well, it's not just me who feels it's important to have a "representative" court.
    This newly reflective court is exclusively composed of non-Protestant, Harvard or Yale educated* people from the East or West Coasts. I respect the "demographics is irrelevant, judicial record is the only relevant factor" made by a lot of people. But if the president feels that gross demographic disparities are undesirable, he's not doing a very good job of addressing them.

    *Ginsburg went to Harvard Law School, but transferred to Columbia.
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    And that is because diversity only ever means the kind of diversity they have in mind, not actual diversity that's fully reflective.
    Granted, I prefer that to 100% diversity... but then, I think the diversity thing is a pointless argument to begin with.

    Interesting article on it (every so often the LA Times surprises me)
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-turley-supreme-court-20100512,0,811795.story
  12. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah. If they wanted real diversity of opinion they wouldn't base this decision on race or gender. Or place emphasis on it. It's sad that we've taken a word and twisted it to mean solely race or gender.
  13. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Well, Kagan's hearings start tomorrow.

    Already, Mr. Sessions of Alabama has laid the groundwork for a filibuster, calling Kagan a nominee with "serious deficiencies" who will have to "earn her way onto the court" and "prove she can put aside all of her liberalism and just call balls and strikes" as well as "prove she will be left of center, but mainstream".

    He already has refused to rule out a filibuster, the equivalent of hanging a gun on the wall in act 1 of a play and then planning to use it in act 3.

    It was pointed out by Senator Leahy that Mr. Rehnquist was also not a judge before joining the court, and that Kagan should be evaluated on her accomplishments, not just dogma.


    The arrogance of the GOP is astounding. Lest anybody forget, they spend six solid years calling the democrats "obstructionists" and have blocked Obama at every turn when they could, as the route back to power. If they "Bork" Kagan, I would like to see the democrats show a little intestinal fortitude and:

    a) nominate Diane Wood, who is a flaming liberal next to Elana Kagan

    and

    b) eliminate the filibuster for nominees, ie "the nuclear option".

    Yes it would come back to haunt them when the senate turns over next but enough playing games. A Kagan defeat or withdrawal should be enough to finally bring Obama out of his bipartisanship coma and understand that the GOP will not work with him on anything.

    At least these actions would show that the dems have some spine, instead of trying so hard to desperately cling to the "center" and outmaneuver the GOP.

    Sheesh. Let the games begin.

    Peace,

    V-03
  14. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    whoops, don't quite know what happened there
  15. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    The arrogance of the GOP is astounding. Lest anybody forget, they spend six solid years calling the democrats "obstructionists" and have blocked Obama at every turn when they could, as the route back to power.

    Oh no, but it's the Democrats who are arrogant, *cough cough*

    /Republican
  16. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    An outsider's question: Why actually are politicians grilling candidates for judicial positions in this manner in US? After all, most of these politicians have no training in law or experience of working in law? Shouldn't candidates be better questioned by experienced lawyers, or top level judges, to show whether they are capable of handling the demands of the seat offered to them?

    Currently it seems to an outsider that these hearings are just a show for the benefit of politicians, making declarations and showing off to their constituents. And sometimes, it seems, making fools of themselves when trying to make the appointees blunder in their answers.

    Especially as presidents just put forth candidates that are aligned with their own parties centres' views?
  17. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    I think that the part of recent nominations that annoys me the most is how the GOP acts like liberals are the only "activists" judges that legislate from the bench. It seems that the judiciary is only expanding its power when it is striking down laws they don't agree with. The Democrats act like this too (at times), but the Republicans have brought it to a whole new level during these last two hearings. It's almost embarrassing to watch.

    You're exactly right, I think. Most of the politicians grilling them are novices in understanding law compared to Elena Kagan.
  18. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    The whole idea of calling someone an "activist judge" seems a little bit strange for me; how would a judge not to be an activist in the Anglo-Saxon common law -derived judicial system which grants greater freedom for them? Or does it just mean that no new interpretations of the law should be made and that current judges should just follow exactly the decisions of previous generations of judges?
  19. Nonpublius Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Have people seen this story about Kagan's involvement in policies regarding partial-birth abortions:


    But if conservatives are being naive about the relationship between science and politics, Kagan is being cynical about it. "There was no way in which I would have or could have intervened with ACOG, which is a respected body of physicians, to get it to change its medical views," she told senators on Wednesday. With this clever phrasing, she obscured the truth: By reframing ACOG's judgments, she altered their political effect as surely as if she had changed them.

    She also altered their legal effect. And this is the scandal's real lesson: Judges should stop treating the statements of scientific organizations as apolitical. Such statements, like the statements of any other group, can be loaded with spin. This one is a telling example.


  20. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    No offense, but that is a load of lunchmeat left out in the 100-degree heat we had here in Philly today. There is absolutely no spin involved in a professional medical organization reiterating the position that physicians, not elected legislators, should decide what is "medically necessary".

    If you want to discuss politicization of the abortion issue, I would direct your attention to the fact that multiple experts testified before Congress as to the dangers of declaring the D and X procedure "never medically necessary", whilst only two individual physicians, and no professional organizations, testified in support of that claim. Doctors practice what is known as "evidence-based medicine"-we know what medications to give, when, and how much, when to operate, etc, based on meticulous scientific research which is constantly evolving. To have a group of lawyers in Congress arbitrarily dismiss this was insult to the entire profession of medicine.

    Furthermore, I find it far more disturbing that the court reversed itself on the Congressional ban after the replacement of Sandra Day O'Connor by Samuel Alito, a mere three years apart, upholding the idea that a mother's health should not constitute an exception to the law. Talk about politics. It's no wonder Justice O'Connor has publicly stated her regret over retiring numerous times.


    As a physician, I found that entire debate offensive in the extreme. What is the point of my judgement, my years of training, the hoops I have jumped through to obtain professional licensure, if what constitutes "medical necessity" can be subject to the whims of whatever hot-button social issue is in vogue around the time of each election? The simple fact is, the ongoing politicization of women's health issues in the United States is an embarassment to this nation as a whole, and to the medical community in particular. The attempt to ban the cervical cancer vaccine on the grounds that it would increase promiscuosity, as well as insurance coverage for Viagra but not birth control, are but two examples of this.


    As a final point, I would like to turn your attention to Chief Justice Roberts' testimony during his confirmation hearings; specifically, his comment that judges should be "umpires", calling balls and strikes. He has since gone on to lead one of the most activist courts in recent memory.

    It begs the question, what should the consequences be for a nominee who misrepresents themselves during their senate testimony?

    I wonder, indeed.
  21. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Well, Orrin Hatch unleashed a tirade against Kagan today, setting the stage for a possible filibuster, since no moderate republican senators have signed on to her nomination yet.

    Anybody think they will go through with it? Is Obama too weak right now? If financial and energy reform pass, will the momentum swing somewhat back to the president and bolster her chances of being confirmed?

    Peace,

    V-03
  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Which is weird, since all the Republicans say she's qualified and like her, including Orrin Hatch. Election season is just getting to them, it seems.

    Financial Reform should pass soon, though it was really ready to pass 3 months ago.

    I doubt an Energy Independence bill can be passed this year. Republicans won't want to do it with a climate change focus, and Democrats won't want to do it without one. Hope I'm wrong with this one.

    But Scott Brown and the Maine Senators, and Lindsay Graham, will probably vote for Kagan. I give a filibuster a 20% chance of working. No Republican is that serious about blocking her, its just political posturing.
  23. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Agreed....but politicians hate posturing, y'know?

    Peace,

    V-03
  24. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
  25. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The ideal candidate would be female, Hispanic and gay (covering all the PC bases, as it were).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.