Judicial Nominations

Neomi Rao for the D.C. Circuit

President Trump announces a superlative pick for to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The Senate's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court created a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the court often characterized as the "second-highest" court in the land. Today, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Neomi Rao to fill this vacancy. This is an excellent choice.

Rao currently serves as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (a position for which she was also well suited, as I discussed here and here). In this role, she oversees executive branch review of federal agency action and coordinates the Administration's overall regulatory agenda. She is, in effect, the White House 'regulatory czar."

Before taking the reins at OIRA, Rao was a Professor at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, where she founded the law school's Center for the Study of the Administrative State (where I am a Senior Fellow). Under her leadership, the Center sponsored conferences and workshops on various issues related to modern administrative law and regulatory policy, featuring legal academics and policy experts from across the political spectrum. In this work, and through her scholarship, she garnered a well-deserved reputation for her thoughtfulness and her intellect.

Rao is not merely an academic, though. She also worked in the White House Counsel's office during the Bush Administration, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in private practice. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas. She has also served as a Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and on the Governing Council of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and co-chair of the Section's Regulatory Policy Committee.

As the above should indicate, Rao has the range and depth of experience to make an excellent D.C. Circuit judge, including service to all three branches of the federal government. Her OIRA experience, in particular, will provide her with particular in sight and expertise on administrative law and process issues. (She also would not be the first OIRA Administrator to be nominated to that Court. Judge Douglas Ginsburg had also served as OIRA Administrator.) Though labeled a "czar," the job of OIRA Administrator often involves acting as something of a traffic cop, making sure agencies play by the rules and do the work necessary to justify their desired policies. In this Administration, this has often meant telling federal agencies to go back and try again or to do more to show their work—something judges on the D.C. Circuit often have to do as well.

In case it is not clear, I am a huge fan of this pick. I have known Neomi Rao for well-over twenty years and I am confident she will make an excellent judge. She has a first-rate intellect and a high degree of intellectual independence. As a judge she would follow the law, as she understands it, and not worry about whether a given outcome was consistent with a particular political agenda or "party line." In short, it is hard for me to think of someone who would be a better pick for this seat.

Given the importance of the D.C. Circuit—and the lack of any home-state Senators to mollify—I would expect the Senate Judiciary Committee to act promptly on this nomination. I would also like to think that this will not be a particularly controversial nomination. Rao was confirmed to OIRA 54-41, with six Senators crossing the aisle to support her confirmation. While I have no doubt most of the Senate will vote on party lines, this is the sort of nomination that should be capable of attracting bipartisan support. In any event, I look forward to the opportunity to call her "Judge Rao."

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  1. She would have no trouble being confirmed, were it not for the brothel she runs, specializing in child prostitution.

    That at least is my guess for the Democratic talking points against her.

    Oh, and of course she is a racist.

    /s

    1. She likes wine.

    2. “She would have no trouble being confirmed, were it not for the brothel she runs, specializing in child prostitution.”

      Does it sell pizza upstairs on the ground floor?

      1. The difference, you see, is that pizzagate was a conspiracy by wingnuts that the vast majority of the GOP ignored or thought was crazy where as the Kavanaugh fake rape scandal was pro-offered by mainstream elected Democrat officials, embraced by the party in the electorate, and then went even further with the gang rape allegations, etc. that have all proven demonstrably false and with the accuser admitting that they did it for attention.

        Worse, many democrats still believe Kavanaugh is a rapist.

        1. Some Dems do believe it. But most know we don’t know either way. Which I don’t much like in my Justices.

          Your confidence about the fact that this is a big Dem conspiracy shows you’re not dealing in facts, but partisan narrative still. As does your lumping in Avenanti’s antics with the original story, which you have to know is incomparable in terms of mainstream credibility.

  2. I can see how this is a great move for her career, and good luck to her. But in terms of stemming the tide of regulatory bindweed emerging from the swamp, Trumpy Bear might have done better to leave her where she is.

  3. Radley Balko thinks she might have written the New York Times op-ed.

  4. Enjoy it while you can, clingers. And if the occasional qualified, decent candidate sneaks in among the Whitakers, Flynns, Talleys, Scaramuccis, Mateers, Zinkes, Boundses, Graszes, etc., great!

    1. You’re really a moron.

      1. No, just a troll.

        1. No, a moronic troll

  5. “As a judge she would follow the law, as she understands it, and not worry about whether a given outcome was consistent with a particular political agenda or ‘party line.'”

    This statement, if objectively as well as subjectively true, should be higher up as it is a key qualifier, and not a near afterthought.

  6. Depends what the Dems can dig up from her high school days…or what they can get someone to say about what she did in high school…or junior high….or maybe even grade school.

    1. Only if she lies about it during her confirmation hearing.

      Amazing what dumb fucking talking points you morons keep repeating.

      Are you really that stupid?

      1. No, but apparently you are. Or maybe just willfully blind.

      2. Since the Democrats had not one tiny shred of evidence to back up any of the allegations of misconduct by Kavanaugh from back in his high school/college days, absolutely none of his denials can be proven to be lies.

        Oh, and on the whole stolen Democrat memos thing from back when he was a lawyer working for a prior administration, from what I’ve read*, all the actual evidence shows is that he was given a summary of the memos written by someone else in the administration, there is no actual evidence he was given copies of or even saw the actual memos. So his statements on that issue can’t be proven to be lies either.

        The Democrats know damn well that they can’t stop the confirmation of any judge nominated by Trump on the basis of the nominee’s ideology/politics/jurisprudence. The only chance they have of stopping any judicial nomination by trump from being confirmed is to find or invent allegations of misconduct bad enough to make the Senate Republicans vote down the nomination.

        And if they are going to pull that shit again, they had better bring it early and bring evidence beyond just the word of a single accuser.

        * This was from a conservative commentator opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination for unrelated reasons.

        1. I don’t believe bernard has persuaded himself that Kavanaugh has been proved to have lied about the alleged sexual assault. I think it’s more memogate and blackoutgate; though I’m not sure whether he’s at the “it’s been proved” stage or the “it’s overwhelmingly likely” stage on those. I confess I haven’t seen anything that persuades me of either, though it’s perfectly possible that he lied on either or both.

          For myself, I’m of the belief that Blasey-Ford and her BFF made up the story out of whole cloth. But I’m not even at the “it’s overwhelmingly likely” stage on that. More like “it’s the most likely.” But it’s perfectly possible that she was telling the truth and I’m wrong. Either way, should any stray Governor choose to appoint me to a vacant Senate seat (I won’t be running for election) I won’t be voing to confirm Blasey-Ford to any office she may be nominated for.

          1. Lee,

            I don’t believe bernard has persuaded himself that Kavanaugh has been proved to have lied about the alleged sexual assault. I think it’s more memogate and blackoutgate; t

            Memogate, blackout gate, Ramirez-gate, Kozinski-gate. There’s a pattern there. Pausible charges, denied by Kavanugh and deliberately not investigated by Kavanaugh’s supporters.

            For myself, I’m of the belief that Blasey-Ford and her BFF made up the story out of whole cloth. But I’m not even at the “it’s overwhelmingly likely” stage on that. More like “it’s the most likely.”

            This is not remotely likely IMO. This professor just decides one day to make up this story? And puts a third person at the scene? That’s taking a huge personal risk for what purpose?

            To derail the nomination, so another conservative can be nominated instead? The notion is wildly implausible. Indeed, even Kavanaugh’s supporters argued that it was a case of mistaken identity, despite the fact that there is good reason to believe that her memory pretty much is what you would expect. Of course the GOP wasn’t interested in hearing from people who know something about this, preferring to make shit up instead.

            1. This professor just decides one day to make up this story?

              Well it seems like a couple of other gals did ! I expect she and her bestie made it up together. Probably at fairly short notice, hence the rather helter skelter ride, with changing versions. And I assume it got adjusted and refined along the way by the Dem lawyer creeps, so by the time she got to the hearing, she was as prepped as she was ever going to be.

              And puts a third person at the scene?

              He was a key ingredient, as they were able to dredge up a plausible plot line from his book. That’s the only bit of the plot that can be attributed to someone other than B-F herself. And yeah the bit about recognising him in Safeway ? His Safeway job was in the book.

              That’s taking a huge personal risk for what purpose?

              It’s only a perjury risk if you say something that can be definitively shown to be untrue. Hence no time, no place, all wooly woffly stuff that can’t be disproved. And there’s upside even in failure. You become a liberal heroine and you get yourself a healthy Go Fund Me account.

              To derail the nomination, so another conservative can be nominated instead?

              Yup to derail the nomination until the midterms. You’d have a good shot that if you prevented a nomination before the midterms, and the Ds won the Senate, you could flip three R Senators with “the people have spoken” stuff. Like Collins, Murkowski and Flake.

              You forget we’ve seen this movie before starring Anita Hill.

              1. “Well it seems like a couple of other gals did”

                Well, I guess that settles it, then. If one person did something wrong once, then everybody does wrong every time. Can’t argue with that logic.

                1. If someone is making the point that no one could possibly have done a particular thing, the fact that multiple people did actually do that thing seems to me like a fair and relevant response.

              2. Lee,

                I think your argument is circular. You think she made it up, so you come with reasons. You even think anita Hill made it up, so you use one opinion of yours as evidence to support another.

                As for delaying, that makes no sense. There was plenty of time, even after the midterms, to confirm a replacement and besides, she raised the issue in June, IIRC. You can criticize Feinstein if you like, though I think she was in a difficult position, but you can’t claim Ford thought it up in September.

                Then too, memogate, etc. If he lied about that, which he plainly did, why wouldn’t he lie about Ford.

                1. You asked me a number of questions of the form “but why would anyone do anything as crazy as that ?” I simply provided a few potential whys. Why would anyone make up a story ? People do and people did. Why would she add in a third party ? Because it provides apparent corroboration, without in fact doing so. But good enough for the friendly press. Why would she take a risk ? Her only risk was if her husband or BFF shopped her. Not much of a risk.

                  As for the timing, I don’t believe I said I thought she made it up in September. She was on deck from July, but might not have had an at bat, if the Ds had made headway with the document trawl.

                  And you seem to have walked by the point that the Rs have some weak sisters (male and female.) There’s no guarantee that Collins, Murlowski and Flake would have voted through a replacement nominee in the lame duck, if the Ds had won the Senate. It’s not like Murkowski and Flake are famous for their steely spines. And Collins is a weathervane who’s up in 2020.

                  As to memogate, if you’re correct that Kavanaugh “plainly lied” then presumably he’ll be on the wrong end of a perjury indictment, if not now, then at least when there’s a D appointed AG. Good luck with that.

        2. And with enough pansies like Flake and Murkowski, it has a decent chance of working

        3. Matthew,

          Since the Democrats had not one tiny shred of evidence to back up any of the allegations of misconduct by Kavanaugh from back in his high school/college days, absolutely none of his denials can be proven to be lies.

          And Grassley made sure they couldn’t find any. Similarly with the memos and Ramirez. Conceal documents. Don’t talk to Yale classmates. Hide the evidence and then argue that the other side has no evidence.

          As to blackoutgate there is pretty good evidence – not followed up on – that Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker, and a belligerent, aggressive drunk.

          Continued..

          1. from what I’ve read*, all the actual evidence shows is that he was given a summary of the memos written by someone else in the administration, there is no actual evidence he was given copies of or even saw the actual memos.

            Stop believing liars.

            Here is some information from someone who knows something about the events.

            Newly released emails show that while he was working to move through President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in the early 2000s, Kavanaugh received confidential memos, letters, and talking points of Democratic staffers stolen by GOP Senate aide Manuel Miranda. That includes research and talking points Miranda stole from the Senate server after I had written them for the Senate Judiciary Committee as the chief counsel for nominations for the minority.

            He claims it never occurred to him any of the material was stolen. Sure, Judge Kavanaugh.

            1. “Stop believing liars.”

              Okay, i’ll stop believing you.

              1. Ok, asshole. Did you even read the article I linked, or are you so convinced by whatever right-wing loon you read that you are willing to ignore basic facts?

                I tried to give you a moderately civil response. Fuck you.

                1. Bernard, jerkishness doesn’t get reset with each new comment thread. People remember your obtuseness from the last thread, and the time before that, and the time before that, etc. etc.

                  This is not to say that you’re the only one, or even the only one from your “side” of the aisle, but it is to say that being civil in one thread and being a self-righteous blowhard in the next kinda contradict each other. People remember the latter more than the former.

                  1. No, M_k, that’s not how it works. If you bring past beefs into new threads, debate on these heated issues won’t work.

                    More importantly, it’s not that MS was uncivil that’s the problem, as I see it. bernard gets into it, but he’s rarely not substantive. It’s less that MS wasn’t civil, it’s more that he didn’t read or respond to the post or link.

                    bernard linked an article. MS just came back with only flippant name-calling. This pissed bernard off. You come back and excuse the name calling because you think bernard was a jerk in some previous thread.

                    If you think someone is a jerk, don’t respond to them. Don’t call them names. Certainly don’t engage, and then retreat back into name-calling. That inconsistency isn’t some past karma, it’s just quitting the field but being petty about it.

                    1. Okay, we don’t know if Slyfield didn’t want to take the time to read the linked article, because the links don’t work. At least they don’t on my Win10 Brave browser.

                      I’m not sure what the issue is otherwise, because I’m not talking about beefs, as in disagreements about substance, but rather about about debating style and people’s long memories. All it takes is once being a dick to someone, and they filter all future information via the lens of that memory. Frankly, there are a few comments I wish I could take back, but once something is downrange, all you can worry about is the next shot.

                      At the risk of meta-commentary on the commentariat, I find nihilism is better approach, as nobody is volunteering to take a chill pill.

                    2. He didn’t even read or respond to the post, so…

                      If you engage on a thread, you can’t later switch to empty namecalling and then say ‘karma from another thread’ without looking like a coward.

                      I guess I’m just more forgiving than you about Internet dickery.

                    3. Slyfield couldn’t respond to the substance, as the links didn’t work, so we don’t know if he tried. Let’s see if he responds to say he did, we will have to take him on his word.

                      I was saying benard seemed frustrated in that he said he felt that he was honestly engaging and trying to educate (albeit with vinegar rather than honey, by saying things like “stop believing liars”, that sure won’t put people off, eh?) and seemed shocked that his professorial intent wasn’t reciprocated.

                      I’m very tolerant of internet dickery, I’m just pointing out that it tends to get like responses, and that people have a long memory. I have to admit, though, that I had to walk away from Reddit, and I suspended my Facebook account years ago because the dickery was from people I knew and otherwise respected, and I couldn’t handle the dichotomy.

                    4. Didja see how DMN did it? Engage with the substance?

                      You say it’s inevitable, but I see very few here who bring past commenting behavior to later threads. Heck, mostly people don’t even remember people’s political valence from one thread to another!

                      There are some exceptions, but I don’t think this forum operates like the rest of the Internet.

                    5. You have a somewhat curtailed understanding of human nature, then, if you think that people don’t remember slights, generosity, and the political leanings of others. We evolved from primates that lived in small tribes, and most of human history has been tribal. For example, we are very, very good at reading expressions because of this, better than any other animal, even dogs (and they can only do it because they co-evolved with us). People remember the names and persuasions of the common commentators.

                      As to your second point, this is the only place I really comment, aside from a gaming forum where discussion of real life politics is banned, so yes, this place has more reasonable debate by far.

                    6. “I guess I’m just more forgiving than you about Internet dickery.”

                      That’s because you’re generally a dick. It benefits dicks if everyone else is supposed to pretend they aren’t dicks.

                2. Ok, asshole. Did you even read the article I linked, or are you so convinced by whatever right-wing loon you read that you are willing to ignore basic facts?

                  First, you didn’t link an article — your link is broken. Second, I’ve read the actual emails so I don’t need to read the article; they don’t show what is being claimed.

      3. I can’t wait to see how she handles the boofing question.

    2. Oh, no, this is just DC Appeals, so even if the Democrats have, oh, say, 1,036 days between nomination and confirmation to come up with something, they won’t.

  7. For the at least the next two years, expect every judicial nomination to be controversial.
    And if a SCOTUS opening emerges, expect a firestorm that will make the Kavanaugh controversy look like a kindergarten picnic.

    Still it will be interesting to read the many reasons that Spartacus and harris find her extreme and unsuitable.

    1. “. . . expect every judicial nomination to be controversial. And if a SCOTUS opening emerges, expect a firestorm. . . .:

      Annnnnnnd….what exactly is wrong with that?

      Who sez democracy has to be neat and tidy? (And BTW, if you knew anything about history, you would know our brand of democracy has NEVER been neat and tidy.)

      You dumbasses are always whining about individual rights and liberty and freedom–yet when someone pipes up or kneels down you have a hissy fit.

      1. …what exactly is wrong with that?

        Nothing at all. Just don’t expect the resumption of ancient “norms” when the next D President is elected. The Rs, if in the Senate minority, will drag out every vote using the same delaying procedures ol Chuck has been using for the last two years*. And if they’re in the majority, every judicial nomination will be Garlanded – just as Chuck woulda done if his team had won the Senate this time round.

        And getting executive positions filled will be hard work too.

        * there was a rush of confirmations a few weeks before the midterms, after Chuck agreed to wave them through so his endangered Senators could go home to campaign. A lot of them had been on hold since January.

        1. “Norms” and “civility” and “Country over party” are not sincere desires of the left. They’re merely weapons to use against conservatives.

        2. Just don’t expect the resumption of ancient “norms” when the next D President is elected.

          I never expected that. McConnell pretty much killed all the norms.

          1. McConnell pretty much killed all the norms.

            You misspelled “Reid”

          2. yes, Reid and Biden had absolutely nothing to do with where we’re at now. But then why would I expect different from you, you’re a reliable progressive foot soldier.

    2. “For the at least the next two years, expect every judicial nomination to be controversial.
      And if a SCOTUS opening emerges, expect a firestorm that will make the Kavanaugh controversy look like a kindergarten picnic.”

      Yes, just as soon as I forget Gorsuch and the dozens and dozens of lower court nominees who’ve flown through, I’ll remember the Kavanaugh and begin to expect what you’ve said. Then I guess I’m one “Keep government out of my Social Security” away from earning my Real American cred.

      1. No nomination, and especially Gorsuch, “flew through”. The D’s gave obstructed, delayed, falsely maligned, etc., every single one.

    3. For the at least the next two years, expect every judicial nomination to be controversial.

      Except that’s not what’s happening, though. This is inside baseball; Dems aren’t making a federal case out of every nominee like you guys seem to want to believe.

      1. That’s right, they don’t have the time an energy to do that. It’s not that they wouldn’t if they could, just that everyone with limited resources has to pick and choose their priorities.

        1. It is what it is.

          Why bother with your speculative telepathy?

          1. That’s a well used saw that you hack at everything with.

            Everyone and all organizations have limited resources and have to triage, that the Democrats oppose Trump from stem to stern is fairly clear, so put the two facts together and you have inductive reasoning at its best.

            1. I do have my themes, but that’s because they’re usually an attractive nuisance tempting anyone seeking a partisan edge.

              ‘I’ll bet the only reason the Dems acted like professionals was because they had to’ is nonfalsiifable to the point of being meaningless other than ‘Dems Bad!’ It’s only utility is not truth, it’s validating your own partisanship to yourself.

              1. Find the flaw in my logic then.

                1) Democrats object to virtually everything Trump does
                2) Democrats object to Trump’s court picks specifically, and claim he is remaking the judiciary
                3) Democrats vociferously object to Trump’s high court picks most of all, and have shown that they are willing to go to almost any lengths to stop them
                4) The Democrat Party is an institution
                5) No institution has infinite resources
                6) Not all political fights can go to the mattresses, because of the aforementioned shortage of resources
                7) Trump makes many court appointments
                8) Not all appointments are of the same importance
                9) The Democrat Party chooses to use it’s limited resources for the high court appointments as they get the most use out of limited resources
                10) If the Democrat party had infinite resources, it would fight all courts at the same level as the high court picks, because it hates everything Trump does, and his judicial appointments specifically, because they are there for a long time after he leaves office

                At most, you can say I am straw-manning the Democrat Party, but that’s a reach.

                1. The biggest flaw is that your argument supports that your scenario could be true, not that it is true. 10 isn’t required by the rest.

                  In other words, you jump from ‘object’ to ‘fight’ assuming the Dems want to block every judge they object to. That may be true now, hard to tell. But it has not been true historically.

                  You call it the Democrat party, which is just bad form.

                  You conflate all nominees. Appeals ain’t SCOTUS. And ain’t no one fighting over District Court nominees…yet.

                  and have shown that they are willing to go to almost any lengths to stop them
                  This is just assuming your partisan narrative – it not a true statement, depending on who you ask. Not good to use in trying to set up a logical argument.

                  1. Point 10 in not *required* by the rest, which is why I pointed out that it is inductive logic. But how many times does a thrown brick have to break a window before we can generally assume that throwing a brick at a window will break it? All you need to assume, is that if the Democrat Party had infinite resources, that they would oppose Trump fully in everything. Is that such a hard leap for you to make?

                    I use the term Democrat Party because it is not, in the dictionary sense true to the lower case “d” democratic word. They are, I suppose, closer to the Athenian mob under their direct democracy than they realize, so they are “democratic” in that sense.

                    They are the party that is willing to go to almost any lengths to stop the high court nominee, Kavanaugh. Tactics that included demonstrably false and retracted gang rape allegations. This isn’t to say the GOP is a Vestal virgin either, but we are talking about court nominations specifically here, specifically.

                    I reiterate, the Dems (is that better?) are not fighting over appeals courts because they don’t have the resources to do it.

                    1. You’re using inductive logic to make generalizations about the thinking of a political party, about whom you begging the question. Your logic is a patina over the usual partisan vehemence. Disappointing, but not surprising.

                      And you play silly semantic games with the name of your opposition. Classy.

                      That you need to decide a twitter clown like Avenanti is mainstream should tell you how weak your narrative about Democratic thinking is.

      2. I tend to agree with you that the Dems are not likely going to pull a “Ford” again for at while for at least 4 reasons: McCaskill, Nelson, Donnelly, and Heitkamp.

        To be sure it doesn’t seem to have hurt them in the House, but Americans seem to like divided government, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to interpret the message that the voters don’t mind putting a brake on the GOP’s legislative agenda, but keep those judges coming.

  8. How is the position for the Democrat operative responsible for flipping through old yearbooks advertised?

    1. You appear to be uninformed with respect to opposition research, and at least three or four decades behind the times.

      In other words, right in the conservative sweet spot.

  9. “As a judge she would follow the law, as she understands it, and not worry about whether a given outcome was consistent with a particular political agenda or “party line.”

    Another useless establishment pick then.

    1. Useless? No, just better than the alternative of a Hillary pick, who wouldn’t hesitate to determine the outcome desired and backwash the legal reasoning to make it fit.

      1. “just better than the alternative of a Hillary pick”

        Correction accepted.

        But establishment “follow the law” GOPers seldom reverse the Democrat ratchet.

        “who wouldn’t hesitate to determine the outcome desired and backwash the legal reasoning to make it fit”

        That is what I want from my side.

        1. “That is what I want from my side.”

          I cringe at that, but understand. Living constitutionalism is like a burglar who has lived in our house for 50 years, at this point, you can’t kick him out. We can consign him to the basement. Besides, many of their (as in leftist Warrenish types) reforms are popular.

          What we do need, though, is less undoing of liberal precedents (which undermines the Rule of Law to much) and more Origionalist precedent setting. Even liberals are somewhat reticent on damaging Courts’ reputation and authority by undoing popular decisions.

          1. “less undoing of liberal precedents ”

            Its already microscopic.

            How many New Deal or Warren Court precedents have been reversed?

            1. New Deal and Warren Court precedents? I dunno, your Miranda rights have been pared down to virtually non-existent. Ask for a “lawyer-dog” and they say it’s not the Queens English, so tough sh*t. Or this case, where this clueless guy was interrogated for hours as part of a crime investigation by the FBI after his job interview went south. It’s an entertaining read: UNITED STATES v. PELLETIER

              As for the New Deal and federalism, that ship has sailed. The “new federalism” from the Rehnquist court was a cannon firing blanks, but if nothing else, the Roberts Court as stood up for states in several cases.

              1. Glad to be on the same page as you at this point.

                Reading the important precedents, so many are post-Warren Courts overturning the Warren Court without overturning the Warren Court.

                The increasingly threadbare rationalizations required to keep up the pretext of respecting past popular precedents is arguably a big reason why Constitutional Law has gotten so byzantine.

              2. I think you have the wrong case there. The linked one is about a guy who got caught by himself in a locked motel room surrounded by heroin, cash, a crack pipe and other goodies.

  10. I do like how the Kavanaugh narrative of Dems lying about candidate’s pasts without compunction proves way too much, requiring that it be brought up as an imaginary threat at every judicial nomination.

    Somehow just bringing it up, even when the threat doesn’t actually materialize, they remind themselves and thus continue the righteous anger required to be as sure as they are about what happened.

  11. Conservatives should do their best while they have the power to do it.

    Trying to enact some partisan legislation before January is fine, and pushing through some right-wing judges while dodging subpoenas and being subjected to investigations during the next two years makes sense, but that isn’t where I would direct most of my time and effort. There are more important, long-term considerations for an electoral coalition in Republicans’ demographic position.

    In that long-term context, I could understand devoting some time to voter suppression and gerrymandering, but mostly I would be working on a device that mass-produces economically anxious, gullible, poorly educated, nominally religious, easily frightened, diffusely intolerant, backward, disaffected, rural, older, white males, with a few Republican lawyers developing a plan to register such newly minted right-wingers to vote.

  12. Expect Jeff “the child molester” Flake to vote against her

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