Time to say NO! NO! again

TPM tells me that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire this summer. Per TPM:

“The retirement sets up a Senate confirmation battle for Obama’s nominee over the summer. (The Senate also faces a tough fight in coming months over ratifying the administration’s nuclear arms treaty with Russia, just signed this week in Prague.) Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation took just over two months.”

Since everything Obama does is illegitimate, expect two big fights coming up.

13 responses to “Time to say NO! NO! again

  1. Unless Obama nominates a totally leftwing radical or foolishly plays the race card again in advertising his nomination, the dispute over the nomination will be pro forma only; Stevens was a Liberal so Obama’s pick won’t effect the court’s makeup.

    Sotomayer wouldn’t have faced nearly so much trouble if Obama hadn’t played up her race and gender as if that was his primary reasons for nominating her.

    The arms treaty, on the other hand, may be a nastier fight. Some fools are still committed to supporting and maintaining a very expensive arsenal of nuclear weapons that we really have no intention of ever using or needing in the number that we have them.

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    • [Some fools are still committed to supporting and maintaining a very expensive arsenal of nuclear weapons that we really have no intention of ever using or needing in the number that we have them.]

      Right. And the ones that matter of course, are the congress critters whose states are endowed with jobs and military contracts. Which is usually just about every damn state!

      The neo-cons of course will get out there with their usual cries of “omg, they’re coming to get us!”, but it’ll be the special interests in congress that will be the real challenge.

      As for the court, whatever the Pres may have said about Sotomayer (it’s time for an hispanic or whatever, which makes his sin speaking truth), he wasn’t the one ‘who played up her race/gender”. That was our precious little national media, expecially the cable gasbags of both sides.

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      • Moe,

        Read Obama’s own announcement of Sotomayor’s nomination to the SCOTUS.

        He explicitly placed her race, gender, socioeconomic level growing up, and her chronic health issue as being of equal value in her nomination as her intelligence, education, and judicial experience.

        The MSM just ran with what Obama started that time.

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        • Reagan went ‘woman shopping’ for O’Connor and he said so.

          ” With the selection, Mr. Reagan fulfilled a campaign promise last year to pick a woman for the Court at one of his earliest opportunities. Associate Justice Stewart announced his retirement last month after 23 years on the Court.

          “In a brief statement before television cameras at the White House, Mr. Reagan urged the Senate’s ”swift bipartisan confirmation so that, as soon as possible, she may take her seat on the Court and her place in history.”

          Reagan Administration officials had said earlier that Mr. Reagan placed a high priority on finding a woman . . .”

          I think that consideration of a nominee’s life experience is hugely important. One of the current discussions about replacing Stevens is the necessity to step away from the focus on judicial experience and look for people who have served in elective office. This it is beleived would ‘balance’ the Court. Balance is important, has to be part of the consideration.

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          • Yep, Reagan did do that, and it was wrong then just as it is wrong now.

            I think that considering the nominee’s life experience should be avoided except in cases where it can be compared to judicial rulings to see if they have an inherent or inherited bias on certain matters.

            As for the current idea that the focus should move from judicial experience to either legislative or executive branch experience – that’s a recipe for disaster!

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            • [As for the current idea that the focus should move from judicial experience to either legislative or executive branch experience – that’s a recipe for disaster!]

              Some of our finest Justices were exactly that – from outside the judicial system. The idea of a Court is not an abstract static concept – must be open to everything with which it is confronted. It needs to understand the country of which it is the third branch of government.

              If it’s only composed of people who were judges or academics, that’s all they understand – the judicial system. And that’s just not enough.

              I don’t want to be treated by a doctor who’s spent his entire career in the lab and never treated an actual patient.

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              • Not a particularly good analogy, Moe, because there’s a huge difference between a SCOTUS Justice and a practicing MD.

                The MD actually does need practical experience involving dealing with people and their situations. A SCOTUS Justice, however, is supposed to determine cases based upon the constitutionality of the earlier rulings, not personal bias – whether that bias stems from antipathy or empathy.

                Essentially – keeping with your analogy, the nation needs the SCOTUS to be closer to the medical researcher than the general practitioner.

                Remember what the scope of SCOTUS rulings are and broad their effects are. They and their duties are NOT like lower the lower courts. If they were, I’d probably agree with you.

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                • Your point is a good one and I quite understand it. Indeed we need different things from justices at diff levels of our system, the Supremes needing to be the most learned and able to focus on the constitutional commitment we expect of them.

                  But even allowing for that, a judicial temperment will not be formed by scholarship alone. Perhaps a better analogy re doctors would be the MD researcher who spends all his time researching treatments but is not the person who ever sees how they work out.

                  The laws are just impenetrable words without being able to envision actual application in the real world.

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                • That’s why actually legal experience in courtrooms is, or should be, a prime criteria for nominations. But we run into trouble there as well, trouble that might well cause some of your feelings.

                  Most higher court justices are chosen from lower court justices, which makes sense. But most lower court justices have prosecutorial backgrounds, not defense attorney backgrounds.

                  That must skew later results.

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                • [But most lower court justices have prosecutorial backgrounds, not defense attorney backgrounds.
                  That must skew later results.]

                  I am sure it does. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

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        • [being of equal value in her nomination as her intelligence, education, and judicial experience.]

          Jonolan, I just read the nomination speech. He in no way puts them on an equal footing with her judicial qualification.

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          • Uh, Moe?

            “But as impressive and meaningful as Judge Sotomayor’s sterling credentials in the law is her own extraordinary journey.”

            The he went on to wax rhapsodic over what should have been meaningless things.

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        • I’m altogether too chatty here today; it;s the inhaled steroids that I take for two more days only (thank god).

          From Obama’s speech – note especially where he quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes.

          “These two qualities (judicial, educational etc) are essential, I believe, for anyone who would sit on our nation’s highest court. And yet, these qualities alone are insufficient. We need something more. For as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” Experience being tested by obstacles and barriers, by hardship and misfortune; experience insisting, persisting, and ultimately overcoming those barriers. It is experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion; an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live. And that is why it is a necessary ingredient in the kind of justice we need on the Supreme Court.”

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