Rehnquist Has Died

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The Chief Justice succumbed to his thyroid cancer Saturday night. Let the battle begin.

NEXT: No, Really, We've Got It Under Control

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  1. Rehnquest was a good man who was always consistent in his beliefs. He will be missed.

  2. Any wagers on if Bush will come up with an even blander pick than Roberts?

  3. I think I had RehnQuest on Sega Genesis...

  4. He was a very scholarly man. One can find fault with many of his judgements, but the same could be said of many other judges on many courts. The difference between Rehnquist and many of those judges is that he was a prolific author with an eye toward history, signaling an active intellect. If only every judge made the same effort to consider his work in the broadest possible context.

    Outcomes are good. Outcomes produced by sharp minds are better. And outcomes produced by sharp minds with respect for history and context are better still.

  5. Rehnquist was a great chief justice. He will be missed. So...my predictions (not that anybody asked):
    New Chief Justice- Scalia
    New Associate Justice- A woman- maybe Edith Jones whose name was floated the day Roberts got the nod.
    The left throws their typical hysterical fits, everybody gets approved going away.

  6. If Bush raises one of the existing Justices to the Chief Justice spot it will be Thomas, I think.

  7. thoreau,

    Crappy historical works don't make one great.

    _______________________

    He was a judge interested in pushing certain political agendas, and thus was a conservative in the "policy" sense. I find his and Burger's attempts to expand Younger abstention in the 1970s and 1980s to be especially galling in that usurped to the Court the power to determine its jurisdiction, a power which lies almost entirely with the Congress.

  8. thoreau,

    If you are actually interested in what really happened during Reconstruction, the "corrupt bargain" of 1877, etc. please read (as a starter) Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (it comes in abridged version as well).

  9. Great timing.

    Any suggestions on countries I could go to? I know New Zealand likes immigrants. Chile looks good, but a little too Catholic. But it's got some nice vineyards that are probably cheap.

    Ugh.

  10. This pretty much guarantees a vacancy on the Court come October.

  11. thoreau, hakawut has given you an assignment. We expect the book report by Wednesday, 6 pm.

  12. This pretty much guarantees a vacancy on the Court come October.

    Depending on whom Bush picks, we could have a vacancy into January.

  13. Come on guys, let's get Richard Posner in the SC. None of these others guys have the trust in the market necessary for that spot.

  14. I am here to annouce that President Bush's nomination of Insert Name Here to the Supreme Court is unacceptable. We believe that Insert Name Here has shown that he/she is not worthy of the Supreme Court. After all, Insert Name Here has been nominated by a Republican, which we believe to be an automatically disqualifying event in the carreer of Insert Name Here. We look forward to derailing the nomination of Insert Name Here after a completely non-partisan hearing.

  15. Michael Brown is likely to be looking for work soon...

  16. At 2:30 AM, strange thoughts wander thru my mind. Such as, Bush should nominate himself. He'd have to resign before he is sworn in, but that houldn't be a problem. With W. as Chief Justice, the fundies would die of orgasm. With Cheney as Prez, the neocon hawks would die of orgasm. That leaves the small government types in control of the Republican Party. And we'd all die of orgasm, if that were to happen.

    I gotta stop posting at 2:30 AM.

  17. The Chief Justice is dead! Long live the Chief Justice!

  18. This should be an easy replacement politically. Bush can nominate a real hard-ass conservative without much ado since his nominee will be replacing a hard-ass conservative. This is nothing. Well, except to the late justice's family and friends, of course. RIP.

  19. Can anyone think of a better way to die then by orgasm? Shit, I say we go with Portlander's idea. Brilliant!

    Give me liberty or give me head,
    Robert

  20. Michael Brown is likely to be looking for work soon...

    Not really. Given the track record of the Bush administration, his behavior in the last seven days puts him in line for a big promotion. Or a medal.

  21. I kind of liked All the Laws But One.

    And although I haven't read his book on the history of impeachment, it's hard for me to see how a book on such a rarely used procedure (well, rare at the time it was written, pre-Clinton) could be construed as pushing an agenda.

    My wife has already assigned me a novel that I absolutely must read so we can discuss it. I'm working my way through the exercises in a book on finite-element solution of PDE's. I have a stack of papers on angiogenesis to read. Not to mention that I'm busy climbing the FEMLAB (Finite EleMent LAB) learning curve.

    So I doubt I'll have time to read up on Reconstruction.

    Thanks for the thought, though.

  22. Roberts was a bit of a shocker because he appears non-crazy and competent. That really is the maximum you can hope for with this administration. Maybe he'll throw the fundies a bone and nominate Roy Moore or something.

  23. To be clear, I didn't agree with all of the conclusions in All the Laws But One, but I found it informative nonetheless.

  24. I'd bet a lot on Thomas going to Chief Justice. He's still fairly young and naming him would be one way to perhaps make amends with the African-American population for some of the clusterfuck that this last week has been. Yes, black leaders will complain he's not "really" black, but the I have to believe that for most African-Americans, the sight of a black Chief Justice will be a very good thing.

    That's especially true when the joke among blacks goes "You know that at the jail house there's no justice. Just us."

  25. Will he be buried in the black robe with the gold stripes?

  26. One possibility is that Bush could name Roberts Chief Justice as well as Associate Justice.

  27. Thoreau, before you embarass yourself any further you should really read Jokerstein's "Angiogenesis in Excruciating Detail" and volumes 1-10 of Hack's "Finite Element Minutiae."

    Not to mention the past 10 years of "The French Journal of Irrelevant Medical Papers."

    I will administer your quiz one week from now.

  28. Depending on whom Bush picks, we could have a vacancy into January.

    2006? Can Hillary, Teddy and co. can hold a filibuster 'til '08?

  29. Do they administer literacy tests at the Pearly Gates?

  30. If Bush names Thomas C.J., what does Kanye West say?

  31. "If Bush names Thomas C.J., what does Kanye West say?"

    Does it fucking matter?

    Besides being an idiot, he's an awful musician.

    Why would anyone give half a shit as to what he thinks?

  32. Chuck Schumer's got to be having a hissy fit right about now. That makes me laugh.

  33. "Do they administer literacy tests at the Pearly Gates?"

    Yes, but only to Democrats.

  34. Janis Brown of course. The left still has signs painted for her.

  35. "Why would anyone give half a shit as to what he thinks?"

    Andy,

    It was a joke; but aside from yesterdays HR thread on him, here's an excerpt from today's Los Angeles Times:

    "AS we enter the celebrity telethon phase of the Katrina tragedy, NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" stands as a blueprint for its own kind of institutional failure.

    By censoring Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West's remarks critical of President Bush during its West Coast feed of the program Friday night, the network violated the most moving and essential moment in an otherwise sterile, self-serving corporate broadcast."

    .... most moving and essential ..... LOL

  36. "Will he be buried in the black robe with the gold stripes?"

    Hopefully not. They should just stick a bone up his ass and let the dogs drag him off.

  37. I kind of doubt that Thomas would really want to go through another Senate confirmation hearing even if the President were inclined to nominate him. My guess is that Roberts or Scalia will move be elevated to the Chief Justice and the next nominee will be Emilio Garza. Very conservative, but Mexican and a retired Marine. He'd be hard as hell to beat politically and nothing would please Karl Rove more than to see a bunch of black and feminist groups throwing poo on the country's first Mexican Supreme Court nominee.

  38. "By censoring Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West's remarks critical of President Bush"

    Yes, they were just ordinary criticism. Nothing inappropriate or hyperbolic about them...

    I'm no Bushie, but Jesus. They're trying to raise money for the victims and Kanye "I can't make a song without sampling someone else's shit" West comes along and calls the president a racist, heartless bastard. Way to raise money for a good cause...

  39. "He'd be hard as hell to beat politically and nothing would please Karl Rove more than to see a bunch of black and feminist groups throwing poo on the country's first Mexican Supreme Court nominee."

    Fuck identity politics. All it does (they do?) is to separate people and lead to a form of primitive tribalism.

    Bush: Nominate the best man/woman/dolphin for the job without regard to their "race," "ethnicity," "religion," "sexual orientation" or whatever other bullshit people use to separate themselves.

    Uppity "minority groups:" Shut the fuck up.

  40. Mark my words: Emilo Garza will get the nomination, and will go straight to Chief Justice.

    You heard it here first.

  41. "He'd be hard as hell to beat politically and nothing would please Karl Rove more than to see a bunch of black and feminist groups throwing poo on the country's first Mexican Supreme Court nominee."

    Uh, yeah, that must be why all of the other race cards the Republicans have tried to play in judicial confirmations fights have worked so well. From Clarence Thomas being saved by the skin of his teeth by the "she's a lying slut" defense, to accusing Senators with Irish surnames of hating Catholics. Face it, righties, you can't play a decent race card if your life depended on it. The only way a group of rich white men can convincing play the race card is if they can emote genuine concern about the mistreatment of racial minorities - not exactly the party of Lott's strong point. Yammering "sharecroppers daughter" without ever actually having had a conversation with a poor black person doesn't cut it.

    "I kind of doubt that Thomas would really want to go through another Senate confirmation hearing even if the President were inclined to nominate him." Yes, now that the author of the "she's a lying slut" defense had admitted that he made it all up, Thomas would be left with his reputation in tatters. He's not going anywhere.

  42. joe,

    I was merely a lad during the Thomas confirmation, but IIRC it was his "white men ganging up on an uppity nigger" line of argument that brought his grilling at the hands of Joe Biden & Co. to a screeching halt.

  43. Yammering "sharecroppers daughter" without ever actually having had a conversation with a poor black person doesn't cut it.

    But then, I wonder how many "compassionate white liberals" have actually had a conversation with a poor black person?

    Most white liberals don't have a clue what it's like to even work for a living at all.

  44. Joe,

    "Uh, yeah, that must be why all of the other race cards the Republicans have tried to play in judicial confirmations fights have worked so well."

    In a judicial confirmation, "works" = "confirmed."

    "The Committee sent the nomination to the full Senate without a recommendation either way. Thomas was confirmed by the Senate with a 52-48 vote on October 15, 1991, making it the closest confirmation vote for a Justice in the 1900s. The vote was not strictly by party line; he received "yea" votes from 41 Republicans and 11 Democrats, and "nay" votes from 46 Democrats and 2 Republicans"

    It was your party's Senate alfter all ....

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