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Next Supreme Court Nominee

Original post made by Paul Losch on Apr 20, 2010

I have a process observation and a substantive observation.

Process: it appears that Obama is trying to work with the Senate leadership and the Judiciary Committee leadership, according to news article that have come out of late.

I contrast this with W's buffoon announcement that he would nominate Harriett Meyers, a Texas crony of his. Even the GOP Senators pushed back on that one, and rightly so.

Give Obama credit for using a more deliberative process for nominating someone to this great deliberative body, the US Supreme Court.

Substantive observation: when is it qualifications and when is it legal opinions? Nominating judges at all levels is part of the political process, make no mistake about that.

When someone is viewed as qualified for such a nomination, should a Senator vote up or down based on prior opinions a nominee has had?

What about those who have been nominated for a position on a court who has a track record outside the Court, such as academia or political elective office?

I view the current US Senate, especially on the GOP side, as looking to play "Gotcha" on nominees for the Supreme Court and for other judicial levels.

We need good, no--excellent--people on all the benches. I cannot tell right now if the Senate is able to do that.

Comments (29)

Posted by John, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Paul,

Two words for you: Robert Bork


Posted by sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm


Another consideration, in addition to competence, will be religion.

Currently 6 justices are of the Catholic Faith and two of the Jewish Faith with the only Protestant retiring.

As Protestants are the majority faith in the USA this will be an important issue-- Mormons fall under the Protestant category and are about 2-3% of the population and increasing rapidly,---- Muslims are also 2-3% of the population and also increasing rapidly.

It is amazing that Catholics and Jews, who have both been historically marginalized in the US, have come to dominate the Court way beyond their demographic proportion in the population.

Obama should also reach outside of lawyers and politicians to appoint someone who has had to make a payroll, run a business and create wealth-- someone like Bill Gates, John Chambers ( who has a law degree ) , Meg Whitman etc-- such a choice will be a game changer.

I believe all three are Protestant Christians.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:44 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Hey, if Obama nominated Sarah Palin he could remove one competitor from the next election.


Posted by Brian, a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Hey! And she probably knows something about the law. She was probably able to see a courthouse from the Alaska governor's offices - when she was governor.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm


A Supreme Court composed entirely of Catholics and Jews will not work for a predominantly Protestant Christian nation.

An Asian Protestant Christian the best choice--
Professor John Choon Yoo
fits the bill,Web Link

"Yoo emigrated with his parents from South Korea to the United States as an infant.
He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating from the Episcopal Academy in 1985.
He earned a B.A. degree summa cum laude in American history from Harvard University in 1989 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1992. Yoo clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman and then for United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
From 1995 to 1996, he was general counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Yoo is an active member of the Federalist Society.
He is married to Elsa Arnett, the daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Peter Arnett."


Posted by Catholics and Jews, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Sharon -

"It is amazing that Catholics and Jews, who have both been historically marginalized in the US, have come to dominate the Court way beyond their demographic proportion in the population."

It is not amazing. Their culture includes a strong focus on education, and both religions are steeped in deep philosophical and legal thinking. Add the constant exposure to current and historical argumentation from a young age. This allows development of legal and judging competence.

Tiger golfed from age two; it is not amazing that he's very good at the game.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm



Interesting question. JFK was challenged for his allegiance, Pope or US but he did not have have dual citizenship nor automatic dual citizenship, anyone in the the world has the right of return to Israel which makes some people uncomfortable-- not me, we judge people on their character, actions and statements not ethnicity.

However, as 86% of Americans declare themselves as Christian-- the majority as Protestant, 2% as Jewish, 2% as Muslim and as the SCOTUS deals with many matters of church and state we need some balance-- a Protestant makes sense but a Muslim looks likely --given demographics and balance

We still like Yoo as a candidate-- competent, Christian and Asian.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm

clarification

anyone of the Jewish faith has automatic dual citizenship, that used to be the case for those who had Irish, German parents etc-- probably still is--

we need a SCOTUS that has at least one Protestant American Christian on it, maybe a Mormon, but it should not be just Catholic and Jewish-- that is not the face of America-- it will loose credibility and that is serious


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2010 at 7:43 am

Sharon's comments border on the ridiculous. Her choice of John Yoo for the Supreme Court is solely put forward,not because she actually thinks that he is fit for service on the court,but to push buttons. Typical Sharon speak.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

We should have a good, solid atheist for the Court-someone who will be objective rather than follow religious mysticism of what ever ilk.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2010 at 10:29 am



The buzz is that President Obama is ready to nominate Elana Kagan to the Supreme Court, probably by Monday.

Meanwhile, Paul Campos writes:Web Link

"Yesterday, I read everything Elena Kagan has ever published.
It didn't take long. . . . She's published very little academic scholarship—three law review articles, along with a couple of shorter essays and two brief book reviews. . . .

If Kagan is a brilliant legal scholar, the evidence must be lurking somewhere other than in her publications.
Kagan's scholarly writings are lifeless, dull, and eminently forgettable.
They are, on the whole, cautious academic exercises in the sort of banal on-the-other-handing whose prime virtue is that it's unlikely to offend anyone in a position of power."

It sound like Harriet Miers all over again---


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

Seems that earlier on this thread Sharon wrote:

"Obama should also reach outside of lawyers and politicians to appoint someone who has had to make a payroll, run a business and create wealth-- someone like Bill Gates, John Chambers ( who has a law degree ) , Meg Whitman etc-- such a choice will be a game changer."

Sharon suggested appointing someone who is not a "legal scholar"--now she is claiming that Ms Kagan is not fit because she is not a "legal scholar". So what do you want, Sharon?

Sounds to me like Sharon is going on the offensive again like she did when Obama nominated Sotomayor. You can go back and read Sharon's comments on this forum--they are part of the record now.
You will see that Ms Sotomayor was the target of constant denigration, insults and the questioning of her credentials by Sharon. Looks like we are gearing up for a repeat here. The only problem really with these nominees is that Obama is picking them.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Kagan has never been a judge.
She has spent very little time as an advocate.
Her exposure to the judicial process is thus largely academic.
She banned US Military recruiters from Harvard Law.
What then is her qualification-- diversity?--empathy?

"Diversity" on the Supreme Court may be a fine thing on annual photo day.
It makes a pretty picture.
But diversity of views on the Constitution?
If it means some justices who get the Constitution badly wrong all the time? No, thanks.


Posted by Yikes, a resident of Barron Park
on May 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm

"If it means some justices who get the Constitution badly wrong all the time?"

We're already there. Just think of the ideologues: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

Did not take long, as expected, for Sharon to launch an attack on Obama's choice for the Supreme Court.
Sharon states:
"Kagan has never been a judge.
She has spent very little time as an advocate.
Her exposure to the judicial process is thus largely academic."

Why is that necessarily bad. Seems to me that earlier in this thread, Sharon was advocating appointing someone who was not a legal scholar to sit on the Court.
What is the problem now? Oh, I know, it is Obama's choice.


Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto
on May 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

Paul Losch is a registered user.

There is an aphorism that my lawyer friends have shared with me:

The best law students become law school professors

The average law students become judges

The rest make all the money


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

Sharon states:
"She banned US Military recruiters from Harvard Law."

Let's look at this is more detail:

Web Link
"REALITY: Kagan consistently followed the law, and Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean. Throughout Kagan's tenure as dean, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters -- either through Harvard's Office of Career Services or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. Moreover, Kagan consistently followed existing law regarding access to military recruiters. Kagan briefly restricted (but did not eliminate) access to recruiters only after the U.S Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that law schools could do so. "

Seems like Sharon's post is a bit of an exaggeration. Surprised?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 10:18 am



@ Paul

As you know there is an aphorism that is applied to all professions

-- Those who can do--Those who can't Teach--

Re Kagan -- she will be learning to be a judge "on the job"-- not a good idea--

"Perhaps an analogy to the medical profession is apposite.
Lots of very bright new physicians become interns and then spend several years as residents developing their qualifications for medical specialties.
Some become dermatologists, some become brain surgeons, and some become psychiatrists.
They are all physicians and presumably have the necessary experience to deal with medical conditions within their specialties.
However, it would be unreasonable and unfair to expect a dermatologist to diagnose and treat a brain tumor or a psychiatrist to remove an inflamed appendix.
OK, maybe, in an emergency and lacking any alternative; otherwise, it would be rather rather stupid.Web Link


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

"Re Kagan -- she will be learning to be a judge "on the job"-- not a good idea--"

So why, Sharon, did you earlier on this thread say that Obama should reach outside of lawyers and politicians. You stated it would be a "game changer". Surely those people would learn to be a judge "on the job".
What is the problem now?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm


A SCOTUS candidate could be

1/ A CEO who has built a multi billion dollar business-- like Chambers @ Cisco
2/ A politician that is a governor who led a major state, built wealth, met budgets and payroles
3/ A Judge, who shows excellence and has a public judicial record

Kagan is non of these-- she is an administrator and a bureaucrat

She has published nothing of significance, she is anti US Military--

She may be a competent administrator of diversity and empathy-- the first HR SCOTUS candidate.

She is underwhelming and damned by faint praise from everyone, left and right.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2010 at 8:57 pm



Typo correction--

2/ A politician WHO is/ was a governor who leads/ led a major state, built wealth, met budgets and payrolls


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2010 at 6:14 am

Sharon continues her assault on the latest Obama choice for the Supreme Court. She claims that a CEO or a politician with no judicial experience (and would not even have to be a lawyer) would qualify or a judge who "shows excellence and has a public judicial record".
Then she disqualifies Kagan by claiming that she has not done anything of significance. Would then Clarnece Thomas be on the court according to these requirements? Why would someone who is not evena lawyer be more qualified than Kagan?
She also repeats the myth regarding Kagan and the US military.
Get ready for a long summer of Kagan bashing


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm



As Kagan--

1/ does not have a judicial record--- she was never a judge
2/ does not case records, she was never a prosecutor nor a defense litigator
2/does not have a publication record-- she was just an administrator @ Harvard Law

We need to see the records of her brief work during the Clinton administration to evaluate the competence of the first HR candidate for SCOTUS

We hope the Clinton library cooperates-- in the best interests of the American people


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2010 at 6:09 am

Earl Warren and William rehnquist were not judges before being appointed to the Supreme Court. Sharon previously advocated appointing someone who is not even a lawyer or a politician and said they could learn on the job--so why does it matter that Kagan has no case or publication records?
The "rejecting US soldiers" lie is a myth--there is no truth to it. The issue deals with military recruiters and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. If Sharon wants to make an issue of that , then maybe she should stick to the facts of the matter.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2010 at 6:31 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:46 am

Well, congrats "Progressives". You have another one on the SCOTUS. Kagan was approved, by all Dems, no Repubs. I never even bothered wasting my time on posting on her, it was a done deal the day she was appointed. ( the lemmings' leaders are in charge)

Remember this Palo Alto, and watch her votes over the next 40-50 years she is on the bench.

Americans are singularly uninformed about the power of the SCOTUS. It is a pity. I recommend reading "Men in Black" by Mark Levin. Recall the movie by the same name..and yes there were women in black also in the movie and on the SCOTUS, but for you literal minded, recall the context.

Web Link

Above is a link to a Rasmussen poll that says 86% of Americans believe there should be limits on what the Federal Government can do..but this lovely new Supreme actually can't even agree that the Fed Government does not have the right to tell you what to eat.. Below is a link to her answer to the simple question about if the Feds have the right to tell you what to eat.

Web Link

Either she is ignorant and inarticulate ( both parts of this sentence I support) or a rabid anti-Constitutionalist ( which I also believe..you know..go by what "feels dumb or smart", not the Constitution).

Running a law school means nothing about her ability to know and apply the Constitution. I have seen this multiple times as "support" for her. Ok, then I challenge any of you to go for surgery to an MD who has done nothing but teach or run a Medical School, except for one year of surgery, in her career. ....

But that is the thinking of our Dems now.

We said the single biggest threat to our land by this POTUS was going to be the Supreme Court packing, and here we are. Stuck now with 2 full-fledged ..whatever you want to call them..on our SCOTUS. The only good news is that they are just going to keep voting the way their predecessors did, so no change there.

And our wimpy Repubs didn't have the cojones to pull the filibuster back on the Dems like they did to our nominees because WE follow the Constitution ( it is, in fact, unconstitutional to filibuster a Judicial nominee, a fact which escapes Democrats every time they do it)..

At the very least our Repubs should have filibustered ...it may have at least brought the act to light and prevented it from happening when WE bring forth a nominee.

Americans have short memories ( 9/11 is a great example). But Conservativ/Libertarians don't.

We are going to take this country back, and we are not going to let our electeds regress into full elitist government power again ( like the ones of 1994 did).. The power of the internet is immense.


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:56 am

"You have another one on the SCOTUS. Kagan was approved, by all Dems, no Repubs. I never even bothered wasting my time on posting on her, it was a done deal the day she was appointed. "

There is no point in reading the rest of your diatribe when you start of with a blatant lie.


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