T Nation

Vacancy on the Supreme Court


Sandra Day Oconnor resigned from the Supreme Court. Renquist still has not but will not likely last for long before resigning.

The process begins. My guess is she will be replaced by a woman. I believe her legacy was as a swing vote on several major rulings.



If I was George, I would make the first appointment relatively pain free.

Moderate. Identify the opposing forces. Let them spew all their pre-packaged horseshit (leave em dead ted). Show them for what they are.

When the more Conservative judge is put forward, their cries will ring hollow.

I'm guessing Gonzalez.



So the concerns and opinions of the left-of-center are horseshit and unworthy of serious consideration?


I totally disagree. The USSC is no place to be throwing a bone to the left.

The republicans have a chance to do something that is quite unique - pack the court ala FDR with folks that don't believe in legislating from the bench.

To placate the left with moderate nominees, would be a fool's choice when you look at the fact that these are lifetime appointments.


I cannot shake the feeling that this is nomination/confirmation process is going to be super-ugly... like Robert Bork ugly (since he was basically bounced out of consideration for being... GASP!... conservative).

Regardless of whether you are Democrat or Repbulican, this turning into a slugfest does zero to get top-flight jurists onto the USSC. Everything is so ridiculously scrutinized and pored over now... not to see if they have a keen legal mind, but to review their decisions through the political lens of the day. Any potential candidate practically has to have lived the life of a monk and never had an opinion about anything in order to survive the inevitable trial by fire.


Gonzalez should be the first choice.

The Democrats will cry about him being the 'Torture Memo' author but at the end of the day Gonzales will end up on the SCOTUS.

Gonzales is more moderate than the recent federal appointments.


The main difference is if the Democrats had the majority in the Senate they could sit on the Presidents recommended appointments much like the Republicans did to Clinton.

The real irony is that the Democrats in the senate actually represent more Americans than the Republicans do and the Democrats achieve this with less members.

The Senate's job is to slow down the legislative process but the founders never envisioned the minority in the Senate representing the majority of voters.


Rain wrote:

"I totally disagree. The USSC is no place to be throwing a bone to the left.

The republicans have a chance to do something that is quite unique - pack the court ala FDR with folks that don't believe in legislating from the bench.

To placate the left with moderate nominees, would be a fool's choice when you look at the fact that these are lifetime appointments."

I just don't think the Republicans have the stones to use the Constitutional Option. They are being held hostage by the minority. They care so much about the news cycles.

I'm still angry about the Federal Court Justices and Bolton. I don't have much faith in Frist. He thinks he's running for President. He needs to be the leader of the majority.

I think my option is the one that has the best chance of being adopted.

However, I'll bet you can guess that I think the democrats need to be reminded of how inconsequential they are becoming.



Gonzalez is a great choice.


How do you feel about his drafing of the 'Torture Memo'?

How would feel if Janet Reno drafted the torture memo?

The SCOTUS is loaded with Republican appointees. The GOP needs to look in the mirror if they are going to complain about the current status of the SCOTUS.

If the legistative brand of the federal goverment did their job we would not have judges being 'activist'.

When the SCOTUS is stacked with far right wingnuts then the activism will me from the far right.

Same activism but from another point in the political spectrum.

We will have the same BS activism one way or another.


I have said right along that Bush will have the opportunity to nominate two if not three Supreme Court Justices before his second term expires.

rainjack has it right! I think all three should be conservatives! We have to balance some of these nutty decisions which have been making the news.

(Right around this point one of the liberals should enter the thread and begin the hate speech against GW. Come on guys don't disappoint-Show us why you are the shrinking minority party-LOL)


What I find to be sort of weird about the arguments ya'll have presented so far, is your faith that Bush will appoint a justice who WON'T legislate from the bench. I share your dislike of this practice, but I find it unlikely that the tide will be turned by Bush appointees. This administration hasn't been particularly conservative (in any sort of traditional sense) so far and I find it unlikely that they'll suddenly start now.

Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but the consistent erosion of personal freedom and rise of government power has been a bi-partisan effort and will probably continue unabated. As for Gonzalez, a guy who supports secret military trials and indefinite detentions doesn't seem like much of a conservative to me! Of course, I'm not as smart as you guys and I should probably watch the mainstream news more often so I can develop the correct opinions and analysis before I post.


This is a valid point. One person's judicial activism is another person's "correct interpretation" of the law.

The other thing to remember is that most judges, regardless of political leanings, realize that overturning precedent is a big deal. In fact, overturning past precedent, especially precedent that has been around for several years, is itself a form of judicial activism that disrupts the legal system.

Finally, people who are either worried or excited, depending on political leanings, about the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade are in for a surprise. First, a case that may implicate that decision must reach the USSC. Second, overturning Roe will not make abortion illegal -- no court, not even the USSC, can make new criminal laws.

Overturning Roe will simply allow the states to pass laws on the matter. I think any attempt by Congress to legislate the matter would raise a Commerce Clause issue, and even a conservative jurist would recognize that abortion is not a federal matter.

Lastly, even if a state passes laws on the matter, that state's supreme court could declare that the law violates the state constitution. So, no one needs to hold their breath over this upcoming nomination.


Just replace the whole thing with a military tribunal, it's war time right?


It does not matter who is nominated, it will be the most evil person in the world. (Well behind Bush that is.) Just read the newspapers and watch the news, they will tell you as much.

I am fairly certain we will see the nu-Q-ler option passed with this nomination.


Whether you consider yourself on the left or right, this is huge.

O'Connor was arguably the most influential Justice since she was the swing vote, ie, she was the fifth vote in all the 5-4 decisions that have so strongly characterized the Supreme Court for the recent past. The unique thing about O'Connor was she could be difficult to peg on cases, you couldn't be certain whether she would side with left or right. (Kind of sad that matters of constitutionality in this country can now be identified as such.)

If Bush gets a staunch conservative in there, it will still be 5-4, but much more consistently on the right side of ledger. On its face, this appears to be the right's dream come true, but there is the wild card factor-- the next Justice could turn out to be another swing voter, or be a complete surprise in how they decided cases, like Earl Warren.

One things for certain, we're in for some seriously ugly politicing.


Balance? Uhmmm we have a conservative scotus,congress,and admin--balance has nothing to do with it.


Well, one things for certain, into at least 2006 every politicians view on abortion will be front and center, probably to the dismay of most...


The judiciary hasn't been balanced since FDR's court packing back in the 30's and 40's.

The people voted conservative - nothing anyone can do about that until the next election. My guess is that you will be even more upset than you are now about the conservative tilt in the legislative branch.

But the judiciary is different. Lifetime appointments make the selection process very important. Being that Bush is fairly conservative, I should expect him to nominate people that reflect his viewpoints.

As for the tough-guy posturing of the Dem leadership: what a freaking joke. Consult with us before you make a nomination? Fuck off. My vote goes for the Repubs to go nuclear at the first sign of a Gin-Nosed Ted/Reid led filibuster.


Relative to abortion it seems that a Zogby poll shows that the majority of Americans are indeed against abortion:


This may drive President Bush to compromise less with the left when he puts forth his nominee.