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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Am Not The Only One Praying For This

The NY Times laments that liberals cannot manage to get a full-throttled liberal nominee on the Court to do battle with Antonin Scalia (emphasis mine):

The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base.

Ms. Kagan is certainly too liberal for conservatives, who quickly criticized her nomination on Monday as a radical threat. But much like every other Democratic nominee since the 1960s, she does not fit the profile sought by the left, which hungers for a full-throated counterweight to the court’s conservative leader, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Imagine a Supreme Court without Antonin Scalia. Scalia drives the liberal legal and academic establishment crazy because he is unabashed in his defense of a Constitution free from the lastest political whim or guilt-trip.

Scalia's dissent in the Boumediene case (granting Gitmo detainees the right to petition U.S. Courts for a writ of habeas corpus) was classic:

Today the Court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause, invoking judicially brainstormed separation-of- powers principles to establish a manipulable “functional” test for the extraterritorial reach of habeas corpus (and, no doubt, for the extraterritorial reach of other constitutional protections as well). It blatantly misdescribes important precedents, most conspicuously Justice Jackson’s opinion for the Court in Johnson v. Eisentrager.

It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens abroad absent statutory authorization. And, most tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a
civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner.

The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. I dissent....

So among the things for which I pray is the health and well-being of Antonin Scalia.

And Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito.

And Anthony Kennedy.

I wish no ill on the other members of the Court, and hope they stay healthy and well also.

But for at least the next three years, the balance of the Court and the fate of our judiciary and nation turn on these five Justices staying just where they are now.

Bonus question: When is the last time a Justice appointed with the expectation of being liberal flipped to conservative?

Related Posts:
Scalia Was Right About Releasing Gitmo Detainees
Clarence Thomas Tortured KSM

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  1. Who would be Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Already stated how I feel about this appointment in another post here. I'm thinking outside the box and fingers crossed she could will be valuable on future issues. All these idiots (politicians and lefty critics) can't see the crazy train coming down the track.

  2. Answer to bonus question?


    That was way too easy.

  3. I know liberals get mad about Scalia. I have friend who hates Scalia with either bone in his body but can't explain why.

    I have always taken in part why of the reason why the liberal judges are so unexceptional is it to unexceptional to be liberal lawyer. To be conservative in a Law school like William Jacobson or to make stands like what Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito. All took before joining the court makes you stand apart from the crowd and defend your values in meaningful way.

    A ways which a liberal lawyer don't have too over the course of their lives. This constant argument forges a stronger person. That is not to say their aren't strong liberal thinkers, but they are much less likely to stand above the crowd and be counted than there conservative counterparts.

  4. There is not counter to Scalia, and never will be because liberal philosophy cannot compete

  5. "The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base."

    Really? On what planet? Here on Earth, GOP presidents have been woefully and notoriously UNsuccessful in appointing strong conservatives to the Court. Even limiting the time frame to 25 years, we have the examples of Anthony Kennedy and David Souter. Before that, there were John Paul Stevens and Sandra O'Connor. Granted, Reagan and the Bushes did manage to install four solid conservatives during the last 25 years, but to suggest the court is strongly conservative today due to the Republicans' ruthless efficiency in making ideological picks is nonsense.

    The answer to the question, BTW, is Whizzer White.

    As for why there is no liberal Scalia, it's because of Bork. The Dems set the precedent with Bork's nomination that any outspoken ideologue can be defeated as an extremist. Now, the trick is finding people who are just as dogmatically liberal or conservative (as the case may be), but who are affable, meek, and lacking a paper trail. Scalia is the last "Scalia" we'll see for a long time.

  6. Liberals or Leftists who wish for a liberal equivalent of Antonin Scalia are deluded, in the sense that such a person would, to fulfill the parallelism, have to love America and the law but from the "other perspective." Instead, what modern liberals (leftists) really want is someone who hates America, is contemptuous of the Constitution, and would be willing to corrupt the law with the same alleged abandon they falsely impute to Scalia.

  7. When was the last time a Democrat president appointed a swing vote? How about, um, "Never?"

  8. Bonus question: At least in the sense of some modern notions of court conservatism, I would have to say Felix Frankfurter, who was appointed by Franklin Roosevelt back in 1938.

    He was, incidentally, the first nominee to be a Justice of the Supreme Court who personally put in an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Particularly given his background -- e.g., having been personally identified with radicalism for having performing work on behalf of socialists and other minorities, and also for having written a book critical of the prosecution and the judge for the conduct of the trial of accused anarchists Sacco & Vanzetti -- his views, once he was on the Court, were nevertheless marked by an hesitancy to attack "social problems" through judicial activism.

    Because of his frequently articulated philosophy of judicial restraint as a Justice -- or favoring judicial limits on the exercise of their power -- Frankfurter's tenure on the court can be seen as having run at least somewhat firmly against the tide of judicial activism that marked the mid-twentieth century, during his tenure and thereafter. He also consistently viewed state power as being owed more deference that the majority of the Court frequently did.