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Antonin Scalia passed away

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My god, that is hugely monumental. That by itself remakes the court in a huge way. I assume Congress will stall on any candidate Obama nominates as long as possible. Can they stall all the way into the next administration? How possible is it that they just ignore it for an entire year-plus?

They can stall for 5 years if they want.

The question is, will their stalling only make their November losses bigger than they're going to be already?

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Here's the political calculus for Obama/Democrats.

If he nominates a blatant liberal like Sotomayer/Kagan/Ginsburg/Breyer then the Republican Senate will come under enormous pressure from their base not to approve them until the election and if the R's win to never approve them.

If he nominates a centrist/moderate there will be some pressure for the Senate to approve - especially if he goes with some sort of "historic" type nominee - Hispanic/Jewish/Gay/Woman/Black - (and yes I know none of them would be firsts).

So do they go for the liberal and risk getting nothing or go for the moderate and move the court left? Because any moderate definitely moves the court left from Scalia.

I could think of a couple names that might apply.....think former Senators and the deference they show each other. Evan Bayh - Joe Lieberman - Could probably think of more and better with time.

I was thinking Posner. He's a genius judge in my opinion, formerly heralded by conservatives as an intellectual leader, but in recent years, has moved center-left. Plus, there's the Chicago connection (both in terms of that's where the 7th Circuit is, and Posner has ties to U of Chicago, where Obama was a Constitutional Law professor).

I think that's who Obama ultimately nominates.

I guarantee you he's going to float some controversial people first though, both to rile up the extremists during the Republican primaries, and to make his eventual pick look more sensible.

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There's calculus in this for Republicans, too. If they're too obstructionist, it will cost them votes in November--to the point that they're only putting off a decision that would be made by either President Sanders or President Clinton. And by then Democrats may have control of the Senate as well. Although they won't have a filibuster-proof majority, they could implement the nuclear option. Then Sanders/Clinton could basically nominate anyone they want.

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Either way, this forces Republicans to basically cooperate with Obama to some extent. Which will give them just one more headache with the Tea Party base. They already need to pass the 2017 budget this year.

It will be interesting to see how well McConnell can round up the troops for this one.

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Goodbye to one of the great writers in the history of the supreme court. While i never agreed with scalia on everything, he could turn a phrase with the best of them.

Pouring out some pure applesauce on the curb tonight I memory of Nino.

RIP

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I was thinking Posner. He's a genius judge in my opinion, formerly heralded by conservatives as an intellectual leader, but in recent years, has moved center-left. Plus, there's the Chicago connection (both in terms of that's where the 7th Circuit is, and Posner has ties to U of Chicago, where Obama was a Constitutional Law professor).

I think that's who Obama ultimately nominates.

I guarantee you he's going to float some controversial people first though, both to rile up the extremists during the Republican primaries, and to make his eventual pick look more sensible.

Posner is too old.

Srnivasian is the best bet at the moment.

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Posner is too old.

Srnivasian is the best bet at the moment.

Jesus. I didn't realize that he's 77. I think he still deserves a seat, but he won't get it for strategic purposes.

I saw an article about Srnivasian on my news feed, but didn't read it.

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Is there precedent for 10 months of stalling? Do you have time to research that for you?

Well I know you'll toss the examples aside since they're for the Court of Appeals one rung below the Supreme Court....but Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate blocked Miguel Estrada for 2 years and he NEVER got a vote and they blocked Priscilla Owen for 4 years though she was eventually confirmed. Good Enough? Doubtful.

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Well I know you'll toss the examples aside since they're for the Court of Appeals one rung below the Supreme Court....but Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate blocked Miguel Estrada for 2 years and he NEVER got a vote and they blocked Priscilla Owen for 4 years though she was eventually confirmed. Good Enough? Doubtful.

No. The rules were specifically changed for non-SCOTUS nominees.

But this is definitely good enough to demonstrate that you were completely pulling crap out of your buns in attempt to justify your ridiculous position.

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They can stall for 5 years if they want.

The question is, will their stalling only make their November losses bigger than they're going to be already?

They can stall for 1,000 years if they want. There's no rule against it. I was talking in practical terms. We're on the same page.

When you say "November losses bigger than they're going to be already", though, are you thinking that D was already going to make gains this election regardless of this?

Edited by chasfh

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In the short term, 4-4 rulings will end up upholding lower court rulings, correct?

yes

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Goodbye to one of the great writers in the history of the supreme court. While i never agreed with scalia on everything, he could turn a phrase with the best of them.

Pouring out some pure applesauce on the curb tonight I memory of Nino.

RIP

Isn't it true his best friend on the court was Ginsberg?

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If I were Obama I would nominate someone that Bush had on his list during his terms. Let the GOP block it. Play their game and make them fail at it and look bad. If I were advising the GOP I would tell them to confirm his nominee and run on the belief that the best president could have 3 openings.

I laugh at the belief that since its been so long to have this situation that we need to wait. The reason it's been so long is that a justice dying is rare in and of itself. So naturally it's rare to have an opening in the final year of a term. When they retire they plan it out accordingly.

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I can despair over the choice and the direction it might lead our country, but will say the same thing today that I said when Sotomayor was nominated: the sitting President gets to choose and Congress should affirm absent any evidence of integrity issues that might compromise their vote, or past rulings which turned out to be wrong. Sucks but it is what it is.

It has always bothered me that Congress quizzes them on how they would vote on cases that don't exist and which they have not heard. SCOTUS should be about the law, not personal agendas.

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Obama will nominate a moderate, and the GOP will ask them if he/she will repeal wade/roe or take away their guns, they'll wring their hangs and call them the devil........ and deny, deny, deny .... and stall, stall, stall.

And looks small in the process.

So what else is new.

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Isn't it true his best friend on the court was Ginsberg?

That would've made a hell of a sitcom.

Speaking of RBG, if the Democrats want to maintain this advantage they suddenly find themselves in, they may want to assign a 24/7 combination security/medical detail to her for the duration of the fight to come.

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That would've made a hell of a sitcom.

Speaking of RBG, if the Democrats want to maintain this advantage they suddenly find themselves in, they may want to assign a 24/7 combination security/medical detail to her for the duration of the fight to come.

Or talk her into retiring right away.

Has any President appointed three justices?

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Or talk her into retiring right away.

Has any President appointed three justices?

Why take a 4-4 deadlock and give your ideological opponents a 4-3 advantage?

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Obama will nominate a moderate, and the GOP will ask them if he/she will repeal wade/roe or take away their guns, they'll wring their hangs and call them the devil........ and deny, deny, deny .... and stall, stall, stall.

And looks small in the process.

So what else is new.

I agree, and if the shoes were on the other feet so would the Dems. It's what they all do.

Patrick Leahy , today on a morning show claimed any act to block a nomination would ignore the Constitution.

“Patrick Leahy who was on here just earlier voted 27 times to block a vote to a Republican nominee between 2001-2003. Patrick Leahy created the conditions that he was decrying.”

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/02/13/scalia-and-the-fortas-precedent/

My Twitter feed is filled with Democrats loudly protesting that despite statements to the contrary by Senate Republican leaders, Senate Republicans wouldn’t dare to refuse to confirm a suitably qualified Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year. I suspect they would dare, partly because the “base” would go nuts if they did otherwise, and partly because President Lyndon Johnson’s failed 1968 nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice provides a close enough analogy that it would be difficult to accuse the Senate GOP of acting in an unprecedented obstructionist manner.
UPDATE: There are three major differences between the Warren/Fortas situation and the Scalia/TBA situation. The first two favor the Democrats: first, the former situation didn’t leave the Court with only eight Justices for a long period of time because Warren delayed his resignation; and, second, the former involved specific objections to a specific nominee, not a blanket refusal to confirm anyone the president nominated. On the other hand, unlike whomever Obama nominates, Fortas likely could have gotten a majority of the Senate to vote for him, and was done in by the willingness of his opponents to filibuster.

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Why take a 4-4 deadlock and give your ideological opponents a 4-3 advantage?

Unless he can appoint two and get them confirmed. Or the D party exploit the R tantrum that is sure to happen to their advantage in the election. But you are right. That could happen with RBG in place.

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I agree, and if the shoes were on the other feet so would the Dems. It's what they all do.

Patrick Leahy , today on a morning show claimed any act to block a nomination would ignore the Constitution.

Yup.

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I agree, and if the shoes were on the other feet so would the Dems. It's what they all do.

Patrick Leahy , today on a morning show claimed any act to block a nomination would ignore the Constitution.

why do you keep changing the subject to fake Democratic reaction?

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why do you keep changing the subject to fake Democratic reaction?

Uh, did Leahy not state what was quoted? Did he not vote in the past in direct opposition to what he is saying today? Not sure what you are claiming is fake.

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