21 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

Feh. Obama has a deliberate and contemplative decision making style. It’s not really a shock that he’s nominating potential justices that make decisions the same way.

ReplyReply
mygif

Mind -> Blown.

That said, what Thok said. I don’t think Obama is ever going to nominate Dennis Kucinich. In part, because Obama just isn’t that kind of liberal. And in part, because the 59 vote majority we’ve got has a damnably hard time putting up a full 59 votes when we need them.

Calling Ben Nelson, Mary Landerieu, and Blanche Lincoln Democrats only flies if you consider any herbivore on four legs a donkey. Obama simply doesn’t have the votes to throw up an LBJ style liberal.

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 10th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hah, so by nominating a blank slate centrist instead of a liberal…

… he might get a chance to nominate another blank slate centrist later when the senate is even more acrimonious?

Oh yay!

ReplyReply
mygif

Hah, so by nominating a blank slate centrist instead of a liberal…

… he might get a chance to nominate another blank slate centrist later when the senate is even more acrimonious?

Oh yay!

Kennedy isn’t a centrist, though – he’s a moderate conservative with a few libertarian spikes.

Lemme put it this way: if you had, say, a clone of Stephen Breyer – pretty judicially centrist – in place of Kennedy for the past six or seven years? The SCOTUS would be a totally different place, and for the better.

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 10th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

MGK, thank you for your reply.

Yes, if I could press a magic button and have the SCOTUS be 9 Breyer clones, of course I would.

However, I feel like you are trying to play both sides of the fence here. The nomination that is going to “fool” Kennedy into retiring must be centrist enough to lull Kennedy but transformative enough that the SCOTUS would be “a totally different place.”

Can we talk about how small a target that is to hit?

======

I still think that you are waaaaaay overestimating this opportunity — conservative judges hang on like grim death. Also, I think you might be naive about the senate’s cooperation at that time. It would take something a lot less speculative to justify a concrete substitution.

Also, isn’t it playing for the loss re: Obama’s successor? If Hillary (or whoever) is next prez and we’ve burned our chances to have 2 leading liberals and have 2 blank slate centrists, we will feel a bit foolish.

ReplyReply
mygif

Would it be so terrible if Obama stuck to nominating centrist judges? In my view, the entire court should have this make-up. The SCOTUS is ment to be that way to counter-balance the other two branches of government. The more we have on the bench who defy being labeled as conservative or liberal, the more effective they will be in that roll.

ReplyReply
mygif

Kind of has the ring of all the constant exhortations that Obama’s playing 12-dimensional chess; for the reasons highlyverbal lists, this scenario seems to rest on too many contingencies too far dawn the road to seem like a material plan.

ReplyReply
mygif

Would it be so terrible if Obama stuck to nominating centrist judges?

Yes, because the eventual / inevitable next Republican President will nominate another bunch of sociopaths and they’ll be counterbalanced by difference splitters who think it’s okay to go for the half-sociopathic option.

Kind of has the ring of all the constant exhortations that Obama’s playing 12-dimensional chess; for the reasons highlyverbal lists, this scenario seems to rest on too many contingencies too far dawn the road to seem like a material plan.

Yup. Obama’s nominating centrists because Obama agrees with and identifies with centrists, mind remains unblown.

ReplyReply
mygif

Dan, I don’t think “centrist” means the same thing in judicial terms as, say, “swing voter” means in electoral terms. They don’t automatically pick the half-way point between two poles.

Centrist in this context means “not radical.” Judically “not radical” might mean a bunch of different things, up to and including finding a equal protection right for gay marriage (equal protection for property rights not being particular radical).

The Court’s Right wing IS radical, since they hold views well outside of the legal mainstream (The 2nd amendment as a collective, not personal right was settled law for a long, long time. As is Roe v Wade). So, yeah, the more centrists the better.

ReplyReply
mygif

However, I feel like you are trying to play both sides of the fence here. The nomination that is going to “fool” Kennedy into retiring must be centrist enough to lull Kennedy but transformative enough that the SCOTUS would be “a totally different place.”

The court is stacked with four iron ideological conservatives that aren’t going to move an inch. Kennedy knows that as well as anybody.

To lull Kennedy, you don’t need a judge that will keep the court itself in place. You need a judge that will keep Kennedy’s seat warm. Given that the SCOTUS is at a tipping point where one vote tends to swing the entire court, the target isn’t as small as it sounds. Anyone to the left of Kennedy is enough to tip the balance.

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 11th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Dan,

Your complaints about radicals deal with the radical right…. could you just mention a few risks of having a radical lefty?

And, your position certainly would not justify a BLANK SLATE centrist. Why can’t we get an avowed centrist? Where we know her stance on lots of issues?

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 11th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Zinfab says: “To lull Kennedy, you don’t need a judge that will keep the court itself in place. You need a judge that will keep Kennedy’s seat warm.”

Please share with us the warrants for your assertions about what will suffice to fool Kennedy (not his first rodeo, after all).

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 11th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

(One final thought for the whole thing, won’t Kagan have to be in on the scam? Sure, at nomination, she is a blank slate centrist but Kennedy will work by her side until retirement… so a sudden barrage of liberal decisions would erase the value of appearing to be a blank slate centrist NOW. So she would have to decide like a blank slate centrist until Kennedy retires… and if he chooses not to retire, I guess that means for a long time.

So let’s raise the price tag for this gambit from the difference between nominating a leading liberal and a blank slate centrist now, at this moment… to include all the less liberal decisions required over time to preserve the ruse.)

ReplyReply
mygif

One final thought for the whole thing, won’t Kagan have to be in on the scam?

That you continue to consider this a “scam” implies that you’re missing the point: I’m not suggesting that Obama is trying to fool Kennedy into retiring by nominating a centrist/center-left justice. I’m suggesting that Obama is trying to convince Kennedy that he can retire safely, not have to wait until 2016 or whenever the next Republican president takes office, and that Kennedy won’t get replaced by Rachel Maddow on the bench or something.

Obama likes cool, deliberate judges who look at all sides of an issue; it’s how he himself considers the law. Kagan is very much in Obama’s mold.

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on May 11th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

MGK,

Now I’m confused! Are you saying that your original post was arguing that Obama picked his very favorite nominee, and that there might be a side benefit that it reassures Kennedy? This is not controversial. This is not note-worthy. This is so far from “MIND-BLOWING” that you would be an idiot to call it that.

I, quite reasonably, supposed that you were not an idiot and that you were proposing some stronger gambit where Kagan got bumped up in the rankings for the virtue of lulling Kennedy. So it is reasonable to consider the price tag for this gambit as the delta between Kagan and this unknown nominee. So call it scam*, gambit, opportunity, whatever you want. Just so long as the process involves weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you can pick the semantics.

=======

It certainly has to be kinda secret from Kennedy. I mean, Obama can’t go on the State of the Union and say some stupid revelatory thing like: “The SCOTUS would be a totally different place, and for the better.” So Obama will certainly have to be more circumspect than, say, this thread.

* Just for the record, you accuse me of “continuing to consider this a scam” — you read too much into an idiomatic use of that word in the phrase “in on the scam” and your accusation doesn’t match the text of my earlier posts.

ReplyReply
mygif
hilzoy fangirl said on May 11th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Professional political scientists are stealing your ideas! http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2010/05/persuading-kennedy.html

I kid. But maybe DC and Marvel will start stealing your ideas, too. Where by stealing, I mean, paying you lots of money.

ReplyReply
mygif

OBAMA IS PLAYING 3-DIMENSIONAL TIC TAC TOE!

ReplyReply
mygif
vortexgods said on May 15th, 2010 at 2:07 am

Actually, Obama is playing 3-Dimensional Knifey-Spoony.

ReplyReply
mygif
vincula said on May 15th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

You know it’s nonsense. Obama wants someone to validate the unitary executive theory and allow him to shorthand civil liberties that have been in place for decades (Miranda, search and seizure, assassination of American citizens)and in the case of “modifying citizenship” – centuries. However, he would prefer a social liberal who won’t allow abortion to become absolutely illegal (although it is already unavailable to more than 50% of the population)so that it can remain a political rallying cry at need and who will uphold his Health Care “reform” legacy. Kagan is exactly what he wants, and so too will be the next one. The most liberal member of the court was brought in as a moderate Republican. His replacement is a so-called moderate Democrat who is (apparently) significantly more conservative than he is. Shows you the current state of our politics.

Guantanamo, Iraq, military tribunals, White HOuse visitor records, phone and email monitoring, whistleblower prosecutions… tell me where Obama is fundamentally different from Bush? He isn’t. It’s the end of American exceptionalism kids, get used to it.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 16th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

> (although it is already unavailable to more than 50% of the population)

Well, duh. Far more than 50% of the population is either male or not pregnant–or both, even!. :P

ReplyReply
mygif

You know, I’m not expecting a lot of nuance from someone who spouts the mindlessly cynical “all candidates are exactly alike” and “Obama=Bush” nonsense. But really, do you honestly think President Obama wants to curtail reproductive rights for women as a campaign ploy? Do you have any evidence of that? Anything at all?

Kagan is exactly what he wants. He ran as a moderate and she is, by all acounts a moderate. She works for his administration, so I imagine he’s got a very good read of her judicial beliefs and mental process.

And, just to correct the record, the current administration has done A GREAT DEAL increase whistleblower protections. For example, did you know that federal whisleblower laws attach to any private entitly recieving money from the American Recovery and Reinvestement Act. That’s unprecidented.

But go ahead and shake your tiny fist, and be angry. It’s more fun and you never actually have to do anything other than complain.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments