President Obama's Memoir Includes Virtually Nothing About the Supreme Court (Update)

There is a nice discussion of his appointment of Justice Sotomayor, once sentence about his appointment of Justice Kagan, and a rebuke of Justice Alito's Ledbetter Decision

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I purchased the kindle of President Obama's new memoir, A Promised Land. [Update: This memoir only captures his presidency through 2011. I removed references to the absence of any discussion of cases decided after 2011]. As part of research for my own book project, I searched for several key words. "Court," "Justice," and the names of each member of the Court. I was struck by how little Obama focused on the judiciary in his 750-page memoir. There was very, very little to find.

What was there?

Two sentences on Justice Alito's Ledbetter decision:

As discrimination cases go, it should have been a slam dunk, but in 2007, defying all common sense, the Supreme Court had disallowed the lawsuit. According to Justice Samuel Alito, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act required Ledbetter to have filed her claim within 180 days of when the discrimination first occurred—in other words, six months after she received her first paycheck, and many years before she actually discovered the pay disparity.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land (p. 234). Crown. Kindle Edition.

We learn that Justice Souter called Obama in April 2009 to announce his retirement:

THE SECOND TURN of events was an opportunity rather than a crisis. At the end of April, Supreme Court justice David Souter called to tell me he was retiring from the bench, giving me my first chance to fill a seat on the highest court in the land.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land (p. 387). Crown. Kindle Edition.

Obama confirmed that Kagan and Wood were on the short-list for the Souter seat, but Sotomayor won out.

The short list included former Harvard Law School dean and current solicitor general Elena Kagan and Seventh Circuit appellate judge Diane Wood, both first-rate legal scholars whom I knew from my time teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But as I read through the fat briefing books my team had prepared on each candidate, it was someone I'd never met, Second Circuit appellate judge Sonia Sotomayor, who most piqued my interest.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land (p. 389). Crown. Kindle Edition.

I think this barb at the "legal priesthood" is a not-so-subtle rebuke of Laurence Tribe.

Sotomayor graduated from Yale Law School and went on to do standout work as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office, which helped catapult her to the federal bench. Over the course of nearly seventeen years as a judge, she'd developed a reputation for thoroughness, fairness, and restraint, ultimately leading the American Bar Association to give her its highest rating. Still, when word leaked that Sotomayor was among the finalists I was considering, some in the legal priesthood suggested that her credentials were inferior to those of Kagan or Wood, and a number of left-leaning interest groups questioned whether she had the intellectual heft to go toe-to-toe with conservative ideologues like Justice Antonin Scalia.

Maybe because of my own background in legal and academic circles—where I'd met my share of highly credentialed, high-IQ morons and had witnessed firsthand the tendency to move the goalposts when it came to promoting women and people of color—I was quick to dismiss such concerns. Not only were Judge Sotomayor's academic credentials outstanding, but I understood the kind of intelligence, grit, and adaptability required of someone of her background to get to where she was.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land (pp. 389-390). Crown. Kindle Edition.

And Obama devoted one whole sentence about selecting Kagan to fill the Stevens seat:

Along with the usual terrorist threat briefings, strategy sessions with my economic team, and a slew of ceremonial duties, I interviewed candidates for a Supreme Court seat that had opened up after Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement in early April. I settled on the brilliant young solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan, who, like Justice Sotomayor, would emerge from the Senate hearings relatively unscathed and be confirmed a few months later.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land (p. 566). Crown. Kindle Edition.

Brilliant and young. Only two adjectives to spare.

President Trump's tenure was largely defined by the Supreme Court. For President Obama, the Supreme Court was an afterthought.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: November 28, 1872

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  1. Perhaps the reason has something to do with Obamas clear distain for the court in the memoir? Even those brief passages characterize Scalia as a “conservative ideologue,” and he has choice words, morons, defying all common sense, elsewhere. And this is apart from him attacking the court with the court present at the SOTU address!

  2. I am shocked, Obama wrote another book about himself. At least there he can claim some knowledge of the subject matter, unlike his claims to understand the Constitution.

    1. He was employed by an elite law school to teach the Constitution. And back when his constitutional expertise was a topic of popular discussion, some anti-Obama constitutional scholars on this very blog effusively complimented his command of the material.

      What’s the comparable evidence that your opinion on what Obama doesn’t understand about the Constitution should be taken seriously?

      1. Obama understands the Constitution quite well.

        The problem is that he understands the Constitution in the same way that my pest exterminator understand entomology.

  3. Harvard Law grad. America hater. Neo-Marxist. One of the very worst, most damaging Presidents. Carter Class bad. Dismissed. No one should buy this worthless book.

    As far as bad Presidents are concerned, Lincoln stands in a class alone, an order of magnitude worse in badness than all bad Presidents combined.

    1. Lincoln?? Lol.

      1. Lincoln was an unmitigated catastrophe to our nation. Lawyer, homosexual, big government, little tyrant, idiot. Awful judgment with an endless list of mistakes. No one else killed 700000 Americans, proportional to 3 million people today.

        1. Oh, I think I he was at least a mitigated catastrophe.

    2. I’d like to read it, but not in a million years would I pay for anything that would put even one penny in this savage piece of shit’s pocket.

      1. Savage? Showing your racist side, aren’t you? Maybe you’d like to revive Trump’s birtherism bullshit while you’re at it?

        1. I never mentioned race at all. If you’re equating “savage” with “black,” that’s on you.

          1. Lol. As if there aren’t hundreds of other comments documenting your racism. If you’re not a racist, nobody’s a racist.

  4. Obama illustrates all the problems of affirmative action.

    1. W Bush and Cheney were affirmative action recipients at Yale. So W Bush was a legacy and Cheney was a beneficiary preferential treatment thanks to Yale’s desire for “geographic diversity”. And obviously Trump and his children were beneficiaries of legacy preferences.

      1. Kushner was a beneficiary of a $2.5 million gift to Harvard from his father.

        But let’s scream about affirmative action.

        1. Classic collectivist rant.
          * Complain about someone else’s rant because it isn’t yours.
          * Somehow equate what an individual has said with what the collective should say, because the collective is all that counts.

        2. But whut about whatabout whatabout!

        3. Kushner made $33 million from his college job. I made $2 an hour as a bicycle messenger. Kushner did OK.

          1. Do you like how Jared Kushner used his position in the WH to improve Obamacare in order to enrich himself and his brother?? Google “Oscar Health”…just make sure you are sitting down for the “Kaiser Soze” moment to follow. 😉

        4. To call that affirmative action is a lie; it is just plain, ‘old-fashioned” preferential treatment.

    2. Obama illustrates all the problems of affirmative action.

      We already know you’re racist; you don’t have to keep proving it.

      1. Chatting with Lawrence Tribe at a party, he told me, his calendar was marked ahead of the day of Obama’s arrival to Harvard. They knew ahead of time, he was The One, like in The Matrix. I asked him if Obama smoked a lot of dope, since he seemed so calm all the time. He said, that is his character.

        At another party, a fellow Law review student in his class reported, Obama did not do any work, himself. He was the Editor, and an excellent delegator.

        1. Chatting with Lawrence Tribe at a party, he told me, his calendar was marked ahead of the day of Obama’s arrival to Harvard. They knew ahead of time, he was The One, like in The Matrix.

          Sure he did. Did he also reveal the secrets of the Illuminati?

          1. No, he did not. Take it easy. It was just party chatter.

      2. David. Those who call others, racist, are called race whores. Zero tolerance for race whores. If we were at work, I would be filing a complaint, and demanding that you be fired on the spot for your remark. If the employer refused, I would sue the company for their hostile work environment. I have made employers back down from neo-Marxist, propaganda, indoctrination trainings.

        1. I can see why you don’t like lawyers: because they laugh at you when you come up with things like this.

          1. Hi, David. We have discussed this in the past. You have come to understand that all PC is case. It is all pretextual, lawyer, rent seeking bullshit, to enrich disloyal lawyers. People are just afraid of ruinous litigation, and comply with these denier false doctrines at the point of a gun.

            That is why your lawyer profession is the most toxic occupation in the nation. It is more damaging than organized crime. It must be crushed if our way of life is to be preserved.

            1. Lol. I had no idea delusional paranoia was a lifestyle choice.

        2. “Those who call others, racist, are called race whores”

          By people whose opinion is worth little to nothing, such as yourself.

          1. Others have understood this better, and cancelled diversity training. I am going after my local school district, for its hate filled anti-white propaganda indoctrination, down to kindergarten. I would like to see it lose all federal funding. I consider diversity training for 5 year olds who are compelled to attend to be emotional child abuse. The black child welfare worker refused to investigate this massive abuse, because she is a biased Democrat. She needs to be fired.

            1. “I consider diversity training for 5 year olds who are compelled to attend to be emotional child abuse.”

              But then again, you are an idiot, so what does it matter what you consider it to be?

      3. Racists let their hair down in spaces they consider safe, such as the Volokh Conspiracy. It’s just human nature to want to express yourself.

  5. “High-IQ morons” shows Obama knows exactly what’s going on in law schools/law professor/federal appeals courts. Law school in general is a liberal arts NBA style all star game that allows high IQ people that don’t want to build spaceships to get cushy jobs on bucolic college campuses or lifetime appointments as federal appellate court judge.

  6. A pithy old question sums up my feelings: “How can we miss you, if you won’t go away?”

    1. Somebody making you read Obama’s book?

      1. Somebody making you read Brett’s comment?

        1. I always read Brett’s comments.

          1. Me too — for a good chuckle.

    2. Brett,
      I think you’ll agree that Obama was *remarkably* restrained in criticism of Trump during Trump’s first 3 years (ie, before the most recent campaign).
      Former presidents are famously reluctant to publicly criticize current occupants of the White House, and Obama (and W. Bush, etc) followed in that tradition. We’ll see if Trump follows in this tradition, once he leaves office in 2 months. I think we all are assuming the answer is, “Hell no. He’ll be tweeting, or otherwise disseminating, public rants and whines about Biden on a regular (daily???) basis.

      Time will tell, of course.

      1. Will Trump be tweeting . . . or will Twitter revoke Trump’s special status and consequently decline to associate with Trump’s lies beginning early in the afternoon of January 20?

        Have the clingers formed their separatist Twitter wannabe yet? Is it still around?

        1. Everyone should leave Twitter, and join Parler.

          1. Everyone should leave Twitter, and get a life.

      2. Trump would be wise the leave the US and keep his mouth shut. But good sense was never part of his charachter

        1. If Trump leaves the US, will he be able to get back in? An otherwise healthy person can climb the wall, but Trump… would need a lot of help.

      3. It’ll start with the kicking and screaming as he gets dragged out and deposited on Pennsylvania Avenue.

        1. This collective masturbatory fantasy you folks have been babbling about has nearly hit trope status. Trump won’t require any special ‘assistance’ to leave the White House simply because you don’t like him.

          1. You can tell he’s ready to leave by how readily he conceded defeat on election day.

      4. Perhaps I should have said, “now that you’ve come back”?

        Yeah, I’m figuring “Hell, no.”, too.

        1. Why don’t you try going away?

  7. “President Trump’s tenure was largely defined by the Supreme Court. For President Obama, the Supreme Court was an afterthought.”

    President Obama will be remembered as a successful president and good man who operated on the right side of history.

    President Trump will be remembered as a failed president and lousy man who operated on the wrong side of history.

    I am content.

    1. Justices Gorsuch, Kavanugh, and Amy will be here to remind you about President Trump well into 2070.

      1. Going strong, no doubt at ages 103, 105, and 98, respectively.

        More a reminder of McConnell than Trump.

        1. ACB and Kavanaugh and Roberts are loyal to the Bush family and most likely despise Trump.

        2. Going strong, no doubt at ages 103, 105, and 98, respectively.

          Slip of the keyboard :)! I meant 2060.

          https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44846.pdf

          Figure 4: “Life Expectancy at Age 50 for Males and Females Born in 1930 and 1960,
          by Income Quintile.”

          Amy, Neil, and Brett were all born in the 60s (except Amy, who was born in the 70s). Figure 4 clearly shows that for people of their socioeconomic status, they can live to 90+.

          1. “Amy, Neil, and Brett”? Are you friends with them? Reminds me of the third-tier law school associate professors who insisted on referring to Justice Kennedy as “Tony,” or Justice Scalia as “Nino,” in order to give the appearance of knowing them.

          2. 59, actually.

          3. “Amy, Neil, and Brett were all born in the 60s (except Amy, who was born in the 70s). Figure 4 clearly shows that for people of their socioeconomic status, they can live to 90+.”

            Not if they continue to hang out with people who like to spread disease. When they get Ebola, or whatever the next big virus is, the odds will need adjustment.

      2. “Justices Gorsuch, Kavanugh, and Amy will be here to remind you about President Trump well into 2070.”

        They’ll be spending most of their time on the Court authoriting seething, bitter, inconsequential dissents.

        What makes clingers think they suddenly have a chance to avoid getting stomped in the culture war — other than ignorance and a belief in miracles — is difficult to comprehend.

        1. A 6-3 conservative Court finding Neil, Brett, and Amy consistently in the dissent…. That’s very interesting!

          1. A 7-6 mainstream Court might be just a kiss away. Losing a culture war has consequences.

            1. So Congress is gonna expand the Court but ignore Ginsburg’s call to action in her Ledbetter dissent?

              >the Legislature may act to correct this Court’s parsimonious reading of Title VII.

              1. Didn’t they act on Ginsburg’s call?

                1. You’re right, thank you for pointing that out.

        2. “What makes clingers think they suddenly have a chance to avoid getting stomped in the culture war — other than ignorance and a belief in miracles — is difficult to comprehend.”

          You have to remember that they live in a universe where Donald Trump was re-elected comfortably.

      3. I’d take a closer look at appointments like Justice Kennedy’s before assuming Trump’s three appointments will deliver a staunch textualist, conservative platform if I were you.

        1. Care to elaborate on which one of Trump’s appointees is going to flip or become a “swing” Justice?

          1. Jesus could whisper something about love and tolerance in Judge Coney Barrett’s ear any day . . . and like a good little handmaiden she would be compelled to submit.

    2. Depending on who gets nominated next, Trump can probably hold on to a place in the top 47 Presidents of all time.

    3. You’re delusional as well, but that is well-known here.

  8. Instead of doing word searches, did you consider reading the book? Just kidding. I’m guessing that all of the used copies that show up on ABE a year from now will be accurately listed “as new.”

    1. Used digital copies? I’m not sure that I agree with you 100% on your police work there, Lou.

    2. I’m guessing that he was just doing word searches for “Blackman” and happened to make these observations.

      1. Odd how the right is allegedly racist, yet the first thing you bring up is race.

        1. So you just bulled right on past the name of this post’s author, huh?

          1. That would be a fact, and therefore irrelevant.

  9. “highly credentialed, high-IQ morons”

    Obama can say what he wants without wondering about professional repercussions. He taught Constitutional Law at a prestigious law school (something that Josh certainly can’t say about himself) when he was Josh’s age. And he tells the truth.

    My own Con Law teacher was not that bright, but he was highly credentialed, and everyone thought of him as smart because, hey, he was teaching Con Law, and he went to a “top” law school.

    1. However he did have the poorest publication record of anyone on the U Chicago faculty

    2. ‘And he tells the truth.’ This is a demonstrable lie, starting with his claims of scandal free administration, his recent Atlantic interview during which he blames caging children on Trump & manages to omit that the cages and practice began during his administration. I can go on, but you won’t listen.

      1. When you find some facts that back your theory, be sure to mention them.

  10. I’m assuming that the whole book consists of hackneyed phrases telling the reader things he or she already knew? Or has Professor Blackman deliberately selected passages that make Obama seem like a banal narcissist devoid of the capacity for original thought or phrasing?

    1. Professor Blackman says he deliberately selected ALL the passages he could find. If that makes Obama seem like a banal narcissist, devoid of the capacity for original thought or phrasing, I suggest you blame Obama, who, if you could pin him down, would probably blame it on his ghost writer.

      1. Perhaps Obama didn’t write every word of all his books. Trump hasn’t even read his.

      2. Of course, Obama was a narcissist. It iis a required characteristic of people who seek the Presidency.

        Ask yourself this question” “Did I ever hear Obama say even once, ‘I made a mistake when…’ or ‘I failed when…’ ”

        He always use some impersonal or passive construction, just like the drug companies that tell you in an ad, “Some fatal complications have happened.”

    2. But Obama is “a banal narcissist devoid of the capacity for original thought or phrasing.” He speaks for himself.

    3. “has Professor Blackman deliberately selected passages that make Obama seem like a banal narcissist devoid of the capacity for original thought or phrasing?”

      Being a banal narcissist devoid of the capacity for original thought is highly popular with the Professor’s partisans right now. Perhaps he is trying to improve Obama’s standing with Republicans.

  11. Obama’s world simply assumed that the Supreme Court would do what was expected of it. It was world where “conservative” meant perhaps a Kennedy, where Scalia was such a radical fringe figure, so inappropriately anomalous, that his appearance on the Supreme Court could safely expected never to be repeated, someone so off the charts that he simply didn’t count and could be ignored. It was a world where someone like Donald Trump was absolutely unthinkable as Presidential material.

    In this world, the Supreme Court wasn’t really all that important.

    1. Donald Trump was never Presidential material.

      He was able to pull off an Electoral College trick shot thanks to lathering up a base of bigoted, uneducated, Jesus-addled losers, then spent four years establishing a failed record that will be scorned and ridiculed for centuries.

      After four years of observation, America rejected him by seven or eight million votes (a “landslide,” in his telling). The next likely resume points will be convictions and bankruptcies, even if he becomes our first (and perhaps final) president to attempt to pardon himself.

      1. I’d call them suckers, even.

      2. What would the margin be if not for the 85 IQ mestizos who immigrated after the 1965 law?

        1. If we threw out the votes of all the 85 IQ morons Biden’s margin would be bigger, since the Confederate flag-wavers wouldn’t count.

          1. I suggest you read the Bell Curve, Race Differences in Intelligence, and the Scarr-Weinberg study before you embarrass yourself any further.

            1. Take a visit to the real world, if you can take a break from embarrassing yourself and your brand of politicians.

        2. Unfortunately, with all the commenters questioning Obama’s intelligence, Aktenberg78 fits in quite well around here.

          1. I’m not questioning Obama’s IQ, actually.

            1. Doesn’t stop us from mocking yours.

      3. Art. Did you do the best you ever had under Trump? Everyone else, especially all Democrat constituents, busted records of performance.

        1. I seem to be doing OK against Trump-Republican-clinger lawyers in election cases. Have you been reading and enjoying the decisions?

        2. ” Did you do the best you ever had under Trump? Everyone else, especially all Democrat constituents, busted records of performance.”

          Not even vaguely correct.

      4. “The next likely resume points will be convictions and bankruptcies, even if he becomes our first (and perhaps final) president to attempt to pardon himself.”

        He lacks the power to pardon himself for state-law violations… that would have to come from the relevant governor.

  12. 750 pages? Jebus H. Crackerjacks, are you kidding me?

    LightBringer™ sure is in love with his own voice…

    Who wrote it for him?

    1. Yes, Obama loves himself above all others.

      His next book:

      An Ode To Me — by Barack Obama.

      6,000 pages on the author’s favorite topic. Coming to a book store near you.

      1. I just read that Trump actually thought he was winning on the night of the election, which makes crushing him — at the polls, in the courts, in the judgment of history — even sweeter.

        Did any Volokh Conspiracy fans actually expect Trump to win? At the polls, in court, in the judgment of decent people over time — in any context?

        If you’re going to be a loser, at least try to be a self-aware, rational loser.

      2. If Trump could write, he’d be writing adoring books about himself, too. Alas, is incapacity cuts off this line of potential revenue for himself, so he’ll have to come up with a new scam by January.

        1. Is the answer to everything “But Trump?”

          Here’s news for you. There are more than one self-absorbed narcissists in the world.

          Just like saying that Stalin was supremely evil does not exclude Hitler also being supremely evil.

          1. “Here’s news for you. There are more than one self-absorbed narcissists in the world. ”

            But few in Mr. Trump’s magnitude.

  13. “ For President Obama, the Supreme Court was an afterthought.”

    This may shock you, but there are people who truly believe that the purpose of the elected branches is to govern.

    And that we don’t have elections simply in the hope that we can get a President and a Senate in the hope that someone on the Council of Guardians will die.

  14. As discrimination cases go, it should have been a slam dunk, but in 2007, defying all common sense, the Supreme Court had disallowed the lawsuit. According to Justice Samuel Alito, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act required Ledbetter to have filed her claim within 180 days of when the discrimination first occurred—in other words, six months after she received her first paycheck, and many years before she actually discovered the pay disparity.

    This shows that either Obama is an uneducated idiot, or a mendacious liar. If you read the actual opinion, NO ONE said what Obama said. The discovery rule does not apply in these cases, which have a very short statute of limitations (the employee has to file something with the EEOC within 180 days of the event).

    The issue was, when an employee’s salary is set lower for a discriminatory reason, and then that salary continues for years (on a periodic basis, i.e., bi-weekly), is each paycheck to be viewed as a new discriminatory event, or is the discriminatory setting of the salary the single event that triggers the 180 statute of limitations.

    The issue is debatable. IMO Alito got it right. But Ginsburg disagreed. Fair enough.

    Obama’s description of the case is far off. Given that he was a law professor, and I assume actually read the case, I conclude that he is a mendacious liar. Which fits his other history well.

    1. You stick with Alito on that one. Enjoy being on the wrong side of history for eternity.

      1. The jurisprudence of the “right side of history.” Certainly original.

      2. Fuck off, slaver.

      3. If you don’t like it, you just have to convince the teeming millions of liberal voters that there’s something called Congress, and Congress can amend laws that it passed.

        Unfortunately, despite Biden’s landslide victory, it appears that most Biden voters had no idea that Congress actually exists ;).

        1. It was an interesting Senate race here in NC. The Democratic candidate was (and still is) highly-qualified for the job, but (oops) got caught in an affair shortly before the election. The right-winger PACs poured millions of dollars into ads reminding voters that the guy cheated on his wife, which apparently is something NC voters think is highly important to Senators and not at all important for Presidents.

    2. “Obama’s description of the case is far off. Given that he was a law professor, and I assume actually read the case, I conclude that he is a mendacious liar. Which fits his other history well.”

      From this analysis, we can conclude that you are a twit of the first order, and that your opinion can be safely ignored as inconsequential.

      1. No one is forcing you to respond to my comments. And given the complete lack of any analysis on your side, I can safely ignore yours.

        1. Says the guy taking time out of his busy schedule to respond.

  15. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just dismissed with prejudice the Republicans’ attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters. First Saturday evening order I recall from that court in more than three decades. Per curium, unanimous in part, one concurrence two partial dissents. This order follows the odd, unsolicited opinion from a conservative judge at the Commonwealth Court — issued at 9 p.m. Friday night — that suggested the petitioners might have a case.

    Sorry, clingers.

    1. 5 of the 7 judges are Democrats. No surprise there.

      1. The two Republicans ruled against the democracy-hating bigots, too.

        Where were Blackman and Volokh when the clingers needed them?

  16. I cannot remember a comment-thread as hate-filled and racist as this one. We are about to be finally rid of an immoral, unethical, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist, barely literate, vulgar, divisive, bullying, incompetent, feckless, tax-cheating, science-denying, lying grifter who has been pretending to be president for four years. And rather than recognize the reality of the nightmare the country has been through, some commenters would rather take cheap shots at a decent, honorable, good-hearted man who brought honor to his office. Your children and grandchildren must be so proud of you.

    1. “racist”

      So any criticism of Obama is racist. We know where you stand.

      1. Obviously not any criticism. Just the racist criticism. Of which there’s a bottomless abundance.

        1. Point to any racist criticism of Obama in this comment thread.

          And “affirmative action” in this context is not racist. Obama was underqualified to be president, and he got a boost from the media, and free pass his entire presidency. A lot of that was because he was the first black president. (Although to be fair, a lot was because of the general left wing bias of the media. Joe Biden, a white man, also got a free pass in the last election, mainly because of the intense hatred of Trump.)

          1. I’m not sure I agree he was underqualified. He was a great orator, which is often enough. A lot of what conservatives chalk up to incompetence was deliberate “transformation” of America.

            1. I don’t think he was incompetent at all. IMO, he was a dangerous closet Marxist, who was both highly intelligent and charismatic, which is what made him so dangerous. (Not to mention he was and is not Hillary Clinton, who evokes a visceral dislike in many people.)

              By underqualified, what I mean his resume. He was a state senator for eight years and a U.S. Senator for four. That is a very thin basis to run for president.

              1. On that, I agree. He was very adept at pretending to be a “unifier” and a “moderate” and a “decrier of partisanship” while he worked behind the scenes to attack political enemies, using the power of government, and to entrench leftist interests.

                1. Somebody wasn’t paying attention back when he first got the job. He tried to extend an olive branch, which was firmly rejected.

                  1. This is the canard that left-leaning folks like to trot out. It does not mesh with reality, as is true of most group knowledge.

                    1. “This is the canard that left-leaning folks like to trot out. ”

                      Reality keeps intruding, much to your dissatisfaction.

              2. ” highly intelligent and charismatic”
                he was intelligent enough just about the same as W. But he definitely was charismatic and had a strong distaste for drama.

              3. That is a very thin basis to run for president.

                And is that the reason you opposed him?

                1. No, I opposed him for the reasons I have indicated.

                  1. I do not know your reasoning, but I know you are a racist and it seems likely your bigotry precipitated your opposition to a black man seeking a position of authority.

                    1. There’s a song from Fiddler on The Roof:

                      Projection, Projection, PROJECTION .

                      Projection, Projection, PROJECTION .

            2. “I’m not sure I agree he was underqualified.”

              What he definitely was is blissfully unaware of how much opposition he would face in trying to make the US federal government work effectively.

      2. “So any criticism of Obama is racist. We know where you stand.”

        No, just the racist criticism is racist. Nobody said anything about any other kind.

    2. I cannot remember a comment as thoroughly infected with TDS as yours. Assuming history has only two sides, you are on the wrong one. Looking forward to ’22 and ’24.

      1. I couldn’t help noticing that you didn’t bother to dispute my remarks about Trump — not even one of them. Want to give it a try?

      2. “Looking forward to ’22 and ’24.”

        Why?

        There will be even fewer bigots, hayseeds, and clingers in America in two years to vote for Republicans than there were this time around. Our electorate is improving — less intolerant, less rural, less religious, less backward, less White — with every day’s obituaries, as cranky old conservatives take their stale, ugly thinking to the grave and are replaced by younger, better, more diverse Americans.

        What, in your judgment, will — or even could — reverse the half-century tide of the American culture war?

        Three things — gerrymandering, voter suppression, and our system’s structural amplification of yahoo votes — are all that delays the collapse of the Republican-conservative electoral coalition. And each of those is likely to continue to erode. So good luck with all of that, clingers.

      3. “Looking forward to ’22 and ’24.”

        You’re planning to vote for Trump both times, presumably.

    3. As opposed to your party, which is staffed with people like Mrs. Jared Polis.

    4. Those are personal remarks about the greatest President since Washington. They violate the Fallacy of Irrelevance. Dismissed.

      1. You’re exactly right. Except, of course, for Trump being the greatest president since Washington (unless you meant worst and accidentally wrote greatest). And if by “personal remarks” you mean true, easily verifiable descriptions of the unqualified moron who will soon be retiring into a world of endless, expensive criminal and civil litigation, then you’re right again. You’re welcome, of course, to dispute any or all of those “personal remarks.” We’re waiting.

        1. Well, that was thorough.

      2. Your “facts” are incorrect.

        Dismissed.

      3. “Those are personal remarks about the greatest President since Washington.”

        Trump doesn’t even make the list of the top 45 Presidents.

    5. More Curious, it’s a stretch to call Trump barely literate. Based on watching him give a speech while frequently referring to a document in front of him, he’s at least median among U.S. adults in raw reading ability. Also, “incompetent” is begging for qualification – that he managed to get himself elected President despite being such a train wreck of a human being in so many important respects speaks to really exceptional competence in certain narrow domains.

      1. “speaks to really exceptional competence in certain narrow domains.”

        Disagree. Willingness to do things others won’t (e.g., disparage and breach foundational norms) ≠ ability to do things others can’t.

        1. ” Also, “incompetent” is begging for qualification – that he managed to get himself elected President despite being such a train wreck of a human being in so many important respects speaks to really exceptional competence in certain narrow domains.”

          The only thing Donald Trump is competent at doing is claiming credit for things that other people have done. He IS good at THAT. But that isn’t helping him now.

    6. The standard baseless set of accusations levied against anyone who dares voice a viewpoint in opposition to left/progressive ideals. The idea that one cannot disagree with or find a politician’s performance substandard without considering race, sex or creed is beyond the left-leaning mindset. Simultaneously, the same group cannot argue without making ad hominem attacks, as they seem unable to address, much less rebut any argument. This says all one needs to know about left-leaning mindsets in general. Your description of the two presidents is comical and quite frankly, buffoonish. As for your statement about children and grandchildren, who are you to say what one’s family will decide, and why would anyone here let some ignorant jackass’s opinion be the yardstick for their self-worth? You are in the wrong place, precious.

      1. “The idea that one cannot disagree with or find a politician’s performance substandard without considering race, sex or creed is beyond the left-leaning mindset. Simultaneously, the same group cannot argue without making ad hominem attacks”

        Yeah, following up an ad hom attack with a complaint about ad hom attacks will SURELY win the argument for you.

        ” why would anyone here let some ignorant jackass’s opinion be the yardstick for their self-worth? ”

        I won’t. Fuck off.

  17. Perhaps Mr. Obama’s memoir contains little about the Supreme Court because he was not on it? I bet there’s more material about being President in the book, since he was President in 2011. Doesn’t that seem reasonable?

    If he should happen to be nominated (and confirmed) to the Supreme Court, he’ll have more to say about the Supreme Court.

    1. Why would he ever want that job?

      1. Public service.

        And maybe he enjoys kicking the clingers around a bit.

        1. What a fool answer.
          He has far more opportunities for service as a civilian.
          And cut your clinger crap; it is more than stale.

          1. “He has far more opportunities for service as a civilian.”

            Such as?

            Are you genuinely having difficulty figuring why people accept Supreme Court nominations?

            1. I have a lot better ability than a mindless ideologue than yourself. And Mr. Obama has a far greater capacity for thinking about his future contributions than you could ever dream of.

      2. “Why would he ever want that job?”

        Perhaps he thinks he would be good at it.

        I don’t know. (perhaps that’s why I didn’t say that he would or did want the job)

        1. I would much rather see Mr. Obama go back to Chicago to be President of the University of Chicago.

          1. Turns out the universe has no compunction to order events to your preferences. Bummer for you.

  18. A decade later, is anyone going to say those critics were wrong about Sotomayor?

  19. Well, this is an ugly thread.

    1. Just another day at the Volokh Conspiracy.

      Gods, guns, and gays.

      From the bigoted, backward perspective, with a scant academic veneer.

      1. “Gods, guns, and gays.”

        and zygotes

      2. You really do enjoy spewing hate. Grow up.

        1. Your high horse is sinking.

          1. What in the world are you talking about?
            You seem to be the one sinking to the level of Kirkland the constant troll.

            1. “What in the world are you talking about?”

              If you don’t like somebody pointing out that you’re trolling, stop trolling. A person of at least average intelligence would have picked up on that one.

        2. You are disoriented if you figure the ‘hate’ side of the God-gays-guns line is the liberal-libertarian mainstream side.

          And ‘grow up’ is a bad look from the folks whose childish gullibility leads them to claim — maybe even believe, at least to some — that fairy tales are true.

          1. More hate from you, as I expect from everyone of your self-righteous posts

            1. The more hate you send, the more you find.

    2. Can you explain why Democrats are so facially ugly? Watch CNN and MSNBC. Then turn to Fox or OAN. Stunning facial contrast.

      1. “Can you explain why Democrats are so facially ugly?”

        Guess they hire based on brain power.

        If you’re unsatisfied by the attractiveness of Democrats, you can stick with the Fox News newsbabes.

        1. “Guess they hire based on brain power.”
          Not really. Today Willy Brown wrote that Newson should picka black woman to replace Ms. Harris as Senatpr. Why? Because Harris is a black woman.
          That says very little about brains, James.
          Actually Newsom should name himself else he is at a dead end.

        2. ‘Guess they hire based on brain power.’ That isn’t the case.

          1. If you’re right, they might still hire you.

            Don’t give up yet.

      2. “Then turn to Fox ”

        Who are you talking about, Squeeky Watters?

  20. Obama’s eloquent speeches duped me into campaigning and voting for him in 2008.

    But by the Spring of 2009 when Obamacare was railroaded through Congress, I removed the Obama/Biden bumper sticker on my car.

    While Obama repeatedly promised to save the world, he delivered nothing except thousands of economically disastrous Big Brother mandates and military disasters abroad.

    In retrospect, Obama was the worst president of my life (worse than LBJ, Nixon, Carter and GWB).

    1. Only Lincoln was more catastrophic than this affirmative action baby.

    2. “In retrospect, Obama was the worst president of my life (worse than LBJ, Nixon, Carter and GWB).”

      Too bad you didn’t survive into 2017.

    3. Bill Godshall:

      As a former elected and appointed official of the Democratic Party, I urge you to vote Republican for the rest of your life. Your betters do not want your association or support.

    4. railroaded through Congress

      You mean, “passed by a majority of both Houses?”

  21. From a letter Laurence Tribe sent to Obama (dated 4 May 2009): “If you were to appoint someone like Sonia Sotomayor, whose personal history and demographic appeal you don’t need me to underscore, I am concerned that the impact within the Court would be negative in these respects. Bluntly put, she’s not nearly as smart as she seems to think she is, and her reputation for being somewhat of a bully could well make her liberal impulses backfire and simply add to the firepower of the Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas wing of the Court on issues like those involved in the voting rights case argued last week and the Title VII case of the New Haven firefighters argued earlier, issues on which Kennedy will probably vote with Roberts despite Souter’s influence but on which I don’t regard Kennedy as a lost cause for the decade or so that he is likely to remain on the Court.”

    1. Indeed she is not so smart – a great contrast to Justice Kagan who is very smart and who will be a great influence on the Court for years to come.

      1. Females are underperformers, until experience shows otherwise. There are very few good female leaders in history. You will not run out of fingers. Joan of Arc was mental, and exploited by the powers that be behind her rise. The female governed jurisdictions of the US are unlivable shitholes, with no exception to my knowledge. Walk one block by mistake from the central district of Atlanta, you’re dead. Same is true in DC. Walk anywhere in Baltimore, you’re dead. Walk the central part of Chicago, get accosted by 6 drunks who want to be your friend.

        1. David, you make a totaly baseless comment spun out of your head and basically off point regarding Justices Sotomayor and Kagan

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