May 5, 2010

Just a Dream Away...

Hatched by Dafydd

With doddering, 162 year old Justice John Paul Stevens shuffling off into the sunset at the end of this Court term, striking about him with his cane and raving about the "good old days" of President Johnson (Andrew, not Lyndon), President Barack H. Obama will get to nominate his second radical, New Left socialist to the Supreme Court. Yet I have a clever but dirty scheme in mind that could blunt the damage caused by such an appointee.

Let's assume that Obama decides not to let a retirement go to waste, thus nominates Diane Wood, Woodrow Harrelson, Hillary Clinton, or others of their ilk. In that circumstance, I think the Republicans would have casus belli to spend an absurdly long time "scrutinizing" the pick... and then filibuster it, on grounds that a leftist Alinskyite is not going to judge cases fairly -- which we should already have known by looking at the imprudent jurisprudence of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, the dearly departed (from the Court, not this coil of tears) David Souter, and of course, from Stevens himself.

This will take time... months, if we really work at it. Then when it's clear Justice Andy Stern won't hunt, Obama will be forced to nominate a new prospective justice -- also a radical, also requiring scrutiny, also subject to filibuster.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

So is it possible that, if we try really hard, we can push the confirmation of a new justice to sometime after the 112th Senate is seated on January 3rd?

There's no law or article in the Constitution requiring all nine Court seats be filled at all times. In fact, with Stevens gone and only eight justices left, the net result would be that the absolute best the Rive Gauche of the Supreme Court could muster for their radical agenda would be a 4-4 tie, if Justice Anthony Kennedy votes with them.

I believe in a tie vote, the Circus Court ruling stands, whatever it may be; so Supreme Court radicalism could only occur in those cases where the appellate decision itself was an activist piece of judicial legislation, and Kennedy sides with the activists.

Pushing confirmation to the next Congress would be an incredible coup: The 112th will contain far more Republicans, making it much more difficult for the president to jam his nominee through; this may force Obama to make a more reasonable appointment, one that can actually get through a more balanced Senate J-Com and Senate floor.

So what do you think? Does the rump GOP conference, including newly elected gadfly Scott Brown, have the huevos to make a filibuster stick? Do they have the will?

Comments welcome, as always; but this time, you are encouraged to be as nasty and mean as you want; so long as none of the the targets of your snidery is online at Big Lizards, either as host or commenter.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 5, 2010, at the time of 5:37 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste

The Constitution doesn't even say that there are nine seats on the court.

The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 5, 2010 6:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn

I doubt the weak sisters of the GOP caucus can sustain a filibuster. The Maine sisters and a couple of others could cave if they got any criticism. That being said, I think we should try. Obama will never be reasonable, nor will anyone he nominates. We can ill afford any more "wise" ( fill in your preferred protected group )s on the Court. The Democrats blocked everyone they could during the Bush years. I see no reason to rubber stamp an Alinskyite.

Investigate, study, question and microscopically examine the nominee. Then deliberate, negotiate and consider for an extended period. After all delays are used, filibuster.

The Democrats and the lapdog media used every bit of their credibility getting Obama elected. Challenge the information monopoly. Let them whine. The only difference between Keith Olbermann and Katie Couric is that Keith actually wears his rubber ball nose. They are in this to win and if we aren't, we will lose again.

The above hissed in response by: Ken Hahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 5, 2010 11:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: Hal

It'll never happen. The Democrats get away with lamenting the "obstructionist" Republicans in the media as-is. Two years with a SCOTUS nominee in limbo? There isn't enough intestinal fortitude in the entirety of the caucus for such an effort.

At this point, I think we can only hope that the Republicans will actually complain if/when the nominee turns out to be another radical.

The above hissed in response by: Hal [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 6, 2010 4:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: Beldar

I don't think this plan would succeed.

But I'm against it on principle. I argued very insistently during the Bush-43 Administration that judicial filibusters (as opposed to filibusters in general) are contrary to the clearly implied constitutional duty of senators to give the president an up or down vote on his nominees. That duty was honored and satisfied for the most part throughout most of the history of the Republic; filibustering is a long tradition, but not one that historically has included judicial nominees.

The above hissed in response by: Beldar [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2010 5:22 PM

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