Narrowing Down the 44-Person Not-So-Short List

Above all else, the nominee must be willing to walk into the slaughter, knowing they may get slaughtered.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Ten days ago I blogged about President Trump's 44-person not-so-short list. At the time, I gave it two cheers. Ten days later, this list seems very important. Here, I will try to narrow down the list in light of Justice Ginsburg's passing.

First, I think it is safe to say this nominee has to be a woman. President Bush initially wanted to replace Justice O'Connor with Harriet Miers, but that nomination blew up; he defaulted to a man, then-Judge Alito. On the 44-person list, there are twelve women. A second factor is age. Lifetime appointments last for a long time. I imagine Trump would want to go as young as possible on this list. Third, Trump may consider how the Judge fared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and on the floor vote. Fourth, Trump may also consider geography as a factor.

I have listed the twelve women on the list, with their age, committee vote, and floor vote (Please email if I messed up any of the numbers).

  1. Bridget Bade:  Ninth Circuit (AZ), 54, 17-5, 78-21.
  2. Amy Coney Barrett: Seventh Circuit (IN), 48, 11-9, 54-42
  3. Allison Eid: Tenth Circuit (CO), 55, 11-9, 56-41
  4. Britt Grant: Eleventh Circuit (GA), 42, 11-10, 52-44
  5. Barbara Lagoa: Eleventh Circuit (FL), 52, 18-4, 80-15
  6. Joan Larsen: Sixth Circuit (MI), 51, 11-9, 60-38
  7. Martha Pacold: Northern District of Illinois, 41, 18-4, 87-3
  8. Sarah Pitlyk: Eastern District of Missouri, 42, 12-10, 59-44
  9. Allison Jones Rushing: Fourth Circuit (VA), 37, 12-10, 53-44
  10. Margaret Ryan: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (VA), 56 (Voice Vote)
  11. Diane Sykes: Seventh Circuit (WI), 62, 14-5, 70-27
  12. Kate Todd: deputy White House counsel (I found a report that she graduated HS in 1992, which would make her about 46)

Now, the White House would have to start making cuts. First, the list can be culled on certain non-jurisprudential factors. For example, age. Some are too old. I have long been a fan of Chief Judge Sykes, but I think her time passed. Others are too young. Judge Rushing and others will have their shot in a few years. Another non-jurisprudential consideration might be electoral support. For example, Judge Lagoa might a boost for Florida voters, and Hispanic voters nationwide. Judge Barrett, a well known former professor at Notre Dame, would excite the Catholic vote.

There are, of course jurisprudential factors. I think all of the names on the list have already been vetted on this front. They will all be able to talk the talk about originalism and separation of powers. There are no surprises on this front. Of course, vetted jurisprudence does not always lead to predictable results. See Justice Gorsuch in Bostock.

Next, there is what I call the "solid" factor. Is this person "solid"? One way to measure a person's solidness is by looking at their opinions. Some of these judges have been on the bench for a very short time. For example, Judge Lagoa was confirmed in December 2019. Judge Barrett was confirmed in November 2017. Others have a longer judicial experience. Judges Eid and Larsen spent several years on their state Supreme Courts. It is harder to measure how "solid" a judge is without studying their opinions. In the absence of a given record, we are left relying with people vouching for the judge. Whenever I sometime tells me, "they're solid," my response is "prove it." No more Souters.

Another critical factor is a Judge's willingness to fight. Justice Gorsuch's confirmation hearing was fairly calm. Justice Kavanaugh's hearing was like World War III. The nomination to fill the Ginsburg seat will be Armageddon. Critics will destroy this person's reputation, family, and beliefs. We need a Justice who can stand up to brutal attacks and be willing to return fire. Judge Barrett proved her mettle when Senator Feinstein attacked her "dogma." And, more recently, Judge Lagoa stood up against an attempt to disqualify her in the Florida disenfranchisement cases (See here and here). She also joined Chief Judge Pryor's concurrence, which resisted liberal virtue signaling. From these limited experiences, she showed a backbone.

There is a related factor: does the nominee have an army of surrogates willing to go to bat for them. Judge Kavanaugh's clerk network mobilized at every juncture, and was able to present a unified front in the media. It was a remarkable show of force. I do not know if Judge Lagoa has had the time to build that network. Judge Barrett has been on the bench a short while, but the Notre Dame network runs deep.

There is one final factor to consider. There is no guarantee this nominee ever gets confirmed: she may become the next Merrick Garland. There is a stigma to having been rejected. Just ask Robert Bork or Harriet Miers. It is not easy to live with that defeat. No one wants to be rendered Persona Non Garland. Any nominee must be willing to walk into the slaughter, knowing they may get slaughtered.

May the odds ever be in their favor.

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  1. A woman…a pre-existing constituency…a bold and combative style of judging…

    How about Judith (“Judge Judy”) Sheindlin?

  2. Next, there is what I call the “solid” factor. Is this person “solid”? . . . No more Souters.”

    Turning people like you into disaffected, vanquished whiners in the culture war has been a great pleasure and profound public service.

    1. Even as a liberal, this comment has a particularly heavy “Baghdad Bob” feel to it.

      1. Baghdad Bob was on the wrong side of a war (although it was of his side losing more than anyone winning).

        Here is the evidence with respect to the American culture war:

        Which side has shaped the most recent 50 – 60 -70 years of American progress (and against whose wishes was that powerful progress was achieved)?

        Which side benefits from prefers benefits from the predictable demographic future of America’s electorate and citizenry?

        Which side dominates control of America’s strongest educational, newsgathering, entertainment, and cultural institutions?

        Which side benefits from recent and expected voting patterns in national elections and among our advanced, successful states — among the voters destined to live longer, in particular?

        Which side welcomes the likely arrangement of the White House, Senate, and House four months from now?

        Which side arranged and benefits from the vivid trajectory of American history?

        Which side gets more votes?

        The Republicans have been kept alive — so far — by gerrymandering, voter suppression, and structural amplification of losers’ votes. At the Supreme Court, they have benefitted from favorable happenstance and some sharp tactics. All of that, I contend, is about to change.

        Being on the right side of history, coupled with having more votes and the better constituency, will have consequences.

        1. I contend the answers are all the same as in 2016.

          1. We will win this time too — it’s just that a greater effort will be made to steal the election.

            1. No serious person thinks the Republicans are going to win in 2020. (So, Dr. Ed the prevaricator very well might.) That’s precisely why they’re desperate to rush through an RBG replacement now.

          2. During 2016, Democratic candidates picked up seats and won substantially more votes for Senate, gained seats in the House, and won more votes for President. Donald Trump needed a three-cushion trick shot at the Electoral College to win the presidency. And the liberal-libertarian alliance was and is still the victor in the culture war.

            Since 2016, the American electorate has improved — more diverse, less White, less rural, less religious, less bigoted.

            1. less motivated

            2. “……less White, less rural, less religious, less bigoted.”

              yeah, except for the bigotry against whites, those who live in rural places, and those with religious faith.

              the blatant hypocrisy of lefty never ends.

        2. “Which side dominates control of America’s strongest educational, newsgathering, entertainment, and cultural institutions? “

          “Strongest”? — Not your side, Kirkland…

          Now if you were to say “richest” or “best established” or “oldest”, yes — but not “strongest.” Your mentality is that of the Penn Central Railroad — and it went bankrupt…

          1. And Trump picked through Penn Central’s bones and made his fortune with his father’s political influence and a $400 million NYC subsidy and went on to go bankrupt numerous times. Perhaps Trump’s ability to lose money is due to a Penn Central curse.

            1. Which only goes to show how mismanagement is what did it in — the railyards were more valuable in the 1980s than a decade earlier when NYC itself nearly went bankrupt, but there was value there.

              Now the question I ask is how much worse is NYC traffic today because each RR freight car had to be replaced by *two* trailer trucks?

          2. ” “Strongest”? — Not your side, Kirkland… ”

            Harvard, Berkeley, Michigan, Yale, and Columbia vs. Hillsdale, Grove City, Regent, Liberty, and Any Directional Baptist.

            The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC vs. The Washington Examiner, New York Post, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Broadcasting, One America News, and Drudge Report.

            Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, all of the best comedians, and Steven Spielberg vs. Eric Church, Kid Rock, Trace Adkins, Greg Gutfeld, Kirk Cameron, Tim Allen, Clint Eastwood, and Scott Baio.

            John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama vs. Donald Trump and pick any four others.

        3. Hey Arthur, have you burned any Harry Potter books yet?

          1. Never read, desired to read, purchased, or burned a Potter book. (I just bought some butterbeer for gifting, though.)

            Do you recommend them?

            1. I’ve read them. They’re quite entertaining.

  3. Ah, notice the certainty that is so great about getting a so-called conservative on the Court that no mention need be made of the intellectual bankruptcy of conservatives. The actions of Republicans here state unequivocably that there are two sets of rules, one for them and one for the rest of the nation.

    Conservatism is founded under the principal of the impartial rule of law. In the next several months we will now see the final nail in the coffin of that idea. “A republic” Franklin said, “if you can keep it”. Looks like we cannot.

    1. “Conservatism is founded under the principal of the impartial rule of law. In the next several months we will now see the final nail in the coffin of that idea.”

      True. If the Harris/Biden ticket gets elected, we can kiss the rule of law goodbye, and watch the rise of rule by mob.

    2. Our Constitution is not a suicide pact.

      1. Establishing that statement as fact might require an Amendment barring members of the bar from election as legislators.

    3. I like how the timing of when a Senate votes on a judge is suddenly a more sacred procedure than the first two Constitutional Amendments. And that this sacredness involves not doing exactly what the Dems were urging 4 years ago.

      Is this really the narrative you guys are going with today?

  4. Democrats and Republicans now know you can simply not vote for a nominee after Myers and Garland and Gorsuch and Kavanaugh…so doing what Democrats did to Kavanaugh is extremely counterproductive when you can say nothing and simply vote “no”. So simply don’t vote for a nominee appointed by the other party and just stop with the circus like with Bork and Kavanaugh.

    1. The Kavanaugh was designed to do three thingd.
      1 Force him to withdraw.
      2. Pressure some Republican Senators to vote against him.
      3. Deligitimize his tenure..
      This is the same play book used against Thomas.
      It failed both times.
      Simply voting against the nomination would not have had the potential to deny him confirmation.

      It seems likely that Trump’s next nominee will be a woman so finding an attack vector will be trickier.

      .

      1. 4. Make the next nominee think twice about accepting.

  5. Say what you mean. Loyal, not “solid”

  6. First, the nomination process should not be televised. This just lends to pandering to the crowd such as Senator Harris. Second the only people that should be allowed in that committee room should be Senators, the nominee, maybe half a dozen journalists with real press credentials (NOT washed up actresses with an ax to grind) and any support staff as needed. Third, the questioning should last a maximum of two days. Fourth, the questions should be about the nominee’s record as a jurist, and should not be about their personal life. Finally Senators should be barred from discussing it until it is sent to the full Senate for a vote.

    Anything less is a violation of trust and a failure of Congress to act with prudence.

    1. Going forward senators from the opposition party shouldn’t even participate in the hearings because it serves no purpose.

    2. But only cowardly senators would remove the cameras!

  7. Why not just wait a bit? The court will do fine with 8 justices (see Blackman, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/only-eight-justices-so-what-1456272088) and the choice will reflect the electorates’ will (see, every speech made by McConnell after Scalia passed). It seems that you’re much more rushed now to appoint a Justice than in 2016. Why? I thought originalism prides itself on consistency.

    1. Because if they wait it will diminish the prospects for Court enlargement. America should be insistent on progress.

      1. Biden has come out against court enlargement so that’s not going to happen on his watch.

        Neither house of Congress is going to be dominated by a veto proof Democratic majority in the first two years of Biden’s term before he resigns or he’s removed from life support so Harris can run for two full terms after her ascension to POTUS from VPOTUS.

        1. I believe you will learn you are profoundly mistaken.

    2. Yes Trump and the Republicans should leave a dangling Supreme Court spot. If they know whats good for them. That would calm the Dems down. Thanks for your totally nonselfinterested suggestion.

    3. Minor detail.
      The electorate spoke in 2016. Trump’s nominee will reflect the will of those elected by Americans.
      According to the democrats, the next election will be as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, and any nominations, or expansions if the dems win, will be illegal.

  8. I don’t think Mr. Trump’s supporters particularly want a woman. They just want a solid conservative – “one of their own,” and I’d guess that a helluvalot of them still think a woman’s place in court is the steno desk.

    And I just had this thought. I know constitutionally there are no limits or requirements on the size of the Supreme Court. Assume that Mr Trump wins the election and expands the court. Is there anything stopping the next Democratic president (or even Mr. Trump) from splitting SCOTUS the way appeals courts are, with 3-5 judge panels hearing most cases, and en banc being an option rather than the norm?

    1. You don’t understand Trump’s supporters.

    2. Since this is now purely political, the assumption is that the democrats will (probably) not try to accuse a woman nominee of rape. So one line of attack goes away. That’s all.

      1. You are a bit overly confident. Some old high school classmate will come out and claim that the woman nominee groped him against his wishes at a party in high school. This guy may be afraid to fly (except, of course for on vacation) and may not remember any details (except, of course, that it happened) so his testimony may be a bit difficult to extract (but that won’t bother True Blue Democratic Senators).

        Of course, the credibility of that will be suspect to almost all straight males if yearbook photos show that the nominee was good looking by yearbook photo standards of the era. Come on, how many high school boys really would object to being groped by a good looking cheerleader?

      2. You think the dems won’t find a cuck willing to say any given woman Trump nominee raped him?

        1. That’s why Trump should nominate distinguished UVA Law alum Jerry Fallwell Jr! The guy is such a cuck he watches other dudes f his wife, so nobody would ever believe he did anything to other women! 😉

        2. “You think the dems won’t find a cuck ”

          The Democrats don’t need to find a cuck. Falwell (who pays to watch) and Trump (who got scammed by a woman who used him to solve a sketch immigration record, then refuses to share a marital bed) are out in the open.

    3. “They just want a solid conservative – “one of their own,” and I’d guess that a helluvalot of them still think a woman’s place in court is the steno desk.”

      You had it right until you started guessing. We just want a solid conservative, and don’t care if it’s a man, woman, marsupial, or runs on Linux. We find identity group politics stupid.

  9. The only factor that matters or needs to be considered is will the Senate majority leader grow a pair and jam the confirmation through?
    Every candidate on that list is qualified by experience; that is irrelevant to the confirmation. The democratic propaganda machine will flood the press and airwaves and social media with lie after lie, using the same lies regardless of the actual nominee. The democrats have turned this particular nomination into a pure battle of political will. Either the republicans stand together for the first time, or they will not only lose the confirmation, but because of that, the election.

    And oh by the way, where is the Biden list?

    1. Is there anything preventing the GOP from voting the day it receives the nomination?

      1. A quorum.

        1. The Republicans constitute a majority of the Senate, and a majority is a quorum. That would be perfect for McConnell, if the Democrats boycotted the vote: swing state Republicans could vote “no” and the nominee would still be confirmed so long as McConnell has 27 votes.

          1. Right, the Democrats can’t deny the Senate a quorum without the cooperation of several Republicans. They *might* manage to get that cooperation, it’s a little more deniable than a “no” vote, but if they fail all they do is lower to threshold for confirming the nominee.

      2. Ed- yes there is, and it is the republicans themselves.

        the GOP especially in the senate is not nearly as loyal to the party as the dems are. 51 GOP senators is not the same as 51 dem senators. and thats even in normal times. add to it the layer of the GOP that still hates president trump and it gets even worse.

        and the GOP still cant understand why they got trump to start with. this is a good example why.

    2. “And oh by the way, where is the Biden list?”

      Filed between Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate and Trump’s soon-to-be involuntarily disclosed tax returns.

      1. If there was anything in those returns, some IRS bureaucrat would’ve leaked it somewhere already.

        1. Examples have been made of IRS bureaucraps before…

      2. Bragging about disclosing tax returns to embarrass him — at least you admit that’s the reason, and not the boilerplate lie it’s indended to be secretly reviewed by Congress behind closed doors for the purpose of checking up on the IRS as part of oversight…of the IRS.

        1. They should be reviewed in connection with credible indications of financial wrongdoing.

          I expect at least one of the Trumps to turn state’s evidence in this context, and at least one of the Trumps to be criminally convicted in this context.

          1. And evidence of Russian collusion will be showing up any day now. Just merge accounts with OBL.

  10. A lot will come down to what Susan Collins decides to do — she’s in a tough race with someone from away who is better funded. Here is the BDN that isn’t even able to do its own reporting anymore.
    https://bangordailynews.com/2020/09/19/politics/collins-under-microscope-as-republicans-race-to-replace-justice-ginsburg/

    1. Collins, Romney, Murkowski, and Kelly, if the vote occurs after Nov 3. Murkowski said on Friday that she would not vote for a SC replacement before inauguration day but that was then. This could be very, very bad.

      1. Romney and Murkowski are waste products.

        Even if Kelly were to win, he can’t be there before Nov 30th, and the Bitchy Little Marxists have made gun control a lot less popular. I wouldn’t be so sure on Kelly…

        With money, Collins can lay waste to Sara Gideon, tying her to the increasingly unpopular General Mills whose tourist ban has devastated Maine’s tourist & lobster industries — #1 & #2 in the state’s economy.

        1. I wouldn’t be so sure on Kelly…

          Right, but that’s because you are — to use a technical term — really stupid.

  11. Let’s play some Supreme Court Jeopardy!

    The category is “Likely Lists” and the answer is . . .

    “Ketanji Brown Jackson, Jane Kelly, Barack Obama, Bryan Stevenson.”

    1. And that (alone) is enough for your side to lose this election.
      Add in the dirt starting to come out about Biden and the ChiComs, and the stealth Trump support, you’ll be surprised.

      1. Keep the faith, Dr. Ed 2.

        Trump is still clinging to a 22 percent chance at 538. Less than 10 percent chance of winning the popular vote, but he has that structural amplification of yahoo votes going for him . . . which is nice!

        The clingers at RealClearPolitics have Biden up 2-1 at the Electoral College, though. And essentially everyone predicts a Democratic Senate at this point.

        But keep that faith . . .because if you can’t believe in illusory things you really can’t be a Republican any more.

        1. And what was it in 2016?

          And would you admit to supporting Trump?
          I don’t, not publicly….

          1. A self-identified pusillanimous poltroon. Who knew?

          2. Trumps final odds on Fivethirtyeight in 2016 were 28.6% and they are now 23%. I don’t know why that 5.6% decline makes Rev so confident that Trump won’t get a 2nd term when there have been zero debates and I expect both parties to have saved ammunition for October surprises. I hope Trump loses so Dem confidence that Biden has this one is the bag feels unsettlingly familiar to 2016 to me.

  12. NO — Garland was not destroyed, lied about and utterly maligned.

    Democrats seek to DESTROY those they oppose.

    1. Right. I don’t recall any GOP Senator giving a speech like Teddy K did on Bork…

      1. Glad for confirmation that we can add moral cowardice to your various other defects.

  13. Just ask Robert Bork or Harriet Miers.

    These are rather different situations.

    Miers should have declined to be nominated because she simply lacked any hint of being qualified so that’s on her. I’m not a lawyer and didn’t, in general, follow the law or politics nearly as closely as I do now and the first three paragraphs of the news story I read in the morning about her nomination made be get out of my chair and go into the next room and exclaim to my wife something like “You won’t believe who Bush just nominated to the Supreme Court. She may be smart, but she certainly doesn’t have the necessary qualifications.”. If I could figure that out, Miers should have been able to as well. Just like I would never accept a job designing the core of a nuclear reactor no matter what the salary was — I just don’t have the qualifications.

    Bork got, well, Borked unjustifiably.

    1. They couldn’t have “Borked” him successfully if a lot of conservative hadn’t opposed him. Bork’s problem is that you don’t declare part of the Constitution an “ink blot” and retain the support of conservatives.

  14. I agree only with the age and willingness to fight. Trump has said he sees value in younger judges, and he’s a fighter himself. But the sex of the nominee I think matters less to him.

    What matters to me above all is getting a second Clarence Thomas. (And then a third, and fourth, and fifth.) That is, a legal philosophy that recognizes that our rights are what the Constitution protects, not invents.

    1. Five Clarence Thomases still wouldn’t be able to get anything done, at least not after next summer.

      1. You’d be surprised….

    2. How many millions of abortions have occurred on Thomas’ watch?

  15. Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing was fairly calm. Justice Kavanaugh’s hearing was like World War III. The nomination to fill the Ginsburg seat will be Armageddon.

    I am reminded of this bit from another blog:

    Did you know things are expensive in New York, and that it is busy, and people really enjoy discussing how intense everything is? Oh my god, that branding meeting? It was like THE FALLUJAH OF BRANDING MEETINGS. The actual Fallujah of branding meetings was in Fallujah. Please be quiet about New York.

  16. Kamela Harris is on the Senate Judiciary Cmte.

    Lindsey Graham could hold the confirmation hearing and vote before the election.

    If Harris and other Democrats behave as they did during Kavanaugh’s hearing, Trump’s chances of winning the election, the Republican’s chances of holding the Senate, and approval of Trump’s nominee will be greatly enhanced.

    1. I doubt they would dignify the hearings with their presence… not if team R decides they are not going to host that sort of party again.

      Also, not everyone felt that way about Kavanaugh. There were a massive number of true believers. Pretty much every college kid is in the “he is totally a serial rapist” camp. Motivated reasoning is a powerful thing.

      So team D will indeed “go there” with any nominee. We don’t know what the attack will be. But we know it will be personal and emotional. It will be designed to personally offend, and whip up the base.

      Maybe a catholic professor once got in a fight with a black girl in 7th grade. They’ll bring her to testify that she’s a racist who used the “n-word”. Whatever the person actually is… they will scour the earth for something that they can sell for 2 weeks on TV.

      If McConnell gives them 2 weeks of TV time, he’s an idiot. Unless I was sure that I had a Dan Rather style gotcha moment, I would not allow a single witness other than the nominee. Over and done in 72 hours.

  17. If Trump nominates a culture warrior, the senators should press whether the nominee believes Griswold v. Connecticut to have been correctly decided. Or is that the next target after Roe?

  18. Does anyone know which one of these judges (or any of the other 32) are most aligned with the libertarian party across the board? I know all of them will be reliable in areas like regulation, taxes, federal agency overreach, etc. But, what about drug prohibition, abortion, gay rights, search and seizure, qualified immunity, government surveillance, etc? The court already has a majority on the fiscal liberty side. How do we strengthen that and also protect the civil liberty side?

    1. Libertarian judges?

      What, you want a pony too? The closest thing we have ever gotten to that is Thomas. And he’s no true Scottsman.

      1. I hope POTUS Trump takes a long look at Judge Britt Grant (11th circuit). She would be a sterling addition to SCOTUS. She has the total package.

        1. Is she hot? It’s Trump judging the package.

          1. She’s pretty fine (for a circuit judge)

            Judge for yourself

            1. I hereby offer to be the filling in a circuit judge sandwich with her and Amy Barrett.

  19. After Kavanaugh, if I were sitting on the judiciary committee, there is zero chance I would vote in favor of even the tiniest of fig leaf witnesses for team D. I would not even bother negotiating anything with them. They were so far over into “bad faith” on that one, they can sit this one out.

    I would get with the caucus and find one on that list that they can all vote for and get it done in a week.

    Obama created this mess with his “elections have consequences” nonsense. It was made immeasurably worse by the “nuclear option” that came back to bite team D in the ass.

    As of Kavanaugh they quit pretending that they were trying to vet nominees. The cordial treatment Kagan and Sotamayor got despite major deficiencies was not reciprocated when a sqeaky clean justice like Kavanaugh came along… there’s absolutely no reason to give an inch.

    They were already discussing packing the court years ago – and they meant it then. Under Obama, working with the opposition went completely out the window. They did not even pretend. Even when faced with opposition minorities, Obama refused to work with congress at all… simply moving to executive orders – also something that is likely to bight us all in the ass.

    The connective tissue of all of that damage was a fawning media that switched from democrat leaning bias to all-out propaganda machine under Obama. A functioning media might have called Obama out on his excesses. They might have forced some compromise… or even a production of a budget at some point. When Kavanaugh happened, an honest media might have shamed team D into some sort of decorum. But they were actually active participants in the smear campaign.

    So now there is no path back. The damage done, there is only the fight to preserve what is left of the representative republic. Lacking any statesmen in the congress, I’m not sure how that is supposed to happen.. but it damned sure doesn’t happen if team R rolls over and plays dead for another Team D smear job.

    1. I disagree about the witness thing. Yeah, I know the Team D people will resort to all kinds of vile crap, ala Kavanaugh, but that is the price to be paid. If you are truly committed to preserving our Federal Republic form of government, you know this to be the case as well.

      The constitutional rules are simple. The POTUS nominates, the Senate confirms. Everything in between those times is up for grabs, politically. There are malignant Senators. Let them make their malignancy transparent to the public.

      Senator McConnell had great advice for Team R: Keep your powder dry.

      I expect to see a nomination next week, and hearings scheduled for early October. The hearings will be a spectacular display of human venality, just in time for the election. I don’t think displaying venality and cruelty toward a sitting Federal judge is a winning strategy for Team D. Or threatening a nominees family, or threatening their children….which is already happening.

      1. That last is the real issue: You don’t just need a good nominee. You need a good nominee who’s willing to see his or her family credibly threatened with murder, and spend the next few years under continual armed guard.

  20. Your last comment as to the younger possibilities fails to note that when Trump loses, this may be the last chance for a Republican to name anyone to the Supreme Court for at least a generation.

    And the desperation with which McConnell et al are approaching this nomination is the best evidence of all that they know that Trump is toast and they’re likely toast as well.

  21. “She also joined Chief Judge Pryor’s concurrence, which resisted liberal virtue signaling.”

    God you’re a hack.

  22. if you want to make it seem more legitimate pick one of the women who got 10-15 democratic votes. Or also consider a moderate justice. Ginsburg seat was a far-left vote the majority of the time maybe look for a Kennedy who may vote with both sides. My fear is honestly for the legitimacy of the court. I am left to centrist voter, and I clearly see that republicans will fill this seat, after employing a double standard. Which may lead to democrats retaliating. I think the chances will be lessened if the justice is a moderate or if the women chosen has received in prior confirmations democratic votes.
    Republicans win either way because for one the liberal icon is replaced by a moderate. Pls Roberts has always been more conservative than Kennedy. Therefore all 4 of the solid republicans have to win over Roberts or the other moderate. While Democrats would have to win the moderate and the more conservative Roberts.

    1. Democrats have pre-retaliated already. What they did to Justice Kavanaugh during his nomination process was blatant, dishonest, disgusting, and malicious. It’s one of the reasons I will not be voting for any democrats in national office contests this year.

  23. Even if Graham holds the Judiciary Cmte hearing and vote in October, McConnell might wait until after the election to hold the full Senate vote (if he doesn’t have the 50 votes to confirm before the election, or perhaps if he thinks doing so will improve Trump’s chances of winning reelection and/or retaining Republican control of the Senate.

    If Harris and other lefty Democrats on the Judiciary Cmte say/do anything close to what they did during Kavanaugh’s hearing, that those theatrics will be on the minds of voters right before the election, boosting chances of Trump’s reelection, R’s keeping control of the Senate, and perhaps the House going Republican.

    Then, the lame duck Senate may be even more likely to approve Trump’s nominee (with support by Murkowski, Collins and perhaps Romney) before the SCOTUS could consider 2020 election challenges, and preferably before the SCOTUS reconsiders Obamacare a week after the election).

  24. If Trump nominates Barbara Lagoa, who is a Floridian of Cuban descent, and if she handles herself admirably during the Judiciary Cmte confirmation hearing, more Hispanics and women are likely vote for Trump.

  25. Do it- and I hope the Dems pack the hell out of the court then. Make DC and PR states too. Why not halve California too so it can add 2 more Dem senators.

    We are past following rules so burn it all down.

    1. When exactly did we go “past following rules” to justify destroying the Court not to mention all the other nonsense in your post? You don’t mean McConnell’s lie about why Garland didn’t get a vote, do you? The most common outcome for a SCOTUS vacancy that opens during a Presidential election year when WH and Senate are held by different parties is for the seat to remain vacant. McConnell’s stupid lie doesn’t change that history and did nothing to change the rules. It is a shame that RBG will get replaced by Trump’s pick but that doesn’t come close to justifying destroying the standing of the Court and kicking off retaliatory escalations to destroy it and who knows what other institutions. Short term thinking and revenge have become too common in these highly partisan times.

  26. Apparently they have the pick and they have the votes. They can skip the circus and just vote.

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