Politics

Souter's Successor at the Supreme Court: Who The Heck Knows?

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The always superuseful ScotusBlog says, cool it already on any premature speculations on who the retiring Justice Souter's successor might be:

…people will talk about a "short list."  They have no idea what they are talking about.  There presumably is a fluid working list of possible candidates at the White House.  But it no doubt changes, and only a handful of people even in that building would know who is on it at any given time.  The "short list" is a dressed up way of saying "conventional wisdom."

Third, no one knows whether the conventional wisdom is actually sound because it depends on a threshold question:  what is the President looking for in terms of vision, ideology, and background.  You can take it as a given that the President wants someone incredibly smart and qualified, and with perfect integrity.  And a woman.  And someone younger than 60.  But what about the candidate's past experience—in politics, in judging, in academia?  What about their ability to lead?….President Obama is going to face trade-offs, and if people tell you that they know what qualities he is going to value more than others, they likely are just making it up.

Still, even he can't resist the naming names game:

My bet is that—this early on—it's a big and diverse list.  It would have some very well known judges (for example, Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor), academics (Elena Kagan (now Solicitor General), Pam Karlan, and Kathleen Sullivan), and politicians (Jennifer Granholm, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, and Janet Napolitano).

As Roland Hedley used to say, only time will tell.

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  1. Michelle Obama

  2. conventional wisdom is like ‘politically correct’, all of the first word and none of the second.

  3. Barack Obama.

  4. Incidentally, my recollection is that there is no Constitutional qualifications for the Court, so Obama can nominate a non-lawyer or even an intelligent bicycle.

    Ooh, I have a disturbing thought–what about a non-American?

  5. Ooh, I have a disturbing thought–what about a non-American?

    Like Obama!

  6. Schwarzenegger!

    I’ve heard that (urk) Cass Sunstein is on the list as well. Blech.

  7. oh, and Scotusblog is just jealous that they aren’t the go-to source on this anymore.

  8. Keeping with the mentality of his base, (and probably me – see other thread) I propose he draw from the following:

    Judges,
    Joe Brown
    Larry Seidlin
    Judy Sheindlin
    Greg Mathis
    Glenda Hatchett

  9. TAO, wouldn’t that be great! We’d be one step closer to securing that most blessed of liberties, the Right to be Comfortable and Feel Good About Yourself.

  10. Kofi Annan? Jacques Chirac? Mahmud Abbas?

  11. The easiest way to narrow the possibilities is to cross off anyone whose JD isn’t from an Ivy League school.

  12. Really, as someone mentioned in a previous thread, it has to be Oprah, the ultimate power in the universe.

  13. I nominate Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He’s only 87 – that still makes him younger than Stevens.

  14. Looking at the Big O’s track record, expect his choice to be surprisingly appalling, worse than any of us expected. I’m calling it now: Granholm. Just kidding. Not really.

  15. Actually I have no idea if Sunstein thinks like that. I do know he’s an advocate of “libertarian paternalism” so that’s a positive 😉

  16. I gave my guess earlier in the day: Bill Ayres.

  17. Judge Reinhold!

    “My name is Judge.”

  18. Epi – no way. Granholm doesn’t have any tax problems, so far as I know.

    The real key here is to identify a likely 2012 Primary Contender. That’s the person who’s going onto the Court…so…Mark Warner for SCOTUS!

  19. [Slaps forehead.] We’re all idiots. It’s going to be Ward Churchill.

    Dagny T.,

    Kind of like Major Major?

  20. He might try to reach across the aisle and nominate that party switchin’ guy from PA. Or Chavez.

  21. Jennifer Granholm??

    The downside is we’ll have a moron on the Supreme Court. The upside is we’ll no longer have that moron as the governor of Michigan.

  22. I believe that Daniel Ortega is a lawyer or at least studied the law. And he’s Hispanic.

  23. It will be a brown woman. Count on it.

  24. Judge Reinhold?

  25. Tracy Morgan playing Star Jones.

  26. Unless she has any terribly incendiary views, skeletons in her closet or weird encounters with Cans of Coca-Cola, Sonia Sotomayor should start looking for Georgetown brownstones.

  27. “Now, see, I AM A LAWYER, and what that means is…”

  28. David Hasselhoff. The man is good at everything he does.

  29. Kind of like Major Major?

    Yes, but with more zany hijinks and shenanigans. The court’s new catch phrase can be: “That’s our Judge!” Hilarity ensues.

  30. David Hasselhoff. The man is good at everything he does.

    KITT for Supreme Court justice! He has a wonderful voice, and he’s very logical.

  31. Luci Lu or that chick who played Wayne’s girlfriend in Wane’s world. The Left will love the second one, she tried to kill a Republican in “True Lies”.

  32. It should be Alex Kozinski. The chances of this happening are of course, just about nil.

    -jcr

  33. Ladies and Gentlemen, I nominate the Honorable Harry T. Stone to the Court. You know that he’s willing to work Sundays.

  34. Incidentally, my recollection is that there is no Constitutional qualifications for the Court, so Obama can nominate a non-lawyer or even an intelligent bicycle.

    Ooh, I have a disturbing thought–what about a non-American?

    Why not Koko?

    Why take all-Kelo? Koko sad. Dissent. Apple. Justice Breyer eat poop. Laugh.

  35. I know the name libertarian paternalism drives everyone crazy, but if that’s as far as he was willing to go in terms of messing with liberty, he’d be the best judge ever.

  36. Best Kozinski dissent ever:

    http://www.lawhaha.com/strange.asp#A0

  37. My next choices would be Penn Gilette or James Randi.

    -jcr

  38. Obama gave a terrifying answer several years ago on what he thinks the proper role of the SCOTUS is.

    He was complaining, as I recall, that the Civil Rights movement hadn’t overturned the antiquated notion that the Constitution guarantees negative liberties, and should have pressed on to establish doctrine that the Consitution doesn’t just say what the government can’t do, but what it must do.

    So, I think what he is looking for is:

    (1) A woman. This is non-negotiable, seeing as we are talking about replacing the only woman on the Court.

    (2) Preferably with some kind of ethnicky background.

    (3) Who is a Constitutional radical. I, personally, can’t imagine a supermajority Dem Senate turning anyone he nominates away because of their views.

    Rinse and repeat three or four times as our elderly Justices drop off, and you will have his true legacy: a Court that acts as a Super-Legislature for lefty causes, answerable to no one.

  39. Rinse and repeat three or four times as our elderly Justices drop off, and you will have his true legacy: a Court that acts as a Super-Legislature for lefty causes, answerable to no one.

    Lani Guinier, Part Deux.

  40. (1) A woman. This is non-negotiable, seeing as we are talking about replacing the only woman on the Court.

    The person calling for Ward Churchill above wins, unless MNG is selected.

  41. Epiiarch,

    I thought Bill Ayers was the worst possible selection, but Granholm would actually be worse.

  42. Shatner! He know all about our laws. Ignore his crippling Canadianess.

    Clicky linky. My brains hurt.

  43. um, did I miss David Souter’s sex-change operating, RC Dean?

  44. (1) A woman. This is non-negotiable, seeing as we are talking about replacing the only woman on the Court.

    Awesome funny. Superwin.

  45. * operation!!! Dammit, joe’s law strikes again.

  46. Ladies and Gentlemen, I nominate the Honorable Harry T. Stone to the Court.

    But then all proceedings will be accompanied by Mel Torme songs. Think of the horror! Besides, where does John Larroquette fit into this? Dan Fielding, dude!

    “Now nobody can say I don’t own John Larroquette’s spine.”

  47. Anita Hill

    I’d pay money to watch SCOTUS if that were the case. 😉

  48. RC,

    You still have Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy to block the really crazy stuff. At this point Kennedy is all that stands between us and a left wing dictatorship. It is pretty scary.

  49. I nominate Lionel Hutz.

  50. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I nominate the Honorable Harry T. Stone to the Court.”

    ooooooooooooookay

  51. Holy fucking shit, NutraSweet, that looks like the best book EVAR. They must–MUST–make a movie, starring Shatner and Bruce Campbell, of course.

    “Bubba Ho-Shatner”

  52. From SF’s linky: …But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell…

    This is not so crazy. I mean, who *doesn’t* worship at the feet of Bruce Campbell?

  53. Why a woman? Will she think like a woman? Isn’t that “sexist”?

  54. At this point Kennedy is all that stands between us and a left wing dictatorship. It is pretty scary.

    Get out your paper bag and take a deep breath, John. Jeez…it’s not like Court has exactly been playing Hughes Court with W. or Obama’s programs as of late.

  55. Shatner? Great, we’ll go from Souter citing international law to Shatner citing some obscure Star Fleet collectivist precedents.

  56. At least Shatner wiped his ass with the Prime Directive. Imagine having Picard (a French man with an English accent) on SCOTUS instead.

  57. The Shat is in touch with the common people. He’s also Jewish and a Canadian. Perfect!

  58. Or we could have a tough-on-crime T. J. Hooker on SCOTUS. Or it could be all TEKWAR.

    “The children need to learn about TEKWAR.”

  59. Episiarch | May 1, 2009, 1:32pm | #

    Shhhhhh…don’t even say it. Obama’s blood would be rushing from his head at the mere mention of it.

  60. He’s also Jewish and a Canadian. Perfect!

    Obama wants him, but he’s Jewish. MNG will have a cognitive dissonance seizure.

  61. oh, whatever…Shatner is just a screen version of W. An overgrown child playing Space Cowboy.

  62. I was reading the first TEKWAR novel when it came out, and I lost the book. I didn’t notice for about three months.

  63. I watched the original TEKWAR miniseries. And then spent three months recovering.

  64. Obama would garner much respect if he pulled a Michael Scott and “fake-hired” Ann Coulter. And put the transcript on YouTube.

  65. The Shatner Renaissance hadn’t occurred yet when TEKWAR came out. We had to wait for Free Enterprise first. His Mark Antony rap at the end of that was pure, brilliant gold.

    “This was a man…this was a man…this was a man…”

  66. Are those all women on ScotusBlog’s list? What a great day! Looking out over the horizon of qualified candidates and find they are all women! Who’da thunk it?

  67. Please don’t blame us for Shatner. It’s not like he goes to temple every week, even.

    Sincerely,

    The Israelites.

  68. All Jews Everywhere STOP

    Don’t care about the Shat STOP

    Waiting on an apology for David Schwimmer STOP

  69. what about a non-American?

    Or the next best thing, Harold Koh.

  70. American liberties are founded on four “boxes:’
    the jury box, the soap box, the ballot box, and the cartridge box. Which is most important to combat legislative and/or judicial tyranny?

  71. (1) A woman. This is non-negotiable, seeing as we are talking about replacing the only woman on the Court.

    Arrgh. Getting ahead of myself, seeing as Ginsburg will be dead or retired after this term or the next.

    Make that: This is highly likely, seeing as there is only one woman on the Court.

  72. Well, since the SCROTUS is constantly shitting on the Constitution, the Shat would be a perfect choice.

  73. “I’ve got a bellyache…and it’s a beauty.”

  74. Dear Gentiles,

    Ok, you want to play that game? I’ll see your Schwimmer, and raise you a Ted Haggard.

    Sincerely,

    Who knew Jews could play Poker?

  75. Whatever the sins, real or imagined, that can be laid at the feet of Shatner are more than made up for by Bar Rafaeli.

  76. My bet is that – this early on – it’s a big and diverse list. It would have some very well known judges (for example, Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor), academics (Elena Kagan (now Solicitor General), Pam Karlan, and Kathleen Sullivan), and politicians (Jennifer Granholm, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, and Janet Napolitano).

    The pudits are already speculaing about Jenny Granholm here. She says she’s not interested and wants to serve out her term as the most useless ineffectual governor I have ever witnessed close up.

    I believer her because she’s a Democratic politician and therefore is incapable of lying.

  77. “It’s un-Cooooooooon!-Cooooooon!-stitutional.”

  78. Jews never bluff.

    Oh, wait, that’s Vulcans.

    Whatever. Live Long and Prosper.

    Love,

    Lenny.

  79. Nikola – I think I might support Judy Sheindlin. She’ll probably have a better grasp of the Constitution than whoever he does pick.

    How about Mills Lane?

  80. KHAAAAAAAAAAAN LAW!!!

  81. If Shatner doesn’t like a precedent, he’ll just go back in time and change it.

  82. You people had best lay off the Shatner, lest you fall victim to the SHATNER QUAKER

  83. Isn’t Nemoy Jewish too? Or was that just from a role I saw him in?

    Must drive the Jew hating Trekkies nuts.

  84. To: All Jews Everywhere

    Ted Haggard not our fault STOP Nuclear waste is a helluva pollutant STOP

    See your Ted Haggard and raise you Johnathan Pollard STOP

  85. How about Mills Lane?

    I prefer Donna Mills.

  86. Does Shatner have a cameo in the new Star Trek movie? I know there’s no way, but that would rule.

  87. Rick Wagoner is available.

  88. Epi – The Shat is definitely not going to be in there. Apparently JJ Abrams suddenly cares about canon. What a dick.

  89. What about William Campbell? He put Shatner on trial, and he is only 82.

    “You will hang by the neck, Captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!”

  90. J Sub D,

    The Obama administration seems to be a home for failed or soon to fail Democratic Governors. Napolitano was about to be run out of office in Arizona and Seibblus was loathed in Kansas. Given that, Granholm should fit right in. I actually surprised she hasn’t already gotten a cabinet position.

  91. I’ve got to say, Jonathan Pollard is a pretty weak counter to Ted Haggard. He got busted for passing details to Mossad about Saddam’s nuclear program.

    -jcr

  92. The real icing on the Shatner/SCOTUS cake would be if he only communicated from the bench with beeps while in Captain Pike’s life support unit/wheelchair. Take that, Clarence.

  93. “Does Shatner have a cameo in the new Star Trek movie? I know there’s no way, but that would rule.”

    Nope, but Nimoy does. This is causing a great distubance in the Trek nation I am told.

  94. Oh, wait- you said an intelligent bicycle.

    PICK ME! PICK ME!

  95. Nope, but Nimoy does.

    Maybe it’s some sort of Benjamin Button crossover.

  96. JCR – that’s in Pollard’s own words. The fact remains is that no one really knows what Pollard passed along, but Caspar Weinberger claimed that he sent the entire RASIN book to Israel, which was basically the entire roadmap to SIGINT at the time.

  97. The real icing on the Shatner/SCOTUS cake would be if he only communicated from the bench with beeps while in Captain Pike’s life support unit/wheelchair. Take that, Clarence.

    “Use the beeps!!!”

  98. “Maybe it’s some sort of Benjamin Button crossover.”

    something involving time travel and Spock meeting the old version of himself.

  99. The real icing on the Shatner/SCOTUS cake would be if he only communicated from the bench with beeps while in Captain Pike’s life support unit/wheelchair. Take that, Clarence.

    But wait, that would make….Supreme Court….GASP….Zap Branigan!!!

  100. I’m predicting an Asian Lesbian — covers a lot of bases with one pick.

  101. This is causing a great distubance in the Trek nation I am told.

    Yes. We are preparing for a prolonged struggle against the unclean trangressor Abrahms.

    CRY HAVOC AND RELEASE THE DOGS OF WAR!

  102. I’m predicting an Asian Lesbian — covers a lot of bases with one pick.

    And puts new vitality back into deliberations.

    Lucy Lui for Justice Margret Cho’s clerk!!

  103. The Star Trek War was lost when Enterprise came out, young Cadets. It’s best we regroup and wait twenty years.

  104. Who cares? Everything changes. Maybe Abrahms will do something interesting. Probably not, seeing who he is, but maybe.

  105. I’m loving the right wing hysteria. “left wing dictatorship”…

    the proper term is “statist dictatorship” so it captures what the last two administrations did to bring us in that direction.

    On topic:
    We should have the candidate fulfill the criteria for James Watts’s coal committee

  106. “….adds Episiarch to enemies list….”

  107. JW playing the role of Naga comes in with Lucy Lu several hours late.

  108. Epi, from one review I read:

    “That Trek weakness for warping plotlines does bring the usual convolutions, but whenever the Vulcan side of your brain is tempted to pose frequently asked questions about time travel, the breakneck pace drags you forward

    ***

    “Very much like its dynamic young cast, this Trek is physical and emotional, sexy and vital even, but it is not cerebral.

    ***

    “Fans of the TV show will note planet-sized deviations from accepted Trek lore.”

    Fuuuuck. IOW, it’s going to suck…it’s gonna be like young people fucking and saying cheesy lines…like a space version of The Fast and The Furious.

  109. [balloons fall from the ceiling]

    Congratulations Episiarch! You’ve made it onto your 10,000th enemies list!

    [Episiarch reaches podium]

    “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to lose your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you hate me, right now, you hate me!”

    [music rises as Episiarch leaves the stage]

  110. Maybe Zachary Quinto can cut some people’s heads open using a “Vulcan Can Opener”.

    I AM SYLAR

  111. “I’m predicting an Asian Lesbian — covers a lot of bases with one pick.”

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4502913178163257198

  112. “Really? What do I win???”

    “FREE BRAIN SURGERY!!”

  113. I nominate Ryan Seacrest. Why not, he has every other job there is.

  114. Or Paula Abdul. THAT would make for some trippy SC hearings.

  115. I have heard the new Trek movie is pretty good. It looks good. Rodenberry created a really interesting universe. As long as you are willing to make an action movie that kicks ass and takes names, which this seems to be, there is no reason why they can’t reinvent the franchise.

  116. Lesbian minority, Islamic polygomist. That would cover all the bases.

  117. Star Trek should avoid time travel in the next iteration. I think the movie is full of fail and will be forgotten.

  118. TAO, you’re getting ATHF in my Heroes.

    Seriously, I want to see Quinto play Spock like Sylar. That would be pretty badass.

  119. no, no NOOOO John! Dammit all.

    Look, Star Trek had some biting satire for the issues of the day: race relations, the Cold War, God, issues of the mind and mind-control, computers and their logical limitations, robots, etc…

    It is an absolute travesty to turn it into the Space Version of, I don’t know, The Fast and the Furious or Varsity Blues. Every preview I’ve seen looks like stupid typical action-movie cheese. Fuck that noise.

  120. JW playing the role of Naga comes in with Lucy Lu several hours late.

    No, I have her as a clerk to Justice Cho for some hot, asian lesbo SCOTUS action. BIG difference.

  121. No, I have her as a clerk to Justice Cho for some hot, asian lesbo kung fu SCOTUS action. Gotta have violence and sex . . .

  122. ew, Maragaret Cho in lesbian action as HOT?! What the bleeding fuck is wrong with you people?

    I need to start concentration camps that put people away for bad taste in clothes, drinks, women and cars.

  123. Star Trek is getting glowing reviews (100% on Rotten Tomatoes so far). I hear it’s not as intellectual as some might hope, but for what it is it’s supposed to be spectacular. I’m excited.

  124. ew, Maragaret Cho in lesbian action as HOT?! What the bleeding fuck is wrong with you people?

    I noticed that too but my brain sort of skipped over it as “NOT POSSIBLE”. Explain yourself, JW!

    I need to start concentration camps that put people away for bad taste in clothes, drinks, women and cars.

    “Is anyone else having problems concentrating on this? I just can’t seem to concentrate.”

    “Maybe we should send you to a concentration camp.”

  125. I was going for retch factor. It worked.

  126. The Repubs will piss and moan about anyone to the left of Ann Coulter, so there’s no point in placating them. Sotomayer is my bet purely because she checks at least 2 diversity boxes (dunno if she’s a lesbian).

  127. no no, Tony, you don’t get to blame the Republicans any more…all decisions made by the Congress and the Executive are solely the purview and responsibility of the Democratic Party.

    I’d also like to point out that you’re just wrong about “Republican” bitching. The closest Senate votes have been Alito and Thomas. Everyone else on the Court has been confirmed by an overwhelming majority, so stick it.

  128. also, Tony, WTF is wrong with you that you’re picking justices for the Supreme Court because of traits they just happened to be born with?

    Maybe you should just see if their jurisprudence is any good? That might not be a bad thing to do, rather than leaping into Affirmative Action mode.

  129. What am I blaming Republicans for?

    And why are you defending them?

    Alito and Thomas are right-wing ideologues and no friends of liberty. Actually yI don’t know what Thomas is except crazy and the most successful recipient of affirmative action in history.

    All I was saying that Republicans are gonna bitch about anyone Obama would possibly nominate, so there’s no point in doing that thing he does where he gets wishy washy for their sake.

  130. TAO,

    I’m not picking justices. I was betting on who the president would pick. Be against affirmative action, I don’t care, but more than half of this country is made up of women, and there is a huge hispanic population, so paying attention to these factors isn’t the biggest evil I can think of right now.

  131. “Actually yI don’t know what Thomas is except crazy and the most successful recipient of affirmative action in history.”

    No. That would be the Obamas.

  132. “What am I blaming Republicans for?”

    If I read you correctly, future bithing.

    Yo, shut the fuck up, Tony!

  133. there’s no point in doing that thing he does where he gets wishy washy for their sake.

    Examples, please, Tony? Are you really arguing that the Obama administration has been holding back to placate Republicans?

  134. If I were a woman I would sure think something was up from the fact that there are 8 male justices and 1 female justice. I know Colbert and TAO don’t see race or gender, but it looks like a lot of folks do…

  135. Myself though, I think a woman that would not prefer the best pro-woman mind on the court would be a fool, whether they were male or female. We need a Hugo Black or William Brennan on the court. If that comes in female then sure, I’m all for that…

  136. “Are you really arguing that the Obama administration has been holding back to placate Republicans?”

    RC
    I dunno, but Obama said that he put tax breaks in the stimulus on the advice of the Republicans.

  137. As someone who loves Star Trek movies and hasn’t seen every episode of the original series and has seen a total of 1 episode between TNG, Enterprise, and all the other spinoffs, I say it looks awesome. I am excited to see it, and I couldn’t give two shits whether or not Trekkies or Trekkors or native Klingon speakers like it.

    Until someone ruins a comic book or TV/movie franchise George Lucas style, quit your bitching.

  138. I have a great idea. Obama should appoint Ed Colbert, Stephen Colbert’s brother. He’s an IP attorney. The beauty of it is that no one would initially know that they’re brothers, because the names are pronounced differently.

    I’m not really a fan of the show, but Ed’s a decent guy, even though I suspect his politics are all wrong. For me, that is. Anyway, that would be an amusing appointment.

    Nick,

    I think that’s exactly what’s happening: Star Trek: The Phantom Menace.

  139. No. That would be the Obamas.

    How does this follow, exactly? Nevermind. I don’t care. It’s too stupid to contemplate.

  140. Pro,

    I don’t think it is that at all. The Phantom Menace sucked because it wasn’t an action movie. Lucas got away from what he did best, action and special effects, and decided that he could write dialog and story. The new Star Trek movie looks to just the opposite. It seems to have lost the kitch and satire of the old show, which is a shame. But, no movie was going to capture that anyway. Why not reinvent it as something fun and a little dark?

  141. ‘How does this follow, exactly? Nevermind. I don’t care. It’s too stupid to contemplate.”

    Millions of guilty white people voted for an un qualified undistinguished junior Senator in hopes of expunging their racial guilt and being a part of history. If that is not affirmative action, what is? More like affirmative action emotional theater, but affirmative action nonetheless.

  142. MNG,

    Until the government simplifies the tax system (preferably by chucking the current system and going to a flat tax or a VAT), claims about “tax breaks” should be ignored. Until then it is very difficult to tell exactly what sort of tax burden one has, and claims about tax breaks are offset by tax increases in other areas and by of course the sort of tax policy by lottery that we are so familiar with.

  143. “How does this follow, exactly? Nevermind. I don’t care. It’s too stupid to contemplate.”

    You’re kidding, right?

    Obama proves day after day, via his policies, appointments and foreign policy that he is woefully inadequate for the role of President.

  144. With most reboots and remakes, I don’t like it when the name and setting are used just as window dressing. Like, for instance, with Mission: Impossible. Movies had about nada to do with the series. I suspect much the same will happen with the new Trek. Meh.

  145. “With most reboots and remakes, I don’t like it when the name and setting are used just as window dressing. Like, for instance, with Mission: Impossible. Movies had about nada to do with the series. I suspect much the same will happen with the new Trek. Meh.”

    Aren’t you really just saying “get off my lawn, you punks!!”

  146. John,

    Seems to me people vote for a lot of reasons and nobody questions them until race enters the equation. Was George W. Bush an affirmative action president because people thought he was good to have a beer with, or talked to Jesus?

    I think it’s pretty established that if people voted for or against Obama because of race, it was hardly a determinative factor and the for and against probably balanced out.

    To say that getting elected by the people in an impressive turnout is affirmative action is racist stupidity.

    Which is not necessarily the case with Clarence Thomas, who wouldn’t be where he is if he were white because he’s an insane person.

  147. Aren’t you really just saying “get off my lawn, you punks!!”

    “Get off my daughter, you punk!”

  148. Obama proves day after day, via his policies, appointments and foreign policy that he is woefully inadequate for the role of President.

    That’s not what the polling says, but OK.

    I think most people are just happy he’s not as incompetent as his predecessor, who would be managing a burger king if not for his last name. Talk about affirmative action.

  149. Tony,

    Obama was political theater. It was people working through their emotional issues, desire to not be seen as racist and the desire to be a part of a historic event and something larger, through their vote. If Obama were white he wouldn’t even be a Senator let alone President. His blackness is essential to his political appeal. It isn’t the only element, but it is the crucial element.

  150. “Seems to me people vote for a lot of reasons and nobody questions them until race enters the equation. Was George W. Bush an affirmative action president because people thought he was good to have a beer with, or talked to Jesus? ”

    Look Tony, if that IS your real name, Obama played the race card during the entire campaign, so do not even try to pass that off as anything remotely similar to a poll taken about which candidate would you rather have a beer with.

    Obama is a fucking racist.

    And Tony. You. Are. Stupid.

  151. Thomas is a fairly decent justice. The left is stupid about him, probably because they can’t stand the idea of a conservative black. He’s a much, much better legal scholar than Thurgood Marshall was, who does get the love.

    John,

    Not really. For instance, the new Battlestar Galactica beat the crap out of the old one, even taking into account the nostalgia factor. But my general rule is that if you’ve got a different story, one that’s not consistent with the world you’re ripping off, why not just call it something else?

    It’s weird how much science fiction there is out there that doesn’t get made into movies or TV, while the same stuff gets done over and over again. There’s a third Dune move being made, for instance. I’m okay with that in one sense, because it’s never been done correctly, but why not try something, I dunno, original?

  152. “That’s not what the polling says, but OK.”

    You have said that poles don’t matter. Get consistant or shut the fuck up.

  153. Tony,

    That’s not what the polling says, but OK.

    In 2002 Bush had tremendously high poll numbers. And of course most Presidents have high poll numbers right through the middle of the first term. Of course one also has to be rather skeptical of what such things tell us; there is after all the notion of rational ignorance that public choice economists talk about.

  154. John,

    I suppose that’s one way to look at it. It requires assumptions about what’s going on in the minds of a lot of people, though.

    Another way to look at it is that Obama is the most talented politician in America, so talented that he managed to get himself elected president despite being a black freshman senator.

  155. “Thomas is a fairly decent justice. The left is stupid about him, probably because they can’t stand the idea of a conservative black. He’s a much, much better legal scholar than Thurgood Marshall was, who does get the love.”

    Absolutely.

  156. poles = polls

  157. You have said that poles don’t matter. Get consistant or shut the fuck up.

    Glenda, you’re obviously a bitter, racist right-wing shill who can’t spell “polls” so I don’t know why I’m talking to you, but when have I said that? I’m pretty sure polls are useful for what they’re useful for. If it’s your opinion that Obama is an abysmal failure already, you’re entitled. But it’s not irrelevant that pretty much everyone who doesn’t suckle at Rush Limbaugh’s ass disagrees with you.

  158. “Flashy special effects, explosions, hot chicks and androgynous boys. We’re talkin’ Oscar, boys!”

  159. “Another way to look at it is that Obama is the most talented politician in America, so talented that he managed to get himself elected president despite being a black freshman senator.”

    Another way to look at it is that Obama managed to get elected president with the help of a white-guilted media.

    Fixed that for ya. No charge.

  160. In 2002 Bush had tremendously high poll numbers

    Bush’s poll numbers were tanking just about consistently with his performance until Sept. 11, which as a good Republican he dutifully exploited for political gain, oh and to start the stupidest war in history.

  161. but why not try something, I dunno, original?

    Now you’re just being silly.

  162. “Bush’s poll numbers were tanking just about consistently with his performance until Sept. 11, which as a good Republican he dutifully exploited for political gain, oh and to start the stupidest war in history.”

    Bush had enormous support for both parties after 9-11 and to go into Iraq. Further, if you think Iraq is the dumbest war in history, you really don’t know much about history.

  163. “Another way to look at it is that Obama is the most talented politician hypnotist in America”

  164. 1.) Selma Got Me Born – LIAR, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 – Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965.

    2.) Father Was A Goat Herder – LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.

    3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter – LIAR, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had

    4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom – LIAR, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya. It is the first widespread violence in decades.

    5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – LIAR, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn’t allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.

    6.) My Name is African Swahili – LIAR, your name is Arabic and ‘Baraka’ (from which Barack came) means ‘blessed’ in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama.

    7.) I Never Practiced Islam – LIAR, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years,until your wife made you change, so you could run for office.

    8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian – LIAR, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book).

    9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian – LIAR, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

    10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia, I Have More Foreign Experience – LIAR, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn’t even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.

    11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs – LIAR, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

    12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion – LIAR, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify – your classmates said you were just fine.

    13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office – LIAR, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

    14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life – LIAR, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

    15.) I Won’t Run On A National Ticket In ’08 – LIAR, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

    16.) Present Votes Are Common In Illinois – LIAR, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.

    17.) Oops, I Misvoted – LIAR, only when caught by church groups and democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.

    18.) I Was A Professor Of Law – LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

    19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer – LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

    20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill – LIAR, you didn’t write it,introduce it, change it, or create it.

    21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass – LIAR, it took just 14 days from start to finish.

    22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill – LIAR, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation – mainly because of your Nuclear Donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.

    23.) I Have Released My State Records – LIAR, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.

    24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess – LIAR, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens. You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.

    25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America – LIAR, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.

    26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois – LIAR, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part.

    27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year – LIAR, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.

    28.) No One Contacted Canada About NAFTA – LIAR, the Candian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.

    29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism – LIAR, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction of Israel.

    30.) I Am Not Acting As President Yet – LIAR, after the NAFTA Memo, a dead terrorist in the FARC, in Colombia, was found with a letter stating how you and he were working together on getting FARC recognized officially.

    31.) I Didn’t Run Ads In Florida – LIAR, you allowed national ads to run 8-12 times per day for two weeks – and you still lost.

    32.) I Won Michigan – LIAR, no you didn’t.

    33.) I won Nevada – LIAR, no you did not.

    34.) I Want All Votes To Count – LIAR, you said let the delegates decide.

    35.) I Want Americans To Decide – LIAR, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.

    36.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate – LIAR, you passed 26, most of which you didn’t write yourself.

    37.) My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend – LIAR, that friend is threatening to sue if you do not stop saying this. Obama has stopped saying this.

    38.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics – LIAR, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.

    39.) I Don’t Take PAC Money – LIAR, you take loads of it.

    40.) I don’t Have Lobbysists – LIAR, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.

    41.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad – LIAR, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.

    42.) My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace – LIAR, Tom, who started MySpace issued a warning about this advertising to MySpace clients.

    43.) I Inspire People With My Words – LIAR, you inspire people with other people’s words.

    44.) I Have Passed Bills In The U.S. Senate – LIAR, you have passed A BILL in the U.S. Senate – for Africa, which shows YOUR priorities.

    45.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq – LIAR, you weren’t in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time, unlike Kucinich, who seems to be out gutting you Obama. You also seem to be stepping back from your departure date – AGAIN.

    46.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care – LIAR, your plan leaves us all to pay the 15,000,000 who don’t have to buy it.

    47.) I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail – LIAR, both companies you site as having sent you letters about this conflict have no record of any such letter ever being created or sent.

    48.) I Am As Patriotic As Anyone – LIAR, you won’t wear a flag pin and you don’t put your hand over your heart during the Anthem.

    49.) My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country – LIAR, your wife’s words follow lock-step in the vein of Wright and Farrahkan, in relation to their contempt and hatred of America.

    50.) Wal-Mart Is A Company I Wouldn’t Support – LIAR, your wife has received nearly a quater of a million dollars through Treehouse, which is connected to Wal-Mart.

    51.) Treehouse Is A Small Company – LIAR, the CEO of Treehouse last year, made more than the CEO of Wal-Mart, according to public records.

    52.) University Of Chicago Hospital Pay Is Fair – LIAR, your wife’s pay raise was nearly 150% her already bloated rate and the hospital is a Non-Profit Hospital, which made $100,000,000 in the last 3 years. They overcharge blacks VS whites for services, and overcharge everyone in general by 538%!

    53.)I Barely Know Rezko – Only 5 Billed Hours – LIAR, you have known him for 17 years, and decided to do a real estate deal with him during a time when he was proven to be under investigation. Despite this, you divided your property and had them take off $300K before the mortgage problems started. Then Rezko’s wife buys the lot beside it that you can’t afford, saving you $625,000.

    54.) My Donations Have Been Checked Thoroughly – LIAR, you only gave back Hsu ($72K) and Rezko (first $66K, then when caught lying $86K, then when caught lying again $150K and now caught lying YET AGAIN OBAMA, it’s $250k) their money when publically called on their involvement in your campaigns.

    55.) My Church Is Like Any Other Christian Church – LIAR, your church is so extreme, the pastor who married you, Rev. Wright, just got done blaming the US for 9/11 and named Louis Farrahkan their person of the year.

    56.) I Disagree With My Church All The Time – LIAR, you still have yet to repudiate Wright, who married you and your wife, and you still donate large sums of money to assist the church in furthering its message – hatred and revenge. You donated in 2006 alone, $22,500 to the church that you so terribly disagree with. That is nearly $500 PER WEEK – that sure is disagreement, Senator Obama.

    57.) I Have Clean Connections Despite Rezko – LIAR, you are not only connected to Exelon and Rezko, you are also connected to Hillary PAC supporter Mr. Hsu, AND an Iraqi Billionaire of ill repute, Nadhmi Auchi, who ripped off people in the Food For Oil, Iraqi deal. Seems Mr. Auchi may have helped Obama buy his million dollar property long before Obama had millions of dollars. Wonder what favors Mr. Auchi expects, when Obama leaves Iraq free to be taken over by special interests such as him.

    58.) I never heard sermons like Rev. Wright’s, that have been in videos all day, You Tube – LIAR! 3 days later during your Mea Culpa BS speech you said “Did I hear controversial statements while I sat in that church? Yes I did.”

    59.) The Passport Invasion is a conspiracy to find dirt on me! – LIAR. Your own Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor is the CEO of the company that looked into your records. PS – You had them look into yours to hide the fact you looked into Clinton’s and McCain’s more than a year before!

    60.) Rev. Meeks has nothing to do with my campaigning – LIAR. Rev. Meeks appeared in ads for your Senate Campaign, donated to you, and helped raise money, then AND NOW. PS – He also seems to despise America.

    61.) My wife didn’t mean America is ignorant, she was just using a phrase – LIAR. Again, MicHELLe’s comments perfectly sync with Wright’s, Meeks’, and Farrakhans, both in language, anger, and direction.

    62.) I am very Anti-Terror – LIAR. [03/30/2008] One of your good pals is long time radical and terrorist William Ayers, with whom you have been seen in the last 12 months and who has helped the now jailed khalidi, Professor at Columbia who invited Ahmadinejad to the University, to raise money for Palestinian terrorism attacks against Israel. PS – Your church published a pro Hamas Manifesto – guess you weren’t there on THAT Sunday either? How lucky for you.

    63.) I have the best plan to cure the Mortgage Crisis – LIAR. [03/30/2008] You and your campaign buddy Penny SubPrime Bank Collapse Prizker have had your little fingers full of subprime cash – Obama has taken $1,180,103 from the top issuers of subprime loans: Obama received $266,907 from Lehman, $5395 from GMAC, $150,850 from Credit Suisse First Boston, $11,250 from Countrywide, $9052 from Washington Mutual, $161,850 from Citigroup, $4600 from CBASS, $170,050 from Morgan Stanley, $1150 from Centex, and last but certainly NOT LEAST – Obama received $351,900 from Goldman Sachs. I am sure that cash all came from folks who knew the subprime loan they had was a dream, eh?

    64) I played greater role in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion – LIAR – [03/31/2008] It was found that Obama – the day after sitting for the interview – filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer. Read Obama had greater role on liberal survey

    65) I did NOT play the race card: – LIAR – [03/31/2008] Obama was the first to play the race card. According to Phialdelphia Inquirer, Quietly, the storm over the hateful views expressed by Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has blown away the most insidious myth of the Democratic primary campaign. Obama and his surrogates have charged that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has deliberately and cleverly played the race card in order to label Obama the “black” candidate. Read more here

    66) I did not take money from oil companies: – LIAR – [03/31/2008]

    THE FACTS: True enough, Obama does not take money from oil companies. No candidate does. It is illegal for corporations to give money to politicians. Corporations, however, do have political action committees that collect voluntary donations from employees and then donate them to candidates. Obama doesn’t take money from PACs. He also doesn’t take money from lobbyists.

    But he does accept money from executives and other employees of oil companies and two of his fundraisers are oil company executives. As of Feb. 29, Obama’s presidential campaign had received nearly $214,000 from oil and gas industry employees and their families, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Clinton had received nearly $307,000 from industry workers and their families and Republican Sen. John McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, received nearly $394,000, according to the center’s totals.

    Two of Obama’s fundraisers are Robert Cavnar, the chairman and chief executive of Houston-based Mission Resources Corp., and George Kaiser, the president and CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. Source: Associated press via Yahoo News

    67) “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial,” Obama said at a community meeting in Nelsonville, Ohio, earlier this month. – LIAR – But yesterday, he told a different story. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes,” he said in his speech yesterday in Philadelphia.

    68) Look at my education record in Illinois – LIAR – In reality, Obama never really championed the local councils. He supported them behind the scenes and only eventually came out publicly on their behalf. When he did weigh in, he came down on the wrong side of the debate-against protecting principals from unwarranted dismissals and in favor of keeping councils independent, no matter what. In the end, the resolution of the conflict between the two sides didn’t alleviate anyone’s concerns. Instead, it prolonged a turf battle that seems to have dragged down academic progress in the years since

    Read more here http://www.slate.com/id/2188010?wpisrc=newsletter

  165. “but why not try something, I dunno, original?”

    Because original ideas are really hard to sell to investors. Also, original ideas and smart dialog are really hard to translate into twenty or thirty languages to sell over seas. Much easier to take an established franchise with lots of explosions and simple dialog that has instant recognition worldwide. That is really what happens.

    Yes, there is tons of good sci out there begging to be made into good movies. Most of the classics have never even been made. That said, do you really want books like The Foundation or Rama or The Jesus Incident or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to meet the same fate as Starship Troopers? Be careful what you wish for.

  166. Bush had enormous support for both parties after 9-11 and to go into Iraq. Further, if you think Iraq is the dumbest war in history, you really don’t know much about history.

    I totally agree that the national trauma of 9/11 gave Bush political capital well beyond what he ever would have had otherwise. Iraq is definitely the stupidest war in American history. At least the most incompetently waged one. I say stupidest though because it was waged on the premise that Saddam Hussein = Osama bin Laden for no purpose that I can discern except that Bush thought it might help him get reelected.

  167. Sciece fiction that absolutely should be brought to the big screen with a large budget –
    The Titan Trilogy

    other stuff.

  168. Pop Goes the Weasel –

    Did not read wall of text.
    Will not read wall of text.
    Will not even scan wall of text.

    Comment grade – F

  169. I don’t mind bad versions of books if I spot them in advance. Well, maybe I mind some–I was pissed at I, Robot and The Bicentennial Man (poor Dr. Asimov), though I knew enough to just skip the former altogether.

    Speaking of Asimov, both Foundation and The End of Eternity are going to celluloid. They could be good, but they’ll probably suck. Caves of Steel to me is the most apt for film of his works; no idea why it’s not been done.

  170. Tony,

    The US fought and won against an insurgency in iraq and appears to have established a semi-functional democracy in a place where no one thought that was possible History will judge Petreus’s efforts post 2006 as one of the greatest campaigns against an insurgency ever waged.

    If you want to see what an incompetantly waged war looks like, read about Korea sometime or the War of 1812.

  171. Foudation is getting made into a movie? Wow.

  172. Tony,

    Pretty clearly a number of other wars were far dumber than the 2003 war with Iraq. The Franco-Prussian war was pretty dumb for France to get tangled up in, for example. The war against Iraq is far down on the list of dumbest wars.

    As for Bush’s pre-9/11 poll numbers, say you are correct; that merely proves my point. So thanks for that. Relying on poll numbers for what is and is not correct public policy is not something which I would do.

  173. I Robot was terrible. I hate hollywood. I hear they have re-made The Taking of Pelham 123 with Denzel Washington in the Walter Matthau role. Tear.

  174. “Did not read wall of text.
    Will not read wall of text.
    Will not even scan wall of text.”

    I didn’t post it for you.

  175. Tony,

    Pretty clearly the dumbest war in U.S. history was the War of 1812.

  176. I just found this about Foundation

    “The studio plans to develop the film for Roland Emmerich, the director of the cataclysmic sci-fi movies “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” Financial terms were not disclosed, and a release date for the film was not announced.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/movies/20arts-ASIMOVSFOUND_BRF.html

    The horror. The horror.

  177. Caves of Steel to me is the most apt for film of his works; no idea why it’s not been done.

    Many times it is rights issues. Someone may have optioned it years ago and is sitting on it because they don’t have the money right now to make it, and a studio would have to buy the option off of them. Stuff like that.

    I hear they have re-made The Taking of Pelham 123

    God damn it.

  178. Won’t Obama just keep up his practice of taking from the cast of House? I’m going with 13 for this one.

  179. Relying on poll numbers for what is and is not correct public policy is not something which I would do.

    Me either, and Obama seems to do this far more often than I’d like.

    My point about polls was just that Glenda’s opinion that Obama has had a terrible, just terrible time of being president isn’t shared by most people, and as it is really only a matter of opinion then it’s not completely irrelevant.

  180. It is even worse that that Epi. John Travolta plays the Robert Shaw part. They have rewritten it to be a story of a battle of two men’s wills, Denzel versus Travolta. UGH!!

  181. I’m a big Trek nerd from way back and have seen just about every hour of all the Trek incarnations several times over except Enterprise which I just couldn’t bear. The movie of course had me skeptical. Bleh, another prequel, the sacrilege of messing with the canon, etc. But from what I’m reading it strikes a balance that should please Trekkies and non-Trekkies and that purely as a sci-fi movie it’s brilliant. The reviews have been so glowing I was sure I was reading studio propaganda.

  182. John,

    I’m sorry, I should’ve warned you–Foundation is going to suck ass. Will Smith as Hari Seldon, a wise-cracking ex-cop. Okay, I made that up. Maybe.

    The End of Eternity looks a little more promising, and it’s a pretty clever story, too. The word on the street is that the director intends to stick to the book.

    Episiarch,

    Could be. I don’t think that’s the case here, though, because Asimov has mysteriously not been filmed much until recently, so it’s probably just one of his many neglected works. Bicentennial Man probably opened the door for his stuff, because it did fairly well, despite its badness.

    Tony,

    I’ve read one review over at io9 that made it sound like the movie is very uneven, and that came from a site that’s been hyping the movie like the Second Coming.

  183. Pop Goes the Weasel

    Dang, son, don’t you have a birth certificate to find?

  184. Well it’s early still and there are only like 16 reviews at rotten tomatoes, but they’re all positive. I’m gonna go in with the low expectations set by the last few movies and try to be entertained.

  185. I’ll see the movie. But couldn’t the writers construct a good story without leaning on the time travel crutch? That is so played out.

  186. I don’t know what Thomas is except crazy and the most successful recipient of affirmative action in history.

    I’ll take racism from the pinko for $200, Alex.

    If I said the same thing about BHO, you’d go ape-shit, wouldn’t you?

    -jcr

  187. If you want to see what an incompetantly waged war looks like, read about Korea sometime or the War of 1812.

    I’m rather surprised that you didn’t mention Vietnam. That was a complete clusterfuck from Dien Bien Phu to the evacuation of Saigon.

    -jcr

  188. TAO-

    Mister, we could use a man like Charlea Evans Hughes, again!

    Hey, it popped into my head. Besides, Hughes was less of a statist than Herbert Hoover.

  189. I’ll take racism from the pinko for $200, Alex.

    If I said the same thing about BHO, you’d go ape-shit, wouldn’t you?

    No I’d say you were being stupid. Getting elected to office isn’t getting special treatment. Thomas is obviously a justice more because he is black than because of colorblind qualifications and he’s not about to support the same special treatment for anyone else.

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