Will Obama's Next Supreme Court Pick Be a "Scalia of the Left"?


The Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin reports that the much-rumored retirements of both Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has sparked an internal debate among Democrats:

Democrats gearing up for a possible Supreme Court vacancy are divided over whether President Barack Obama should appoint a prominent liberal voice while their party still commands a large Senate majority, or go with someone less likely to stoke Republican opposition….

The White House considered Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor's rise from Bronx, N.Y., through the Ivy League and onto the federal bench as a potent symbol of American social mobility.

Some liberals lamented that she lacked the provocative philosophical profile that Republican administrations have sought in some of their most important judicial nominees, such as Justice Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee who has popularized a conservative approach to legal interpretation….

Other allies of the president say picking a "Scalia of the left" would be a mistake. A candidate with a sharp liberal record "is such an attractive target for a fight, it could screw up the whole summer," tying up the Senate and further handicapping the Democrats' agenda, said a Democrat familiar with the White House's thinking on judicial nominees.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. The SC is a real doosy. It doesn’t represent the true ideological divide amongst the populace, with statists being over-represented.

    I have no doubt that whomever he appoints will be a horrible Justice, from a Libertarian perspective.

  2. How about a black woman? There aren’t any of those on the Court. Say someone with a love of civil liberties, like, um, Janice Rogers Brown?

    1. She’d be a great choice. One problem –

      …her nomination [as a federal judge] was stalled in the U.S. Senate for almost two years because of Democratic opposition. (Wikipedia)

      So I doubt she’s gonna be on Obama’s short list.

      1. Shhhhhhh.

      2. Obama is racist.

        1. Barack Obama doesn’t care about black people.

          (How great would it be if Kanye had said that instead)

          1. They really didn’t fight much over Sotormayor. They picked on a few of her dumber statements, but they could have made her appointment much nastier had they wanted. standing abdominal exercises

      3. Oh yeah — one of those good filibusters the Dems used to do, as opposed to the obstructive ones that the GOP does now.

  3. This is the problem with the Republicans fighting hard over every little issue. What’s the point of getting a moderate candidate when no matter who you choose will start a fight?

    1. They really didn’t fight much over Sotormayor. They picked on a few of her dumber statements, but they could have made her appointment much nastier had they wanted.

      The problem is, she’s a “moderate” in the sense that she’s a “law-and-order” liberal. IOW, worst of both worlds for libertarians.

      1. *cough* *cough* I mean, that raging lefist? Why, I’m going to write the president, my congressman and senator, and demand that they not let such a pinko progressive anywhere near the Supreme Court!

        1. Crap – replied to the wrong comment.

          “Gravity, you win again!”

          1. She’s built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro.

  4. I wonder if Obama will recommend Teddy Kennedy as the next Supreme Court Justice

    Now, some people might object that being dead would limit his activity but since Teddy spent most of his time in Congress being drunk and that did not stop his staffers from coming up with all sorts of bad legislation then those same staffers could come up with bad legal opinions as well.

    1. There are no constitutional requirements for judges, as I recall. Live, dead, American, Nazi, lawyer, hitman, it’s all the same.

      1. I nominate this inanimate carbon rod!

        1. “Aw, mom… they were getting ready to show close-ups of the rod!”

          1. MSNBC: “We applaud President Obama’s choice of the carbon rod as his second nomination to the Supreme Court, demonstrating again his willingness to place identity politics ahead of bourgeois concepts like logic and rationality. We also admire the rod’s refusal to answer any questions the partisan, obstructionist, evil Republicans attempt to ask of it. Bravo, carbon rod, bravo!”

            1. Daily Post: IN ROD WE TRUST: Rod caught in intern sex scandal!

              1. “Justice Rod did not have sex with that woman! He’s just a rod!”

                1. She was just using him.

                2. “Every minute of every day, the rod was erect in the office. As stiff as a…well… himself, I guess.”

        2. In Rod We Trust!

          1. Thank you. Thank you.

            1. I still get no respect.

            2. Get your hands off me you filthy ape!

          2. Anybody wanna buy a Supreme Court seat?

  5. Other allies of the president say picking a “Scalia of the left” would be a mistake. A candidate with a sharp liberal record “is such an attractive target for a fight, it could screw up the whole summer,”

    Sounds like a win to me.

    1. It’s an idea whose time has come!

  6. “such an attractive target for a fight, it could screw up the whole summer”

    Please feel free to screw up the whole summer.

  7. The Supreme Court is one institution that is of, by, and for the elites. It’s like Harvard University for adults.

    The country is in a populist move right now. Unhappy with bailouts for banks, automakers, and political cronies (labor unions, public unions, etc.) they’re filled with piss and vinegar.

    I’d say the chances are 50/50 that Barry fucks this up big-time.

    1. Wow, great odds. I would have said 90/10 he fucks it up big-time.

  8. For a Supreme Court justice, I would rather have a liberal who upholds the plain meaning of the Constitution and relevant case law than a conservative who twists the meaning of the Constitution and case law to get the “desired” result.

  9. I would rather have a liberal who upholds the plain meaning of the Constitution . . . .

    Does not compute . . . .

    1. Yeah, where does that rare species live?

      1. Uranus.

  10. More likely to be a “Miers of the Left”.

  11. Barack Obama today appointed former constitutional law professor Barack Obama to the Supreme Court. “I wasn’t going to win reelection anyway, with unemployment now at 31%, so this way at least I’ll still have a job.”

    1. Shut the fuck up. Michelle reads this site.

  12. It is a tough balancing act. It has to be someone left enough to make the base not feel completely screwed over but not someone that’s going to galvanize the right and inspire them to go rushing back to the polls.

    So the prefect person might be someone who’s already been subjected to wide-scale bashing by the right, so that the new criticism can be deflected as partisan bashing by people who can’t seem to tell it’s 2010…

    I bet they’re thinking it’s too bad Hillary’s already Secretary of State.

    They’ll probably go with an unknown. ..like Harriet Miers only…um…more diverse. ’cause that’s like instant credentials, isn’t it?

  13. Bill and Hillary Clinton.

  14. Sadly, Rahm Emmanuel does not have a law degree.

    1. Nowhere does it say you have to be a lawyer to sit on the SCOTUS.

      In a way, its a great diversity pick. Aside from the whole ballerina thing Rahm has going on, he would be the only non-lawyer. Instant win!

      And I bet the Repubs would be happy to strand him on the Court, where he’s unlikely to break into their houses and put their pets in pots of boiling water on the stove.

    2. Two hispanics on the court and one black? No way.

      What they really need is a gay justice. Besides Clarence Thomas.

    3. As noted above, you don’t have to be a lawyer to be a justice. I think Obama could get away with a nonlawyer appointee with some bullshit about balance and wise Latinaness.

      1. If Obama has a foot in reality, he’ll appoint himself.

    4. Just as a matter of accuracy… Rahm Emmanuel is Jewish and doesn’t, from his biography, appear to be from any sort of Hispanic background.

      1. Accuracy is for sissies and Albanians.

        1. Un? nuk jam shqiptar!

  15. “I don’t think Pres. Obama is brave enough to pick a polaizing person to sit on the bench” he said grinningly hopint to goad the Pres. in to anonther bad decision.

  16. The court is already infested with Federalist Society ideologues. The only time a fight should happen is when one of those guys is up for replacement. I personally hope by then Obama is over his annoying habit of trying to compromise with people who are totally uncompromising.

    1. I am Tony, super bicycle Tony, I’m racing
      Spitfire turn and pop a wheelie, burn and evil chasing
      I’m waving bye, bye, bye, bye, bye
      I got a card in my spokes
      I’m practicing my joke, I’m learning

      To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny

      This is a song about a superhero named Tony
      It’s called Tony’s Theme

      I can look at the sun if you give me some bad sun glasses
      I’m back on the road, I cut my grass like I’m told

      To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny
      To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny, To-ny


    3. The court is already infested with Federalist Society ideologues…

      I’m sure that there are plenty of people around here who’d love to see an anti-federalist get appointed to the SC.

      1. Im available. I also fill the non-lawyer demographic.

        1. You’re not a wise Latina, are you? Because that spot’s taken.

  17. The best possible outcome is along these lines:

    Obama nominates a statist fuck whose only goal in life is to grow government power and to turn off the life support machine that is artificially keeping our dead Constitution alive. (This one is a given.)

    Republicans oppose this fuck in their normal, political, and ham-fisted way involving no principles other than pure power politics and a desire to hurt the other “team”.

    The American people see this for the charade it is, and become even more disgusted with the Federal Government.

    And then, yada, yada, yada: Revolution!

    1. Did you just yada-yada past sex?

      1. Can sex be used to excite the people to Revolution?

  18. Not sure what a “Scalia of the left” would be, as Scalia actually reads and honors the letter and spirit of the Constitution and doesn’t invent things in the text that aren’t there and never were.

    By definition, there is no such thing as a “Scalia” on the left because there are no originalists on the left side of the court. They’re “living Constitutionalists.”

    Watch any lecture anywhere eon the Internet by Scalia to confirm this.

    1. You gotta love Scalia’s “originalist” interpretation of the commerce clause.

    2. Scalia isn’t an originalist. He says as much himself.

  19. “Other allies of the president say picking a “Scalia of the left” would be a mistake. A candidate with a sharp liberal record “is such an attractive target for a fight, it could screw up the whole summer,” tying up the Senate and further handicapping the Democrats’ agenda, said a Democrat familiar with the White House’s thinking on judicial nominees.”

    And also cause them even bigger problems in the November elections. A far left candidate will just give more ammuntion to the political opposition and even further enrage those who are opposed to the administration’s attempt to jerk the country as far to the left as possible as fast as possible regardless of what the population wants.

  20. Oh God I hope all of these are just rumors. I was looking forward to the fact that a Republican might get to replace Ginsburg. I was expecting Stevens to retire, but I can’t handle Obama getting to leave his imprint on the Court with THREE justices.

    1. I’m rather hoping he gets five.

  21. One can only hope that this leads to an outbreak of fistfights among the judges or atleast a good old English parliment style insult war.

  22. Assuming that a Scalia of the Left actually exists, Obama wouldn’t know an intellectual heavyweight if it bit him on the ass.

    I thought the whole point of being a lefty was that the ends justify the means and all that, so you don’t have to think too hard about precedent.

    1. Which righties don’t believe that ends justify means?

      Would that be the Christian righties? (The ones who want to turn the country into a theocracy.)

      Perhaps the neocons? (Fabricators of the Iraq war.)

      Is it the corporatist right? (No comment necessary.)

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