Good news, bitches

The opening words of Mike Allen’s piece on Souter’s retirement:

Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s planned retirement touches off a fierce fight between the parties that could reinvigorate moping Republicans






73 replies
  1. 1
    Ned R. says:

    …to fight each other some more.

    (Wait, it doesn’t continue like that?)

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    At least he called them “moping”. Heh.

  3. 3
    blogenfreude says:

    The GOP will throw the usual tantrum, then the nominee will get in with about 60 votes.

  4. 4
    leo says:

    Like the moping republicans (the half dozen or so who are left) need to be reinvigorated.

    From what I’ve seen, it’s tranquilizers that they need.

  5. 5
    GregB says:

    Poor Mike, the reach arounds must be getting fewer and further between.

    -G

  6. 6
    dslak says:

    This is good news for John McCain!

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    The GOP wouldn’t be happy unless President Obama nominated Sarah Palin.

    -dms

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Interesting that the content of the article doesn’t actually much support the lead sentence. The article is mostly about what Obama might do, and the sourced quote from a conservative is in the ‘alternative space-time continuum’ category.

  9. 9
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    This is irony on toast points: by opposing everything that Obama has proposed so far, often en bloc, the Republicans now have zero bargaining chips. That won’t prevent them from threatening to withhold their co-operation, calling for bi-partisanship or demanding a gesture of good will toward them. Tools. That GOP strategery really pays off, doesn’t it boys?

  10. 10
    Xenos says:

    Go ahead, feel those oats, boys… spread the word about a big damn fight coming up. Obama putting through a moderate, uncontroversial but unpalatable-to-conservatives pick will be easy.

    I can just see the Goopers scrambling around under the net, hootin’ and hollerin’, and Obama will just step back behind the three point line and drop that sucker in, nothing but net… they won’t even be newsworthy any more.

  11. 11
    os says:

    blah blah blah, everything is a good sign for repubs. you think because they will be able to argue the same shit over and over and over means it is good for them? yawn

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    “invigorate”? Does he mean wailing, bitching, FoxNews Screetching, and declaring EVERY SINGLE NOMINEE, NO MATTER WHO IT IS, the worstest, most partisan pick EVAH??

  13. 13
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I expect the GOP (specifically, known Texas moron ‘Big John’ Cornyn) to make complete asses out of themselves if the nod goes to a woman. I predict that said nominee will be called a ‘baby killer’ during the televised hearings. They’ll pitch a fit if the spot goes to anyone who isn’t to the right of Nino ‘I refer to myself in the third person’ Scalia.

  14. 14
    Napoleon says:

    I have said this before and I will say it again. Allen is one of the most nakedly pro-Republican partisan reporters in the non-Fox MSM.

  15. 15
    Ted the Slacker says:

    This is obviously great news for the Party of No. Really it is.

  16. 16
    gregt says:

    The media conventional wisdom has already come a long way towards reality when the *positive* spin for Republicans is “maybe they’ll stop moping!”

  17. 17
    cleek says:

    the Republicans now have zero bargaining chips

    they actually have one huge chip: a nominee can’t even get out of the Judiciary committee without at least one minority vote.

    guess who the best chance for that minority vote was ?

  18. 18
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Have they called on Obama to meet with Congressional Republicans so that they can make known their wishes yet?

  19. 19
    Lee from NC says:

    So…it’s good news for Republicans that Specter defected, that Democrats are one meteor–>Coleman away from a supermajority, that Obama and a Democratic congress will appoint a Supreme Court justice, blah blah blah.

    Will someone please ask these idiots, what exactly would you consider bad news for the Republicans?

  20. 20
    JL says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Wasn’t it the repubs who said that there should be no litmus test?

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    Didja catch Tapper’s hed? “White men need not apply.”

  22. 22
    Aaron says:

    Conservatives fired warning shots of the possible battle to come. Wendy Long of the Virginia-based Judicial Confirmation Network, a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, said in a statement: “The current Supreme Court is a liberal, judicial activist court. … If Obama holds to his campaign promise to appoint a Justice who rules based on her own ‘deepest values’ and what’s in her own ‘heart’ – instead of what is in the Constitution and laws — he will be the first American President who has made lawlessness an explicit standard for Supreme Court Justices.”

    Wendy Long . . . Fuck you. Anyone who calls the Supreme Court “liberal” has no idea what the term means, nor have they read relevant case law or judicial opinions. If you want to play politics, fine. But the idea that everything is a political game is bullshit.

  23. 23
    John PM says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Agreed. A Latino woman would be even better, because then they could call her a “wet-back abortion machine.”

    Republicans really are in “boy who cried wolf” territory now. Obama could literally nominate the Anti-Christ and Republicans would no longer be able to stop it.

  24. 24
    Dork says:

    they actually have one huge chip: a nominee can’t even get out of the Judiciary committee without at least one minority vote.

    I did not know this. For real? They can bottle up any choice just by voting no in unison? Well, voting no in unison is their specialty. Yowsers.

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    For real?

    for real.

    the rule:

    The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority.

    the minority is: Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn.

    yay!

    come on Huckleberry!

  26. 26
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @JL:

    Only a crackhead takes republicans at thier word.
    ‘We didn’t torture” turned into “torture worked”.
    It’s like a rapist saying “I did not rape that woman”, then 6 months later he says “Well, she was asking for it”.

  27. 27
    Ned R. says:

    Yeah, that twist is pretty interesting. (And all things depending that may well *be* a Specter/Souter connection there, ie the latter going “Hmm, well why not now?”)

  28. 28
    Punchy says:

    the minority is: Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn.

    Fuckin hell. Uh…that’s a no, maybe, no, no, no, uh…no, HELL NO, and middle finger+fuck off+I hate you all no, respectively.

    Only b/c Grassley’s from a blue state would I suspect he may bend….that said, he’s ginormously popular in Iowa, and could probably eat a fetus at a breakfast campaign rally and still get 78% of the votes.

  29. 29
    Keith says:

    This should also bolster John McCain’s presidential campaign quite a bit!

  30. 30
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Punchy:

    Only b/c Grassley’s from a blue state would I suspect he may bend….that said, he’s ginormously popular in Iowa, and could probably eat a fetus at a breakfast campaign rally and still get 78% of the votes.

    As long as the fetus is african-american or hispanic.

  31. 31
    zmulls says:

    Obama should/probably-will call Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch in for a chat. They will get some say in who gets picked. Clinton gave Hatch a say, as has been widely reported, and didn’t do too badly in getting progressive voices on the court.

  32. 32
    Snark Based Reality says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    It’s like a rapist saying “I did not rape that woman”, then 6 months later he says “Well, she was asking for it”.

    More like “Well you got off on watching me do it so mission accomplished.”

  33. 33
    Michael says:

    Up or Down, bitches.

  34. 34
    smiley says:

    @John PM: A Hispanic, man or woman, would most likely be Catholic. That would mean 6 of 9 justices would be Catholic. Is that a good thing? I mean, after all, for most of it’s history it’s been all male protestant justices. Still, the five on there now vote pretty much as a block but I don’t know the role Catholicism plays in that. Just sayin…

  35. 35
    Comrade Dread says:

    I remember way back in time when the parties were still a little sane, that the most important thing in a Supreme Court nominee was their legal qualifications.

    Now, we have the giant comedy theater whereby the opposition party pretends to be shocked (shocked!) that their rivals would nominate someone who tends to lean toward their ideology.

  36. 36
    valdivia says:

    Aside from the usual wingnut insanity I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

  37. 37
    cleek says:

    I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

    oh, believe me, that’s already started.

  38. 38
    AkaDad says:

    Even though most of the the current members of the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans, it’s clearly THE most Liberal court ever.

  39. 39
    valdivia says:

    @cleek:

    see I am always late to the party ;-)

  40. 40
    TCG says:

    Get ready for a full dose of Orin Hatch unplugged.

    Ol’ Orin considers this supreme court appointments his special realm.

  41. 41
    John PM says:

    @smiley:

    I thought about the Catholic angle, but it seems to me that Republicans are also becoming more hostile to Catholics. Anyway, the thought is that nominating a person of Hispanic origin could create the situation where Republicans are once again venting their anger at Hispanics, which will drive them further away from the Republican Party.

  42. 42
    Alan says:

    Nothing better to highlight social con control over the GOP than a fight over appointing a Supreme Court Justice.

  43. 43
    blogenfreude says:

    @Aaron: From Wendy’s website:

    Senators have a constitutional duty to rigirously scrutinize the nominee on this score, and vote “no” if the nominee cannot establish that she will follow the law, rather than her own values and beliefs, as the President has suggested.

    You’d think someone who used to be a partner at a major law firm would “rigirously scrutinize” her website.

  44. 44
    flounder says:

    This news will surely send their crazy base to sidelines and help them lure moderates back to the party.

  45. 45
    Rommie says:

    I’m hoping it’s Granholm, because I’m a homer, because it would be a nice reward for 8 years of shit tacos from the national and state GOP, but mainly because the Republicans would attack her being from Communist Canada, and go international in self-burial. Expand the brand!

  46. 46
    SGEW says:

    I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

    I am concerned about Obama’s hypothetical SCOTUS nominee pick, and my concern, concentrated, will reveal a rational consternation.

    But seriously! I iz srs commenter, and I have serious concerns!

    Mind you, I am perfectly confident that Obama’s pick will be eminently qualified for the position, and I am sure that whoever it will be will wind up becoming a strong defender of key “liberal”[1] social positions (e.g., abortion, marriage equality, etc.), and will probably be a great voice for civil liberties, a living constitution, and (this will probably be the most contentious bit) transnationalism. [I elide here my other concerns about eminent domain, intellectual property, and executive power: willing to wait and see.]

    However, Souter’s potential retirement raises a different issue for me: church and state. Souter has been the most consistent advocate for a secular state and a stricter reading of Jefferson’s “wall” than any other Justice in the last twenty years, and the bench is already on the razor’s edge on the issue. We’re only one vote [2] away from allowing Scalia to declare that the state can actively discriminate against atheists. [3]

    I will be very surprised to see much daylight between any potential Obama nominee and Justice Souter on most legal positions [4], but I will also be very surprised if Obama nominates a strongly pro-secular (read: “anti-Christian”) nominee.

    Thus my footnoted concern.

    [1] These positions are not “liberal,” dammit all: they’re modern!
    [2] I have been known to lift my face to the sky, shake my fists, and scream “Kennedyyyyyyyyy!” a la “Khaaaaan!” Screw Scalia; when Kennedy quits I will dance a little fucking jig, that lukewarm prevaricating spineless motherfucker.
    [3] Okay, this may strike some as a kind of strong way of reading it, but that’s how I see it.
    [4] N.B. Important Caveat: One cannot predict how nominees end up deciding cases ten years down the road. Remember – Nixon appointed the “conservative” Blackmun, and he wound up writing Roe v. Wade. Once you sit someone’s ass on that bench, ’till they be dead, some of them actually start thinking for themselves.

  47. 47
    Jay C says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    They’ll pitch a fit if the spot goes to anyone who isn’t to the right of Nino ‘I refer to myself in the third person’ Scalia.

    Shouldn’t that be “Nino ‘he refers to himself in the third person’ Scalia”??

    @flounder:

    Why? A SCOTUS nomination is a yea-or-nay situation for the voting Senators – doesn’t matter to them if they appeal to the “base” or “moderates” or Pastafarians; it’s still an up-or-down vote, so they’ll probably just use their free TV airtime to bluster and bloviate, vote “No”, and go back to fulminating again Kommisar Obamavich’s Islamonazifascios0c1alist reign-of-terror in fundraising ads. Besides, why would creatures ike Sens. Cornyn, Kyl or Inhofe even give sh*t about what Republican “moderates” think?

  48. 48
    valdivia says:

    @SGEW:

    excellent point about church/state separation. I think a lot of people are so focused on abortion etc that they miss the big picture which you just referred to (the establishment clause cases are always fascinating to me).

  49. 49
    Common Sense says:

    @cleek:

    The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority.

    Yeah Limbaugh is pimping this currently. “Thank god Specter left — he would’ve been that vote (ignoring Specter’s reliably conservative Judicial record — Anita Hill anyone?)

    He also seems somewhat meh about the prospect since Sen “Graham-nesty” is way too liberal and will obviously vote for whatever hippie pinko Obama shoves down our throats.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @valdivia:

    I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

    This is a kind of inoculation against Obama nominating a very non-progressive candidate.
    I don’t expect Obama to nom a liberal, because Obama himself clearly is not one and probably wouldn’t see the utility in it, or the politics either.
    However, when he comes back with some fucking choad that’s right/right of center because it’s the pick “he can get passed the Republicans” I don’t want to see anyone here defending it.
    Although it’s inevitable.

  51. 51
    ChrisS says:

    That rule only seems to support a motion without debate.

    Otherwise, that would be enormous veto power to a the minority.

  52. 52
    r€nato says:

    @dmsilev:

    no, then they’d demand Bork.

  53. 53
    Lost Option says:

    Regarding comments that a single minority member can nix a nomination. That doesn’t sound right. Haven’t actually looked at the committe rules — but please note that at the end of the phrase, “If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate,…” there is the word “debate.”

    Seems like this has to do with being able to fast-track without further ado, rather than requiring that at least one minority member approve moving nomination out of committee.

  54. 54
    Xanthippas says:

    Is that like how their united opposition to Obama is working out?

  55. 55
    rea says:

    I’m hoping it’s Granholm, because I’m a homer

    Granholm has been a decent governor, but she’s a career prosecutor with a career prosecutor’s views on criminal justice issues.

  56. 56
    The Swedish Chef says:

    Bork! Bork! Bork!

  57. 57
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @cleek: OK, correct me if I’m wrong, but Specter isn’t yet a Democrat. He is a Republican by label, and will remain so unless/until elected as a Democrat in 2010.

    He has not been – and again as far as I can tell can not be – removed from the committee assignments.

    If I’m wrong I’m open to correction, of course.

  58. 58
    Calouste says:

    The Republicans will first start objecting the Obama nominee, and only after that come up with a reason to actually do so.

  59. 59
    ricky says:

    And what, pray tell, will it take to reinvigorate Mike Allen’s moping intellect?

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    @Aaron:

    Anyone who calls the Supreme Court “liberal” has no idea what the term means, nor have they read relevant case law or judicial opinions.

    AFAICT the “liberal” members of the Court aren’t really liberal. Maybe somewhat left of center.

  61. 61
    liberal says:

    @zmulls:

    Clinton gave Hatch a say, as has been widely reported, and didn’t do too badly in getting progressive voices on the court.

    I’m not quite sure I’d call them “progressive.”

    Also, I like Ruth a lot, but she was kinda old when she was appointed.

    Obama should nominate someone reasonably liberal, and young.

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @valdivia:

    I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

    I can understand the calculus that Obama faces, but why should Republican extreme-far-right nominees like Alito and Roberts get confirmed, yet nominees who are mildly left of center face so much uncertainty?

    Really, it’s Congress which “sells out.”

  63. 63
    liberal says:

    @John PM:

    I thought about the Catholic angle, but it seems to me that Republicans are also becoming more hostile to Catholics.

    Maybe, but Jindal’s Catholic.

  64. 64
    liberal says:

    @Corner Stone:

    However, when he comes back with some fucking choad that’s right/right of center because it’s the pick “he can get passed the Republicans” I don’t want to see anyone here defending it.
    Although it’s inevitable.

    I don’t see that it’s inevitable. I think the likeliest disappointing pick would be a wishy-washy centrist.

  65. 65
    sherifffruitfly says:

    There’s nothing republicans like more than whining. This is an excellent opportunity for them.

  66. 66
    Kirk Spencer says:

    A little bit above this post I wondered if there was a roadblock to the Republican’s blockade in Specter being still a Republican. The answer is that I was mistaken.

    The Senate Republican Conference can modify its rules – exception or amendment – that determine who is (and who stays) on committees, much less who is ranking member. So even if Specter is still ‘technically’ a Republican, they can move him off the Judiciary.

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @SGEW:

    Mind you, I am perfectly confident that Obama’s pick will be eminently qualified for the position…

    I agree with you here and like your take on areas that you would like any potential Obama justice to be strong on.

    But apart from basic qualifications and judicial temperament, everything else is pretty much a crap shoot. It’s interesting to note, for example, that Souter is perceived to be a reliable member of the liberal wing of the Court. But he was appointed by Bush I in the hopes of being reliably conservative. And the Washington Post re-ran an op-ed piece summarizing Souter’s first year on the bench, which included this gem:

    On civil rights issues, Souter has voted — with the majority in each case — that fetal protection policies are illegal; that the employment discrimination law does not apply overseas; that civil rights lawyers cannot be reimbursed for the cost of expert witnesses as part of their legal fees; and that some age-discrimination claims can be subjected to compulsory arbitration. But those have all been cases interpreting statutes, and Souter’s position on the constitutional dimensions of racial discrimination remains a mystery.

    I think that Souter grew as a justice during his term, and I particularly appreciate the opinions and dissents in which he deliberately took on and ably demolished Scalia’s pretense to be the Court’s intellectual leader.

    One of Obama’s picks will have to take on this mantle.

    But even more than being solidly “liberal” or strong on church v state issues, I think of an observation that Juan Williams made about Thurgood Marshall:

    Marshall has argued more cases before the court 32 than any justice now sitting. He won 29 of them. Marshall alone among the justices can say he has defended a man charged with murder.

    Ultimately, I want to see someone on the Court who is more than a technician of the law or a philosopher, but who realizes that sometimes the man or woman who is sitting on the Court is more than just a judge, but is the embodiment of justice, and that the people who come before the court are not just cases or causes, but human beings.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @liberal:

    I don’t see that it’s inevitable. I think the likeliest disappointing pick would be a wishy-washy centrist.

    Sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant that when Obama picks a right/right of center nomination it will be *inevitable* that people here will defend the pick on some lame-ass “he had to do it this way”, or “this is the O-man showing how the game is played” or other orgasmic praise. Even though all facts in evidence will show that he most likely did not have to pick the right/right of center candidate but did anyway.
    I am warming up the lotion on the offchance Obama actually does pick a strong candidate that is even slightly to the left of center. And if by some miracle he picks (and gets seated) someone that can even remotely be called progessive or liberal – well hell, I don’t know how to finish this sentence since that will never fucking happen.

  69. 69
    gil mann says:

    I expect the GOP (specifically, known Texas moron ‘Big John’ Cornyn) to make complete asses out of themselves if the nod goes to a woman.

    Aside from the usual wingnut insanity I also I predict very soon some on the left will start complaining that Obama being a traitor he will not name a true progressive making him, once again, a sell out.

    Time for a new “artists in our midst” thread, this time for psychics.

    @Kirk: nah, I think it’s effective immediately.

  70. 70
    SGEW says:

    @Brachiator:

    Ultimately, I want to see someone on the Court who is more than a technician of the law or a philosopher, but who realizes that sometimes the man or woman who is sitting on the Court is more than just a judge, but is the embodiment of justice, and that the people who come before the court are not just cases or causes, but human beings.

    Someone agrees with you:

    “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook, it is also about how are laws effect the daily realities of peoples lives–whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome and their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with peoples’ hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”
    -Barack Obama, 4/1/09

  71. 71
    AnneLaurie says:

    <blockquote>I’m hoping it’s Granholm, because I’m a homer, because it would be a nice reward for 8 years of shit tacos from the national and state GOP, but mainly because the Republicans would attack her being from Communist Canada, and go international in self-burial. Expand the brand!

    I think the Repugs would prefer the “Gov. Granholm of Chrysler, bankrupt union-owned company leeching on the taxpayers’ unwilling generosity.”

    If I had to bet (a store-bought cookie), I’d bet that Obama will find a qualified female Hispanic-American lawyer from an Evangelical (i.e., not-Catholic) family who’s on the record as supporting Roe v. Wade. Sure, it’s a very small pool, but that’s the Magical Unity President’s gift…

  72. 72
    SFAW says:

    … I’d bet that Obama will find a qualified female Hispanic-American lawyer …

    I am hopeful that someone will tell the RNC or Limbaugh or similar that Osamabama is nominating noted Latina jurist Kay Melambes.

  73. 73
    n69n says:

    MIKE ALLEN: “I miss havin’ my head rubbed…”

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