Obama planning to nominate a new Justice to US Supreme Court

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  • #1
Astronuc
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Obama weighs Republican for Supreme Court
https://www.yahoo.com/politics/obama-says-wants-top-court-justice-independent-mind-132642922.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is considering appointing a moderate Republican to the Supreme Court, a source close to the process said on Wednesday, but leaders in the Republican-led Senate held firm to their threat to block anyone he nominates.

The source said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican and former federal judge, was among the possible candidates.

As governor, Sandoval has taken a traditional Republican stance in support of gun rights, but his more moderate views on social issues, such as abortion rights, could make him an attractive choice for the Democratic president.
Meanwhile, in an obstruction of justice, "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday the Senate will not hold hearings or vote on any Supreme Court nominee until the next president takes office in January 2017"

Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee that would hold any confirmation hearings, concurred, saying, "It's the principle, not the person."
The principle of obstruction, I guess.
 

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  • #2
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This is tough. In principle I dislike the obstruction, however, if republicans cave, their constituents would go bonkers and I believe democrats would act in the same manner.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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President Barack Obama is considering appointing a moderate Republican to the Supreme Court, a source close to the process said on Wednesday...
I'll believe that when I see it, but it would be amazing to see Obama put forth such a huge compromise as he's leaving office. Interesting conundrum: on the one hand, it would be a huge failure for him to leave office failing to get a USSC justice appointed, but on the other hand to actually attempt a real compromise with the Republicans and have it be rebuffed would be a big win...but too late to be useful to him. I've been saying for 7 years that he should actually attempt a real compromise to put the Republicans on the defensive!
 
  • #4
bcrowell
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Las Vegas bookmakers are currently giving these probabilities for our next president: 60%=Clinton, 30%=Trump, 10%=Sanders. If it's Clinton or Sanders, then this is a non-issue. If it's Trump, then our country is faced with a much scarier set of issues than a Supreme Court appointment -- basically a descent into authoritarianism with a Mussolini-style strongman in charge. (I'm not even sure that Trump would nominate anyone terribly objectionable to the court. He's not an ideologue or a social conservative.)

There's also the possibility that Trump will get elected, but the Senate will go Democratic. In that case the shoe will be on the other foot.
 
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  • #5
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Trump is picking up steam, what happens if trump and hilliary get the nod? That makes the case for Bloomberg to join the race. If that happens no one gets 270 elect. votes. Will Obama get a third term if any person fails to get 270 and there is only 8 judges to call it 4-4?!!?:wideeyed::wideeyed::wideeyed::wideeyed::wideeyed::wideeyed:
 
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  • #7
mheslep
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...basically a descent into authoritarianism with a Mussolini-style strongman in charge.
How might that descent take form? He could, for instance, issue executive orders and appointments outside the bounds his authority. Or, polarize the country, by urging his interest groups to http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/in-appeal-to-hispanics-obama-promises-to-push-immigration-reform/ [Broken], and instead of disagreeing with the opposition, demonize them. He could issue inane summaries of his foreign policy like, "don't do stupid sh!t" to sound bold and edgy while explaining nothing. He could bluster, declaring red lines for rogues abroad, then rationalize when lines are crossed. .
 
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  • #8
lisab
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Nevada Governor Sandoval has withdrawn from consideration:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-sandoval-idUSKCN0VY2JE

I'm thinking he got too much pressure from his party.

Wow, if they just obstruct for the rest of the year, I bet the Republicans are going to look completely incapable of governing in the eyes of Independents. Not such a good look, in an election year.

No wait...maybe they're doing it on purpose! To torpedo Trump! yeah that's it... /s
 
  • #9
bcrowell
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How might that descent take form? He could, for instance, issue executive orders and appointments outside the bounds his authority. Or, polarize the country, by urging his interest groups to "punish our enemies", and instead of disagreeing with the opposition, demonize them. He could issue inane summaries of his foreign policy like, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/04/obamas-dont-do-stupid-****-foreign-policy/ [Broken] to sound bold and edgy while explaining nothing. He could bluster, declaring red lines for rogues abroad, then rationalize when lines are crossed. .
You seem to imagine that because I'm horrified at Trump, I must be a big fan of Obama. I actually agree with most of your criticisms of Obama. The way I see history unfolding is this:

(1) G.W. Bush reacts to 9/11 with torture, indefinite detentions without trial, overseas kidnappings, and massive surveillance programs. Both parties in Congress support him in these actions.

(2) Obama continues indefinite detentions and expands surveillance. He eliminates torture, and replaces overseas kidnappings with drone strikes (including killings of US citizens). Both parties in Congress support him in these actions.

(3) President Trump? We can only speculate about how things would play out, but based on what he claims he wants to do, it seems reasonable to assume that he would go much, much further in the destruction of civil liberties than Bush or Obama dared. Whereas Bush and Obama paid lip service to democracy and civil liberties, Trump wholeheartedly advocates policies closely analogous to those of 1930s fascists in Europe.
 
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  • #10
russ_watters
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...Trump wholeheartedly advocates policies closely analogous to those of 1930s fascists in Europe.
Could you be specific about what those are, please.
 
  • #11
bcrowell
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Could you be specific about what those are, please.
Nationalism. Torture (and "much worse"). Scapegoating of ethnic groups. (Wants Muslims to carry special ID cards. Proposes banning all Muslims from the US. Praises FDR for creating Japanese internment camps.)

Since Trump has evaded most attempts to pin him down on specific policies or proposals, we also have to pay attention to his tone and his non-policy actions, which are also very similar to 30's fascism. He has the cult of personality. He encourages his supporters to beat up hecklers at rallies. He's racist and xenophobic (says Mexico sends us its criminals and rapists). He uses the "big lie" technique.

Here's an interesting psychological profile of one well-known fascist dictator:

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
Sound familiar?
 
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  • #12
mheslep
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You seem to imagine that because I'm horrified at Trump, I must be a big fan of Obama...
I made the post because terms around like "descent into authoritarianism" with "a Mussolini-style strongman" are demonization if not supported, or at least given context.

...Trump wholeheartedly advocates policies closely analogous to those of 1930s fascists in Europe.
Ahistorical. You're conflating populism and nationalism with fascism. The 1930s fascists did not want to tinker with civil liberties or immigration policy; they wanted the overthrow the democratic system, to get rid of elections. (BTW, that notion has raised its head among technocratic politicians more than once). They romanticized violence to cleanse society. They denounced individualism and demanded allegiance to the state foremost, to include the wearing of uniforms. Trump's appeal is completely individualistic, with allegiance to nobody or anything other than himself. Trump is nationalistic, but then Bernie Sanders routinely flogs trade with China in his rallies.
 
  • #13
mheslep
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...
Sound familiar?
Somewhat, among many, many egotistical politicians (BTW, is there another kind?)
 
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  • #14
CalcNerd
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I see it as Obama offering a decent but moderate (centralist) judge. The right wingers (having to appease their supposed constituents) put up fight (token or not) and then Obama (or lets be realistic), Hilleary then nominate a radical left winger. LOSE, LOSE, LOSE situation for the average Joe. We get obstructionists at every possible place in government. The Lefties win and the Right wingers couldn't (wouldn't) take advantage of an opportunity given them.
.
Sadly the extreme right (happens on the left too, but it seems the left is a bit more realistic ie God won't save or step in for them), believe anything left of their position is a lefty/commie/pinko/socialist and if they are registered as a republican, a RINO.
.
Actually, I kind of think our founding fathers wanted an inefficient government, one that could not effectively subject its citizens to an authoritarian rule. Unfortunately that seems to have been under attack for the last decade or two as well.
 
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  • #15
gleem
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Back to SC nominees.

Las Vegas bookmakers are currently giving these probabilities for our next president: 60%=Clinton, 30%=Trump, 10%=Sanders.
If this is true the Republicans ought to hedge their bets if Obama selects a moderate republican. Certainly they won't have the leverage they currently have if Clinton wins. And even if Trump wins since he does not see to be happy with the 14 th amendment regarding native born children "anchor babies" so he might be looking to try and tinker with the Constitution.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Nationalism...
Basically everything you listed there can be vaguely connected to fascism or just applied as-is to huge swaths of history or populations. Nationalism was the predominant worldview of basically all of Europe prior to WWII and is still around in pockets today. It's a really bad logical fallacy to make such a broad connection.
Praises FDR for creating Japanese internment camps
You just accidentally (presumably?) listed FDR as a 1930s fascist!
Sound familiar?
Steve Jobs?

To reiterate what I said in another thread: if you actually believe Trump wants to follow in the footsteps of Hitler/Mussolini, you probably shouldn't be posting in these threads. I appreciate the relatively level-headed attempt, but the reductio ad Hitler fallacy line of reasoning isn't acceptable here.
 
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  • #17
bcrowell
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To reiterate what I said in another thread: if you actually believe Trump wants to follow in the footsteps of Hitler/Mussolini, you probably shouldn't be posting in these threads.
So your logic is that nobody should ever openly oppose fascism, because if they fail and the fascists do come into power, the fascists will go after their former opponents? Rather than taking that kind of cowardly attitude, I'd prefer to take a moment to remember the names of four brave men: Ernst Thälmann, Benedetto Croce, Tullio Levi-Civita, and Giacomo Matteotti.

By the way, the parallels between Trump and fascism are being noted by a lot of people, including people like David Duke and Jean-Marie Le Pen who are themselves overt admirers of fascism. Both Duke and Le Pen have endorsed Trump. Trump initially claimed not to know who Duke was (despite a 2000 statement disassociating himself from him), and only later, under pressure, disavowed him. Here is an article by a Harvard poli sci professor spelling out the parallels between Trump and Hitler. Former Mexican presidents Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox have also compared him to Hitler.

You just accidentally (presumably?) listed FDR as a 1930s fascist!
This is a mistake in your logic. I listed a series of similarities between A and B, to support my claim that A and B are similar in general. One of those similarities is also a similarity between C and B. It doesn't follow that C and B are similar in general. In simpler terms, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it's probably a duck. However, if we only observe that it walks like a duck, it could be Chuck Berry.
 
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  • #18
russ_watters
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So your logic is that nobody should ever openly oppose fascism...[emphasis added]
I said no such thing.

My logic for not comparing Trump to 1930s fascists is that the comparison is heavily logically flawed and is in actuality based on the same sort of irrationality that people are criticizing Trump supporters for.
This is a mistake in your logic. I listed a series of similarities between A and B, to support my claim that A and B are similar in general. One of those similarities is also a similarity between C and B. It doesn't follow that C and B are similar in general. In simpler terms, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it's probably a duck. However, if we only observe that it walks like a duck, it could be Chuck Berry.
Actually, that is precisely the flaw in your logic that I was pointing out. I don't believe FDR was a fascist, even though your logic dictates that we should conclude it (and you did list him as an example in response to the question). It is an association fallacy:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

As applied to fascism, the part your comparison between Trump and Fascism is missing (as mheslep pointed out) is the fascism.
 
  • #19
bcrowell
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Just came across two interesting pieces of information.

Trump's father Fred was arrested in 1927 on a night of deadly brawls between Italian anti-fascists on one side and the KKK and fascists on the other. Fred Trump appears to have been part of the KKK group. Donald Trump denies that any of this happened, despite abundant documentation.

In a CNN interview today, Trump changed his mind about David Duke and repeatedly refused to disavow him.
 
  • #20
mheslep
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Just came across two interesting pieces of information.

Trump's father Fred was arrested in 1927 on a night of deadly brawls between Italian anti-fascists on one side and the KKK and fascists on the other. Fred Trump appears to have been part of the KKK group. Donald Trump denies that any of this happened, despite abundant documentation.

In a CNN interview today, Trump changed his mind about David Duke and repeatedly refused to disavow him.
And John Kennedy's daddy was a strong supporter of Hitler while ambassador to England, until FDR fired him for it. Race relations were worse in the 1920s, when kkk membership peaked at 4 million and Wilson was watching the klan film "Birth of a Nation" in the White House.

Trump repeatedly said he didn't know "anything" about Duke. Not a very believable response, but not exactly the same as refusing to disavow.
 
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  • #21
gleem
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Obama just nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
 
  • #22
Astronuc
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Obama just nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
I just read that - https://www.yahoo.com/politics/obama-scotus-nominee-announcement-live-134637234.html

Last night, I was reading about the possibility of Garland's colleague on the US Court of Appeals for DC Circuit, Sri Srinivasan, and Judge Paul Watford from the 9th Circuit.
https://www.yahoo.com/politics/obama-scotus-nominee-announcement-live-134637234.html

I think it is appropriate for Obama to nominate someone to fill the empty seat on the SC bench. We should go another year or more without a full SC.

Garland seems very capable. From the first article.
Garland, 63, was a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and served in the Justice Department in several leadership roles, first as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and later as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, the Illinois-born Garland worked for several years in private practice with a focus on litigation and pro-bono representation of disadvantaged Americans.

Obama also highlighted Garland’s work overseeing the federal response to the Oklahoma City bombings.
 
  • #23
gleem
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Apparently a number of Republican senator where reported to have stated that they would not even shake his hand! That is really sad.
 
  • #24
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They will do almost anything to preserve the Citizens United decision.

Dwight Eisenhower was concerned that the Supreme Court would turn into a body that did not represent the people. He felt that this would be undemocratic.
 
  • #25
mheslep
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Dwight Eisenhower was concerned that the Supreme Court would turn into a body that did not represent the people. He felt that this would be undemocratic.
At some point another SC judge will be appointed by a president (not elected by design) and confirmed by a majority of the Senate. How does that run counter to your concern?
 

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