Souter plans to retire

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  • #1
lisab
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Justice Souter plans to retire...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508968/

This gives Obama his first (probably not last) chance to appoint a Supreme Court judge.
 

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  • #2
Oscar Wilde
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Justice Souter plans to retire...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508968/

This gives Obama his first (probably not last) chance to appoint a Supreme Court judge.


Interesting. Souter was certainly not what many thought he would be, as the article mentions. I am sure Obama will get atleast one more appointment. It will be interesting to see whom Obama picks. I know Laurence Tribe has really been jockying for position, kissing up to Obama. It's nice to watch the dynamics of the Court change and shift
 
  • #3
LowlyPion
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Justice Souter plans to retire...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508968/

This gives Obama his first (probably not last) chance to appoint a Supreme Court judge.

Souter and Ginsburg will likely get replaced in this term. So no real shift in the court.

I think the real relief will come for me when Thomas is replaced. I'm not sure that he has contributed much of anything to the Court.
 
  • #4
Oscar Wilde
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Souter and Ginsburg will likely get replaced in this term. So no real shift in the court.

I think the real relief will come for me when Thomas is replaced. I'm not sure that he has contributed much of anything to the Court.


Sadly, although I don't want to drag the thread off topic, I would like to hear your reasoning behind this. If you aren't comfortable disgressing from the topic of the thread here, private messages will always do.

Also, is John Paul Stevens going to make it another four years? It seems to me than Ginsburg is more of a sure bet to stay on than Stevens is, although nothing is certain...
 
  • #5
LowlyPion
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Sadly, although I don't want to drag the thread off topic, I would like to hear your reasoning behind this. If you aren't comfortable disgressing from the topic of the thread here, private messages will always do.

Also, is John Paul Stevens going to make it another four years? It seems to me than Ginsburg is more of a sure bet to stay on than Stevens is, although nothing is certain...

The actuarial odds are not favorable for Stevens to be sure. But I rather think Ginsburg's medical condition make her a more likely departee from the court.

As to Thomas he has never impressed me as a deep thinker. Here is a pretty good survey of his work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas
 
  • #6
Oscar Wilde
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The actuarial odds are not favorable for Stevens to be sure. But I rather think Ginsburg's medical condition make her a more likely departee from the court.

As to Thomas he has never impressed me as a deep thinker. Here is a pretty good survey of his work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas


If you are referring to his lack of questions during oral arguments, I must say that this is not where the real business gets done. I have found that typically Justices tend to either a) give trouble to the attorney/petitioner or b) try to help the attorney/petitioner along, step by the step. In my opinion, this one hour of business often accomplishes very little. The real business gets settled in the Marshall Room.

Perhaps Thomas has shown some disregard towards precedent. I understand that precedent is a cornerstone of the Court, but perhaps reversing decisions and changing views should be welcomed more. Thomas has also had some strangely contradictory views. Although he sides more with State governments in terms of Federalism, he still sees a lot of power granted to the executive branch in the Constitution. Ralph Waldo Emerson always advocated that one should be allowed to change opinions on a day to day basis. Perhaps people should be more accepting of so-called "flip-flops". After all, as Emerson put it, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
 
  • #7
LowlyPion
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Perhaps Thomas has shown some disregard towards precedent. I understand that precedent is a cornerstone of the Court, but perhaps reversing decisions and changing views should be welcomed more. Thomas has also had some strangely contradictory views. Although he sides more with State governments in terms of Federalism, he still sees a lot of power granted to the executive branch in the Constitution. Ralph Waldo Emerson always advocated that one should be allowed to change opinions on a day to day basis. Perhaps people should be more accepting of so-called "flip-flops". After all, as Emerson put it, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

No I'm not thinking of oral arguments. Perhaps I started off not liking him from the beginning as I thought he was not honest in his confirmation hearings. But in general I think he is bit of a hodgepodge, and I am not impressed with his desire to at once support the power of the executive and cede to the states the opportunity to create unequal applications. It is my feeling that his beliefs are more politically crafted, than judicially applied. On the other hand Scalia, who is certainly a Conservative constructionist, seems more of a consistent voice. I don't mind his voice on the court as I would hope that in the tension between his concerns for the Constitutional intent that there would be forged an appropriate balance. I think Scalia at least will follow where the logic may lead. Whereas Thomas seems to me more stubborn, maybe even close minded, and prone to construct his arguments on a result he desires, rather than arriving at a conclusion. (He would for instance just flat out overturn Roe v. Wade, a clearly backward step.)
 
  • #8
LowlyPion
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  • #9
WhoWee
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She appears qualified, but would have been a better choice with the 10 years of Federal Appeals experience.

I think he will lean toward a "liberal lite" female...this time.
 
  • #10
LowlyPion
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She appears qualified, but would have been a better choice with the 10 years of Federal Appeals experience.

I think he will lean toward a "liberal lite" female...this time.

You can blame Bush and the Republicans for blocking her appointment 10 years ago.
 
  • #11
WhoWee
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You can blame Bush and the Republicans for blocking her appointment 10 years ago.

Actually, your post more specifically says:
1999 judicial nomination

"On June 17, 1999, President Clinton nominated Kagan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to replace James L. Buckley, who had taken senior status in 1996. The Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman Orrin Hatch scheduled no hearing, thus killing her nomination. When Clinton's term ended, she and Allen Snyder were unconfirmed nominees for the D.C. circuit court.[2]"

Again, her lack of bench experience will be a factor.
 
  • #12
LowlyPion
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Again, her lack of bench experience will be a factor.

A great opportunity to help her catch up then.

Since Clinton passed over Roberts to give it to her to begin with, it's a good chance to get destiny back on track and undo the partisanship that the Bush years introduced.
 
  • #13
LowlyPion
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The cynical view of Republicans in Congress seems to fit their behavior the best. Gearing up to say no again, without even knowing what the question will be. Maybe this is why the country is fed up with their shenanigans, why their iceberg is withering as they melt away? What was it Dorothy's witch was saying last? "I'm melting, I'melting."?
GOP gears up for Court fight
TAGS: Republicans, Supreme Court, David Souter
By GLENN THRUSH & MANU RAJU | 5/1/09 6:59 PM EDT

Senate Republicans admit they have virtually no shot at stopping President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter — but they see a definite political upside in waging a fight.

A small cadre of GOP researchers has already begun scouring the records of Souter’s potential replacements — hoping to find a trove of inflammatory legal writings or off-the-wall positions to hang around the necks of vulnerable Democrats in the 2010 midterms, Republican aides tell POLITICO.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22006.html
 
  • #14
LowlyPion
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Obama_press briefing_5/1/2009 said:
So I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity. I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.

I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded, and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time.

Empathy. That may serve to broaden the Court's palate.
 
  • #15
mheslep
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Empathy. That may serve to broaden the Court's palate.
Empathy. Wonderful. So much for Aristotle's "The law is reason, free from passion."
What happened to support for those that
...will follow where the logic may lead...
 
  • #16
LowlyPion
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Empathy. Wonderful. So much for Aristotle's "The law is reason, free from passion."
What happened to support for those that "...will follow where the logic may lead..."

Following where logic leads is not incompatible with seeking just solutions based on compassion and empathy.

Aristotle was also wrong about a number of things too. He didn't have a Nation to rebuild after 8 years of ineffective stewardship.
 
  • #17
mheslep
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Following where logic leads is not incompatible with seeking just solutions based on compassion and empathy.

Aristotle was also wrong about a number of things too. He didn't have a Nation to rebuild after 8 years of ineffective stewardship.
Yes, I see. Let's also not forget to consider how Abu Ghraib, Cheney/Rove, and American Idol all integrated through Fox News impact the rational basis for selecting a Supreme Court Justice.
 
  • #18
WhoWee
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A great opportunity to help her catch up then.

Since Clinton passed over Roberts to give it to her to begin with, it's a good chance to get destiny back on track and undo the partisanship that the Bush years introduced.

You want her to "catch up" ...learn on the job...in a lifetime appointment on the US Supreme Court:eek:

And "get destiny back on track":uhh: WHAT?
 
  • #19
LowlyPion
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You want her to "catch up" ...learn on the job...in a lifetime appointment on the US Supreme Court:eek:

And "get destiny back on track":uhh: WHAT?

Her appointment was replaced with Roberts when Bush took office. That extra experience didn't help him remember the Oath of Office on Inauguration Day. He's no prize on the Court. His only grace as far as conservatives are concerned is that he is a reliable vote against Roe v. Wade for another couple of decades.

It seems fitting then that she, and the Republic gets back on track.
 
  • #20
LowlyPion
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Obama calls senators about high court pick

25 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling senators who will play key roles in the confirmation process once he names a Supreme Court nominee.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that the president had phoned Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to discuss the vacancy created by Justice David Souter's (SOO'-ter) announced retirement.

Both senators are members of the Judiciary Committee. It will hold hearings before the Senate votes on whether to confirm Obama's eventual choice.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iVIF9OnrgW2kTS53D8szV4l9GLewD97VI5NO0 [Broken]

Oddly in other news it was pointed out that Senator Sessions from Alabama who will apparently be the ranking member on the committee, was previously rejected as a Federal Judge by the committee. Specter voted nay on his appointment 20 years ago. Now he will replace Specter as ranking Republican. (Reason for his rejection ... racist concerns.)
 
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  • #21
LowlyPion
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The Case Against Sotomayor by Jeffrey Rosen

...The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."

...Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees.
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=45d56e6f-f497-4b19-9c63-04e10199a085 [Broken]

I would hope that Obama would not choose empathy at the cost of erudition.
 
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  • #22
mheslep
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Her appointment was replaced with Roberts when Bush took office. That extra experience didn't help him remember the Oath of Office on Inauguration Day. He's no prize on the Court. ...
Wow LowlyPion, a one liner, on the fly evaluation of a Supreme Court Chief Justice. You need to upgrade your handle, nothing Lowly about you.
 
  • #25
russ_watters
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Following where logic leads is not incompatible with seeking just solutions based on compassion and empathy.

Aristotle was also wrong about a number of things too. He didn't have a Nation to rebuild after 8 years of ineffective stewardship.
Aristotle was wrong about plenty, but as applied in this circumstance, he is correct. The purpose of the court is clear-cut: they are to interpret laws as they fit or don't fit with the intent of the Constitution. Injecting personal feelings into the matter goes toward the motivation of the lawmakers, and supreme court justices are not entitled to be lawmakers. That's a clear-cut violation of separation of powers.

In addition to this, it is also speaking out of turn for RBG to say that there should be more women on the bench. She is not supposed to inject herself into the political process.
 
  • #26
Count Iblis
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I think that the dissenting opinions of the conservative judges on the rulings regarding Guantanamo should be studied by legal experts to see if they were politically motivated.

It seems to me that if you argue that the president has the right to hold people without judicial review, then you are not qualified to be a Supreme Court judge who'se specific task it is to uphold the constitution.

If it is found that their opinions were flawed then they should be impeached.
 
  • #27
LowlyPion
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I think that the dissenting opinions of the conservative judges on the rulings regarding Guantanamo should be studied by legal experts to see if they were politically motivated.

It seems to me that if you argue that the president has the right to hold people without judicial review, then you are not qualified to be a Supreme Court judge who'se specific task it is to uphold the constitution.

If it is found that their opinions were flawed then they should be impeached.

Well that will certainly be the argument if the Draft Report - started under Bush incidentally, but also held back by Mukasey at the end of the term, is adopted by the current Administration.

If the state Bar associations would disbar Bybee, then it seems pretty certain that he would most likely face impeachment.

Here's the article on the recommendations of the draft report.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jseitMBY7vwNpuvEsb1zvkvaVxrQD980JO180 [Broken]
Now that the deadline has passed, there is little more for officials to do but make revisions to it based on the responses they've received, and decide how much, if any, of the findings should be made public.
So apparently we should be hearing shortly, if at all.
 
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  • #28
mheslep
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I think that the dissenting opinions of the conservative judges on the rulings regarding Guantanamo should be studied by legal experts to see if they were politically motivated.

It seems to me that if you argue that the president has the right to hold people without judicial review, then you are not qualified to be a Supreme Court judge who'se specific task it is to uphold the constitution.

If it is found that their opinions were flawed then they should be impeached.
Have you read the opinions?
 
  • #29
mheslep
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Well that will certainly be the argument if the Draft Report - started under Bush incidentally, but also held back by Mukasey at the end of the term, is adopted by the current Administration.

If the state Bar associations would disbar Bybee, then it seems pretty certain that he would most likely face impeachment...
What? C. Iblis suggested the impeachment of Supreme Court justices. Are you saying that is 'certainly ... the argument' of the Draft Report?
 
  • #30
LowlyPion
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What? C. Iblis suggested the impeachment of Supreme Court justices. Are you saying that is 'certainly ... the argument' of the Draft Report?

No. The Draft Report with respect to Bybee, Yoo and Bradbury could have implications for Bybee, a sitting Appellate Court Judge.

Having read http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/bybee80102ltr.html", I tend to agree that he should be at risk. I think he even knows that he acted poorly. I don't buy the panic in the White House justified anything goes defense. At a minimum I think it was not good jurisprudence. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

As to sitting Supreme Court justices ... I don't see anything in particular to which they are at risk.
 
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  • #31
Count Iblis
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Have you read the opinions?

I read what was reported quite some time ago on CNN. I also remember reading about a speech given by Scalia in Germany where he more or less said that the people detained in Guantanamo had no rights.
 
  • #32
russ_watters
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I think that the dissenting opinions of the conservative judges on the rulings regarding Guantanamo should be studied by legal experts to see if they were politically motivated.
I'm sure they have been.
It seems to me that if you argue that the president has the right to hold people without judicial review, then you are not qualified to be a Supreme Court judge who'se specific task it is to uphold the constitution.
Key word being "people" -- as opposed to citizens. There is little doubt that those held in gitmo who are not citizens are not entitled to the same rights as citizens.
 
  • #33
russ_watters
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For those interested in that case and the actual written opinion statements:http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/06-1195.pdf
Some excerpts:
Today the Court strikes down as inadequate the most
generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens
detained by this country as enemy combatants...

The Court rejects them today out of
hand, without bothering to say what due process rights
the detainees possess, without explaining how the statute
fails to vindicate those rights, and before a single petitioner
has even attempted to avail himself of the law’s
operation. And to what effect? The majority merely replaces
a review system designed by the people’s representatives
with a set of shapeless procedures to be defined by
federal courts at some future date. One cannot help but
think, after surveying the modest practical results of the
majority’s ambitious opinion, that this decision is not
really about the detainees at all, but about control of
federal policy regarding enemy combatants...
In any case, I find it a little rediculous to suggest impeaching the entire opposing side on a controvertial decision on political grounds. The fact that the decision was split means that the line between the two is grey and no one can really be considered extreme for their opinion.
 
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  • #34
LowlyPion
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Jennifer Granholm would be an interesting pick.
Two roads to the Supreme Court
Obama is apparently debating whether to choose a traditional judicial nominee or opt for a 'real world' selection to replace Justice David H. Souter

... "He can do something bold if he wants, like Jennifer Granholm," Epstein said. "In terms of ideology, it's not going to be way, way left. It'll be someone sort of in the mainstream."

...If Obama is searching for his own O'Connor, Granholm is an appealing choice. A Harvard Law School graduate, she is a two-term governor from a state that has been hammered by the declining economy. She has an advocate in Vice President Joe Biden, who had Granholm serve as a proxy for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Biden prepared for the vice presidential debates last year.

"She's a tour de force," said David M. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan. "She has an admirable intellect, clearly a very sophisticated legal mind, and the personal quality and the empathy the president has spoken about having in a Supreme Court candidate."
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-nominees12-2009may12,0,156472.story
 
  • #35
LowlyPion
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Heard elsewhere is the name Anita Hill.

What an inspired and delicious turn of the worm that would be. Grist for a real barn burner of a movie I would think.
 

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