Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: August 4, 1961


8/4/1961: President Barack Obama's birthday. He would appoint two Justices to the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

President Obama's appointees to the Supreme Court

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  1. Two Justices in eight years. Trump (who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million) got to pick three in four. The unbalanced rightward tilt continues.

    1. Those 3 million votes were by illegales. Cali opens its borders to millions of illegales. Cali says they can have drivers licenses. Upon getting a license, they are registered to vote automatically. That cheating alone is far more than 3 million illegales, making Cali a permanent one party state. Then the Democrats assist nursing home, demented patients to fill out ballots. Their Democrat mail men throw mail in ballots in the trash from conservative neighborhoods. Biden is taking this California act national.

      1. The result is that LA and San Fran are unlivable even if a billionaire. They have human waste in the street as in the 19th Century. They have soaring crime. You cannot complain without getting cancelled. Watch movies of the early Sixties, they were a paradise.

      2. Baseless paranoid conspiracy nuttiness, though what's telling is that he's basically just repeating nonsense peddled by the former GOP President and current conservative personality cult leader.

        1. Actually, thanks to the federal Motor Voter law, it is indeed quite easy for illegal aliens to register to vote in states that allow them to have driver licenses.

          1. Proof? Should be quite easy to establish, comparing the lists. But no.

            1. Keep in mind that, if an illegal alien wants a driver's license outside one of the few states that will grant them to admitted illegal aliens, and so actually distinguishes, they'll generally obtain them using fake ID. So the government has no way of knowing that the license holder is an illegal alien unless they screw up.

    2. It's been a huge stroke of luck/strategy in favor of the GOP on SCOTUS for decades now. The next Democratic pick really should be a moderate pragmatist like Alito to balance things out....

      1. I wouldn't call it a stroke of luck. Obama would have had 3 nominations, and Trump 2, if RBG hadn't been determined to hold onto her seat until she died in it, to the point of not resigning even after she was physically incapable of performing the office.

        1. Ginsburg authored her share of majority opinions in the term before she died, including USPO v. (6/30/20). Are you saying these were written by others?

          1. Yeah, I'm saying, based on the way she was nodding off in public, that it was her interns doing the work.

        2. Brett Bellmore : "Obama would have had 3 nominations, and Trump 2.... (etc)"

          Right numbers, wrong reason. Obama would have had three if the GOP hadn't stolen Merrick Garland's seat. If you insist upon blaming Justice Ginsburg for the effrontery of dying 46 days too soon, those numbers change to 4&1

    3. Three million the first time. After Americans had a chance to see performance in office, it was eight million.

      If he runs again, trend says: Thirteen million.

      Carry on, clingers.

      1. Under our current electoral system he could lose by thirteen million and still win.

        1. No, under our current electoral system he could win by as little as one vote, and still win. Getting more total popular votes isn't "winning" under our system.

          1. Our current electoral system is weighted so that a white vote is worth 8% more than parity, while a black vote is worth 13% less and a hispanic, 24% less.

            1. That's arrant nonsense, we don't weight votes by race. We don't weight votes at all, every member of the EC has the same weigh of vote.

    4. Trump was nominating justices defensively.

      There was no popular national vote. There were popular state votes only. This is a common every day manner of voting. Would you have baseball teams select playoff teams by total runs scored instead of games won? Football and basketball and hockey playoffs decided by total points instead of games?

      We could extend this to grading exams too. No more having some exams more important than others.

      I'm sure you could come up with some creative redefinition of "counting" to justify anything. Go ahead. Show us your creativity. It is mildly entertaining.

      1. Our system is unusual. The great majority of President-style democracies elect by popular vote.

    5. Poor baby

      Poor, intellectually stunted, utterly dishonest, pitiful baby.

      What is the basis of the power and legitimacy of the US Supreme Court?

      The US Constitution

      Does the US Constitution specify how the President is to be elected?

      Yes, it does

      How did Trump do under that measure?

      Quite well.

      You want to value "democracy" and "votes gathered"? Then 10 voters voting for abortion restrictions beats 9 Supreme Court Justices voting the other way

      You want those 5 pro-abortion votes on SCOTUS to matter?

      Then you're stuck with the entire US Constitution

      At least, you are if you're not a dishonest moron with delusions of value

      1. Greg, you are missing the point.

        Suppose there were a rule that said that one of the super bowl teams starts off with a free touchdown, and that rule can only be changed with the consent of the team that gets the free touchdown. Nobody is disputing that that's what the rule *is*; the question is whether it's a fair and just rule.

        The electoral college essentially gives the Republicans a free touchdown, and it can only be abolished with their approval, which they're not inclined to do because why would they give up such an advantage. Now, please stop telling us that that's the rule; we already know that. Instead, try focusing on why you think that's a fair rule. Or why the Democrats should pretend anything other than it's an unfair rule.

        1. It does NOT give the Republicans a free touchdown. It is politically neutral. You'd be screaming the other way at some other time in history.

          1. Four times in US history the electoral college has awarded the presidency to a candidate who lost the popular vote, twice in the 1800s, in 2000, and in 2016. All four times the GOP ended up with the presidency. So when exactly would I have had occasion to scream the other way? It's politically neutral only if you ignore the actual realities on the ground. And if it didn't give Republicans an unfair advantage, they wouldn't be so adamant about keeping it.

            But suppose it worked out that half the time the electoral college went with popular vote-losing Democrats and the other half it went with popular vote-losing Republicans. It would still be an unjust rule because the vote of someone who lives in Kansas counts more than the vote of someone who lives in New York. So back to my original question: Please explain why it's a fair rule.

            1. And if you don't like it, stop optimizing your party to appeal to people in high density urban areas, and nowhere else.

              Democrats aren't automatically at a disadvantage, they chose to be at a disadvantage, because they have so little sympathy these days for anyone who doesn't live in an urban center, that they can't bear to craft their positions to have a wider appeal.

              If you didn't set your policies to get 90% plus of the vote in urban centers, you might end up getting 51% of the vote outside them. Ever think of that?

              1. One could equally as well tell the Republicans to stop having platforms that don't appeal to anyone in the cities. And both arguments miss the point: Elections should be won or lost by popular appeal and not by procedural rules that put their thumb on the scale in favor of one party. If you can't win by a fair election (meaning everyone's vote counts exactly as much as everyone else's vote regardless of where it is cast) then maybe you shouldn't have power.

  2. One of the very worst Presidents, Carter class worst, not Lincoln class worst. Lincoln revolves in an orbit of badness alone. Elected on affirmative action national madness. A diverse made awful decisions about the Court. Re-elected by millions of illegales illegally voting. These Justices hurt our country and will continue to do so for decades with medical advances.

    1. If you take out the punctuation and put 'STOP' between each of these sentences it reads like an old-timey telegram by a madman.

      1. I've had him on mute for some time now but reading your responses and adding my imagination, is entertaining.

        1. I haven't muted anyone but suspect others have muted me.

          So how does that work?

          You can see responses but not the original comment?

          1. You see a notice that there's a muted comment, in place of the actual comment. So the comment threads still end up a bit cluttered. The notice provides opportunity to unmute and/or see the name of the person being muted.

          2. There is also an option to see the blocked person's user name if you have blocked multiple people, for instance.

            I have only blocked one guy so have not selected that option.

            1. It's on a per comment basis, not globally.

              1. Oh, ok. Never tried it.

        2. I'd never mute him, I enjoy reading his comments as they perfectly symbolize how deranged Trumpistas are.

          1. That would be like muting Prof. Blackman -- denying the Volokh Conspiracy its genuine conservative essence.

            The most important point about this blog is that it displays unvarnished conservative thinking and character for a broader audience than the usual Fox-Federalist Society-RedState-Breitbart-Instapundit-Hot Air-Free Republic-Blaze-NewsMax context.

          2. I used to think somewhat similarly about the Rev, but his deranged rants about how the left was going to inevitably triumph and I'd end up in a reeducation camp if I were lucky finally got to me. I think I have 3 people muted at this point: Behar, the Rev, and some idiot antisemite, can't recall his name at the moment.

            Must be loosing my capacity to suffer fools gladly, in my old age. At one time I wouldn't even have muted Hihn.

            1. Reeducation camps? That's either the autism or the chemicals talking, Mr. Bellmore. Perhaps you should leave the thinking to people who aren't bitter, birther-class clingers.

              The liberal-libertarian mainstream has triumphed in America, for so long as any of us has been alive. It will continue to win the culture war, shaping our national progress against conservatives' wishes. You fault me for mentioning this?

              Is there a single Conspirator who wishes to challenge the assertion that the left has won and will continue to win the American culture war? Most of the clinger commenters aren't that stupid.

              1. There is no "liberal-libertarian" anything. I have been a libertarian for over 20 years, and you leftwing extremist idiots are the only thing that pisses me off more than rightwing extremist idiots.

                1. That's why, when I gave up on the LP, I went Republican. I disagree with them about a lot of stuff, but in the end, they'll mostly leave me alone, and the Democrats won't.

    2. Trump was elected to correct the mistakes of the Obama administration. He appointed 3 Justices in one term. However, Trump selected Ivy indoctrinated, rent seeking, big government scum bags in 2 cases. That is not much of a correction. Click on the names for a collection of just horrible, lawless, wrongheaded decisions. The additional Justices will not be fixing them.

      1. Trump is proof that white supremacy is nonsense. After thoughtful, intelligent, articulate and compassionate President Obama, we got stupid, loud, inarticulate and narcissistic President Trump. What a repudiation of the idea that whites are superior to blacks.

        1. I recently heard an interview with Obama where he was asked what he's learned from raising daughters. He said that in conjunction with being married to a 'strong woman' he learned from this to think more about how he, as a man, may have been privileged and how his daughters may have been disadvantaged.

          Imagine Trump showing anything near that level of introspection and thoughtfulness (he doesn't seem to go beyond being proud that his daughter is a 'hot piece of ass.').

          1. "level of introspection and thoughtfulness"

            Level of cringe and eye rolling you mean.

            1. Do you have daughters? Have you ever thought about their privilege as females vs. yours as a male? Is your conclusion different from Obama's?

              1. Yes, I do. Sure, why not, its meaningless and silly naval grazing grievance mongering but I can do that too! Yes.

                1. Imagine, being proud of the fact that you don't think.

                  1. Obama "thinks" that "how his daughters may have been disadvantaged". So profound!

                    His daughters are some of the most privileged people in the planet, conservatively in top 2% in the US.

                    I'm sure the male former factory worker working at 7/11 because his job left for Mexico due to "free trade" [supported by Obama] is far more privileged than Obama's daughters.

          2. Riiight, spouting mindless left wing tropes is "introspection and thoughtfulness".

            Like the daughters of a wealthy academic and politician, (Even before he was elected President.) are in any meaningful sense "disadvantaged". That's nonsense on stilts, and Obama actually IS introspective and thoughtful enough to know it.

            1. Brett, you don't have to agree with Obama's policies to acknowledge that when it comes to intelligence, thoughtfulness, and being articulate, Obama beats Trump by a mile.

              1. Eh, being articulate I'll give you. People often mistake that for intelligence, though it's only one component. I try to avoid that mistake myself, I know quite well there are aspects to intelligence besides being well spoken or good at math and logic games. I came close to acing the SAT, and have an absurdly large vocabulary, but couldn't negotiate my way out of a wet paper bag.

                Not so sure which is smarter, but neither is actually stupid, despite the left insisting that Trump can't have any virtues at all, and is just a shambling collection of bad traits. So, no, I wouldn't agree with that "by a mile".

                1. He's really good at doing what he does best, which is separating fools from their money and integrity, and I suppose that takes a certain kind of intelligence.

                  1. My point exactly. Success in any field is a sort of IQ test. Both of them excel at separating fools from their money and integrity, Obama approaches it from a different direction, but the end result is not much different.

                    1. Oh hell no. That's like saying that Ted Bundy is morally indistinguishable from someone who once told a sexist joke; they are both mean to women. If you seriously think Obama and Trump are morally equivalent, you need to review your standards.

                      Obama wasn't perfect, but Trump is in a category of moral depravity all his own. And only the most blatant of partisanship couldn't see it.

                    2. Yeah, Republicans don't think Trump is a monster, and Democrats don't think Obama is a monster, and they're both succeeding at fooling the people they're trying to fool. Most politicians are monsters by every day standards, Krychek. The rare exceptions don't get anywhere near the Presidency.

                      You think Obama is this icon with feet of pearl, and Trump morally depraved on a unique basis, because of the brand of Koolaid you drink. If you drank the competing brand, you'd swap their places.

                    3. I do not think Obama is an icon with feet of pearl. I once said that I trust him as far as I could throw his Secret Service detail. But neither do I think he occupies the same moral plane as someone who, i.e., has spent the last nine months trying to stoke civil war by lying about an election he claims was stolen, that in reality he lost fair and square.

                2. "neither is actually stupid"

                  Trump was a major cultural figure for decades and a cunning schemer. That takes a lot of intelligence.

                  Obama is clean and articulate.

                  1. This just shows why using 'intelligence' like a one-dimensional continuum makes no sense.

                  2. There is nothing a black man can do that would cause you to think that he's intelligent.

                    1. Race card played!

                      I was just quoting the current president of the United States. Am I wrong to do so?

                  3. Bob from Ohio : "Obama is clean and articulate"

                    I gotta say : Praise for a black person as "clean" or "articulate" really takes you back, doesn't it? I gotta believe Bob is purposely going nostalgic here. Don't you get that Fifties or early-Sixties vibe off his statement?

                    1. Just quoted President Biden.

                    2. Touché Bob!
                      Joe was showing his age too....

              2. Obama always struck me as having a stunningly average intellect. Among other examples...1) he thinks the p in the word corpsman is NOT silent; 2) when in Vienna, he referred to a non existent "Austrian" language; 3) he claimed to have visited 57 states. In short, he made the sort of verbal gaffes that would have gotten Bush or Trump crucified in the media, and rightly so.

                1. Imagine Obama teaching Con Law at the most prestigious law school in his home state (which he did) and imagine Bush or Trump trying to get through the first semester of such a course.

                  1. Or imagine either Trump or W Bush inviting a group of hostile Democrats for a nearly-seven hour unscripted debate on healthcare - and then running rings around them. It happened back in 2010 and the full video is just a google-search away. Why not try it : You can watch Mr. Obama make his opponents look small as a spectator sport.

                    Trump would have suffered total brain-freeze five minutes in. It's horrible to consider the verbal diarrhea that surely would ensue. It's very difficult to fill seven hours with talk at a grade school-level. Bush would have barely done better. I'm sure he's smarter than Trump (the lowest of bars to clear), but he never seemed disciplined enough to marshal his thoughts and ideas.


                2. Notably, Trump made headlines for actively making stuff up, not like mispronouncing words.

                  But you're going to go after Obama's intellect based on 3 wrong words. As though no one who misspeaks when regularly giving multiple speeches per day can every be smart.

                  And then you're going to accuse the media of ignoring the issue, when all three of those stories were quite well covered. Overcovered in fact.

              3. Articulate? OK. As for intelligence or thoughtfulness? How do you measure that? How you think of a person isn't what constitutes the comparison.

  3. The best of the libs and the worst of the libs. I'd rank Sotomayor below Brennan but doubt her influence will last.

    1. You're just anti-Latin. You're so anti-Latin you make Pope Francis look like Cardinal Ottaviani.

  4. "8/4/1961: President Barack Obama's birthday."

    Yeah, right. Show me the unredacted long-form birth certificate.

    I'm kidding! I'm kidding!

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