Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

We don’t know who she or he is yet, but I’m guessing the list of qualifications, in order of importance, goes something like this:

1) Reliable leftist. True believer in abortion rights, gay marriage rights, activist government intervention to right the various wrongs people suffer, etc. Not some cypher who’s going to reveal his true colors when it’s too late the way Souter did.

2) Young. The younger the better. Robers and Alito are going to be there a good long time, and this new judge had better last at least as long.

3) Not a white, Christian, heterosexual male. A female Hispanic would be ideal, but they can be flexible, but a Hispanic man, black woman or white (preferably Jewish) woman would be the next best choice. A black man would do in a pinch, because everybody knows Uncle Thomas doesn’t count. A gay justice of either sex would be swell, but Obama is a cautious guy, so this probably isn’t in the cards just yet. Maybe when Ginsberg retires.

4) Nothing that will block confirmation. After all the tax-evading cabinet nominees, the President has probably learned his lesson on vetting.

5) Eminent jurist.

Now, before the attacks start, let me say, I freely acknowledge that Bush was on pretty much the same page with #1 and #2. He wanted a solid conservative, and he wanted him/her young and healthy. I’m not saying Obama is a bad guy because he wants to do the same thing for his side. It’s just smart politics.

It’s also sad that the Court has been so politicized that this is what it comes down to: my forty-something true believer against your forty-something true believer. I don’t see a way out of the situation, and I’m not expecting Obama to fall on his sword and appoint some 65-year-old judge who worships at the altar of The Law instead of The Left.

I’m not even going to pillory his nominee on this blog. What would be the point? I know the kind of person he’s going to nominate — and the Senate is going to confirm — and I accept it. I knew we’d lost this round in the Culture War last summer when I watched with sick fascination and horror the American Cicero seducing the nation.

We let ourselves be seduced. Now we’re going to get screwed.

Comments 8

  1. John wrote:

    Well, people like you are going to get “screwed” because you think homosexuals getting married, people having access to abortions, and government trying to ameliorate some society’s ills are terrible things and that somehow you are getting screwed if these things happen (I don’t really get it, but I guess that’s what you believe).

    On the other hand, people who agree with Obama–ahem, the American Cicero–and polling shows that on the social issues, the economy, foreign policy, etc etc, a clear majority is with Obama–are going to get exactly what they voted for. Obama ran as a moderate liberal, he’s governing as a moderate liberal, and any Supreme Court justices he nominates will reflect his moderately liberal politics.

    Perhaps it is just the nature of electoral politics that the losers just can’t believe that people voted for the other party without somehow being hoodwinked or duped. For my part, I certainly believe that GWB represented himself as a newer gentler compassionate conservative but then governed as a hard-right radical, that he used every dirty trick in the book–Florida, swift-boating etc–to get power. But, as someone who thinks Obama is OK, and certainly about 5000% better than Bush, I thought it was pretty clear what he stood for and that’s what people elected. Personally, I only wish he was *less* technocratic and *more* liberal.

    So if the definition of getting “screwed” is the government doing what it said it would do, then I guess it’s time to lie back and think of Rome…..

    Posted 07 May 2009 at 9:18 am
  2. Dan wrote:

    If you actually bothered researching Obama’s legal philosophy you’d discover that he’s a pragmatist rather than an ideologue. For all your accusations that he’s a far-left Marxist his former constitutional law students uniformly report that he has a centrist approach to constitutional interpretation that prizes precedent over ideology (which is the opposite of Scalia and Thomas, both famous for championing “originalism” which is just code for “ignoring precendent.”) He’s not going to appoint a Thurgood Marshal style liberal. He’s more likely to appoint a Souter-style respecter of precedent.

    Additionally I love the wailing and gnashing of teeth by Republicans that the Dems are getting to appoint a SC Justice for once. Yes, we surely should have a fully packed court of right wing ideologues like Scalia and Thomas who ignore the law and impose their religious beliefs from the bench. Scalia didn’t even have the integrity to recuse himself from a case in which the defendent was his close personal friend Dick Cheney (and of course, he ruled in Cheney’s favor.) You’ll still have a 4 crazy religious right-wing partisans on the bench, one swing vote, two left partisans, and two left-leaning moderates, don’t worry about it. Maybe if you keep insisting that its the left on the Supreme Court that legislates from the bench long enough, people outside the right wing echo chamber will actually believe it. Not people who actually pay attention to the cases, of course, just those who get their legal opinions from idiots like Michelle Malkin.

    Posted 07 May 2009 at 2:35 pm
  3. Lissa wrote:

    “Perhaps it is just the nature of electoral politics that the losers just can’t believe that people voted for the other party without somehow being hoodwinked or duped.”

    John, you’ve nailed it. Believe it or not, there are those of us out there who voted for Obama based solely on his political views. I know, I know, we’re all morons who can’t see the good ol’ Republican way. Either way, we Democrats still have the capacity to think independently..really. I’m absolutely certain that I wasn’t gently persuaded by the media, celebrities, or a general mob-mentality way of thinking. I wasn’t lured by his celebrity, his rockstar status, his charm.

    I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, either.
    That’s a pretty clever nickname, though, “American Cicero” …you must be very proud. Kudos.

    One last thing: I can’t wait to see homosexuals getting married, people having access to abortions, and government trying to ameliorate some society’s ills!

    Posted 07 May 2009 at 8:55 pm
  4. Brigette Russell wrote:

    I wasn’t lured by his celebrity, his rockstar status, his charm.

    I’ve never said the true believers were, and you’re apparently one of them. But you’ve got to admit that many of the swing voters who chose Bush over the gangling Lt-Kerry-reporting-for-duty and then chose Obama over McCain surely were.

    Posted 07 May 2009 at 10:40 pm
  5. Dan wrote:

    But you’ve got to admit that many of the swing voters who chose Bush over the gangling Lt-Kerry-reporting-for-duty and then chose Obama over McCain surely were.

    Or perhaps it was because the full breadth of the Bush administration’s corruption and incompetence wasn’t revealed yet in 2004. Also, Kerry ran a truly awful campaign – McCain’s sad effort in 2008 looked brilliant in comparison. The fact that he allowed the GOP to smear his Vietnam service without responding was almost half as disgraceful as the smearing itself.

    I still get angry when I see these pictures from the 2004 GOP convention:

    http://www.preemptivekarma.com/archives/68726110_2c7787453b_o.jpg

    I always find it odd that the GOP fetishizes the military but are lukewarm at best towards GOP politicians who actually voluntarily joined and saw combat in wartime (Bush I, Dole, McCain) and hugely enthusiastic about those who pulled strings to avoid combat (Reagan, Bush II). I suppose it has something to do with the fact that those who’ve actually been in combat generally aren’t as enthusiastic about starting wars (and, in McCain’s case, torturing prisoners) as those who haven’t.

    Posted 08 May 2009 at 2:54 pm
  6. John wrote:

    Good point, Dan.

    Posted 10 May 2009 at 4:13 am
  7. Catmoves wrote:

    Oh, my. I have to take issue with John’s remark : “government trying to ameliorate some society’s ills….”
    I think he left the word “of” out.
    I don’t want some wimpy, misbegotten sod making decisions about how I will live my life. nor what I will choose to do with it. I don’t need him/her “ameloriating” anytjhing about me or mine. In plainer english: Keep your nose out of my life.

    Posted 11 May 2009 at 2:35 am
  8. Brigette Russell wrote:

    One last thing: I can’t wait to see homosexuals getting married, people having access to abortions, and government trying to ameliorate some society’s ills!

    Missed this before. Um, people do have access to abortions, and have for many decades. Not only do “people” have access to abortions, but underage girls have access to them without obtaining parental consent, when they can’t even get their ears pierced legally without such consent. Considering that pretty much anyone who wants an abortion now can get one, just how much more “access” do you want? Are free (that is, taxpayer funded) abortions for every woman and girl in America what you’re hoping for?

    Posted 11 May 2009 at 4:34 am

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