What It Takes To Be a Justice

In 48 hours, we have learned of a new list of requirements in order to be a Justice on the Supreme Court. The following is a brief summation (to date- will update as necessary):

1.) Titillating David Brooks– no boring career oriented types need apply. Try to squeeze in some college era hijinks to liven up that vita- maybe a possession bust as an undergrad, some racy Facebook pictures, or a term paper supportive of Mao.

2.) Ed Whelan demands a valid driver’s license and there will be a proficiency test to demonstrate “mastery” of the subject.

3.) Paul Campos would like a dissertation on the history of curriculum theory (no slouching and skipping out on the role of hermeneutics and critical theory), a treatise on best pedagogical practices, a complete review of the collected works of John Dewey, and a positive evaluation from every lazy student you may have ever had.

4.) Andrew Sullivan would like proof one way or another of your sexual orientation. I suppose pictures will do, but the apparent gold standards are the assurances of Jeffrey Toobin and Eliot Spitzer.

5.) Somewhat related to #4, K-LO has decided that four out of over one hundred justices have been women, and this poses a grave threat to the white male, so no more va-jay-jays- women need not apply.

6.) David Bernstein is tired of Ivy Leaguers, so come on down, Heritage Law students!

7.) Republicans are requiring a history of judicial experience, which could be daunting, considering they will most likely block your appointment to the bench.

8.) Ed Whelan is also requiring that future justices not be residents (current or former) of New York City.

9.) Michael Steele is demanding that you not question the Constitutional Right to practice of slavery.

10.) Lynn Sweet would like a decent batting stance. And no, I’m not kidding. According to recent debates, proof of a good baseball stance could also serve as verification of your sexual status, as required by Sullivan in point number four.

*** Update ***

11.) Sullivan is now demanding a record of taking risks and failing to prove a record of life experience.

12.) And Howard Kurtz requires a spouse and children:

***

Am I missing anything? Law students, I hope you are paying attention!

And if someone could tell me when it was that every last person on the planet completely lost their shit, I would really appreciate it.

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185 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    “Principle-free careerists” need not apply. You missed that one.

  2. 2
    Hal says:

    Does Sully want Kagan to come out because he thinks it would somehow be a great thing for the gay community to have a openly gay Justice? Or does he not like Kagan and knows this might capsize her nomination, since certain numbers would not vote for her ostensibly for some capability issue, but really because she’s a big ole Lez?

  3. 3
    Karen in GA says:

    Ah, whoops, you mentioned what I thought you missed. Never mind.

  4. 4
    Midnight Marauder says:

    No empathy.

    Only unfeeling sociopaths need apply.

    @Hal:

    Does Sully want Kagan to come out because he thinks it would somehow be a great thing for the gay community to have a openly gay Justice

    Precisely.

  5. 5
    QDC says:

    FWIW Elliot Spitzer’s word on the sexuality of all current and form residents of New York City is considered authoritative by many. Why? You don’t want to know.

  6. 6
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    I can’t believe you missed this one.

    Kagan Wobbly on free speech

  7. 7
    eldorado says:

    something something catholics

  8. 8
    merl says:

    Shouldn’t be too short

  9. 9
    Mike Kay says:

    It’s time for OBama admit his mistake and withdraw the Kagan’s jack-booted nomination.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    I really didn’t think it was possible, but this is gonna be worse than the Sotomayor confirmation, isn’t it?

    Shoot me now.

  11. 11
    freelancer says:

    She isn’t pretty enough.

  12. 12
    Tom Hilton says:

    You missed the Greenwald Requirement, which is that you be Diane Wood.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    Am I missing anything?

    She served in the Obama administration so she can’t possibly have an independent thought.

    Kagan, he said, is close to the Obama administration. And she’s never been a judge, so there’s some question whether she could be independent.

    “She’s never had to develop the judicial habit of saying no to an Administration, and we can’t simply assume that she would,” McConnell said

    Lesson: Any Supreme Court nominee must not be have a single tie to an Administration. IOKIYAR, though.

  14. 14
    mr. whipple says:

    I’m glad you went from “I can’t follow this because it’s too insane” to “I can follow this and laugh my ass off.”

    Because that way I can follow you following it, and just laugh my ass off.

  15. 15
    stuckinred says:

    Who is this goddamn Sully????>

  16. 16
    jl says:

    Wikipedia says Kagan’s mother and two brothers are public school teachers.

    Obviously in the pocket of the teachers’ union thugs, and has a commufascist s o s h u l i s t indoctrinationist heritage and associations.

    And Cole is too soft on NYC thing. Kagan was BORN in NYC, thereby self-identifying herself as alienated from and hostile to the true America.

  17. 17
    4jkb4ia says:

    *Applause*

    In fairness to Brooks, I think he implied that you couldn’t be a Justice if you didn’t come across as a boring career type.

    That is correct– Brooks: “What we have is a person whose career has dovetailed with the incentives presented by the confirmation system, a system that punishes creativity and rewards caginess.”

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    In defense of #6, I’m a little tired of the Harvard/Yale clique myself.

    There are more than 2 good law schools in the country, and there are good law schools outside of the Northeast.

  19. 19
    ThinkBlue says:

    Isn’t she Jewish?

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    People that can’t do something as simple as driving shouldn’t be allowed to make important decisions with serious outcomes. What is she, retarded?

    Nader can’t drive either and he’s damn near fucked the planet over at this point by pretending there was no difference between Dumbya and Gore.

    And don’t get me started on the damage done by closeted gay people.

  21. 21
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Empathy is Back on the menu boys!

  22. 22
    Rick Taylor says:

    Prospective justices must must be impartial, applying the law as it is written, and not being side tracked by empathy with the people their decisions impact, and also they must not be mere academics, but must have empathy for with the people whom their decisions will impact.

  23. 23
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Though it was on the Animal Cruelty video case, she was, once again, arguing as the SG and it is misleading to noodle around attaching that to her personal beliefs she would carry onto the court. Reason, along with others are trying to parse out what she said “that went beyond” the case. But that is a tactic that is fraught with speculation and connecting dots out of context that Reason and others are trying to do. This will be the main tactic of her opponents in and out of the senate judiciary committee. And it is a dishonest one to try and connect it to what she did as a government advocate.

  24. 24
    Tom Hilton says:

    You must not have an academic background, especially if the President does too.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @ThinkBlue: Yes, and I can’t remember who it was who was, I think in all seriousness and sincerity, lamenting that there will be no Protestants on the Court when Kagan is confirmed. Which will be very important when questions of transubstantiation, saintly intercession, gold and bridge rules, and the relative merits of J&B vs Dewars come before the Court.

  26. 26
    New Yorker says:

    I’m just glad that hating New York is back in vogue. I wasn’t particularly fond of Real ‘Murkans holding their noses and expressing phony sympathy for this city in the wake of 9/11. At least they can hate the Fakest of Fake America openly once again.

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Prospective justices must must be impartial, applying the law as it is written

    Except when it comes to…

    Deciding Presidential Elections, The Second Amendment, Corporate Personhood, etc.

    At which point, the law says whatever current GOP policy believes it should say.

  28. 28
    ThinkBlue says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And also too, the inevitable war on Christmas.

  29. 29
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Nader can’t drive either and he’s damn near fucked the planet over at this point by pretending there was no difference between Dumbya and Gore.

    I’m to the point of just pointing and laughing at people who are still butthurt about Nader ten years after the fact. If you don’t want a repeat of Nader in the future, I would suggest you advise the Democrats run hysterically to the center at every opportunity.

    There were plenty of differences between Bush and Gore. There just weren’t any that Gore was willing to admit to publicly because his advisers persuaded him that doing so would make him look like big-ole-librul, and we just couldn’t have that.

  30. 30
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Me? I want a justice who has real super powers, like the ability to run so fast people can’t see you or the strength to pick up locomotives.

    Plus knowing where to get good barbecue after 11 p.m.

  31. 31
    Mark S. says:

    If you once argued that presidents should take an active role in federal agency regulation, you obviously subscribe to John Yoo’s “The President’s War Powers are Unlimited” theory.

  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Don’t forget shopping at Talbots.

  33. 33
    malraux says:

    I’ll also jump on the anti-harvard/yale bandwagon. Not that those are bad, but academic inbreeding is bad.

  34. 34
    sparky says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: actually, it’s not. she’s not a stenographer: her office writes the briefs and decides what the arguments are going to be. she didn’t have to make that argument to win the case. and if the U of C cite is reported accurately, then it is reasonable to say she doesn’t think much of the notion of unfettered free speech. how important that may be to you is a different question, but there’s no way it’s an unfair question.

  35. 35
    Epicurus says:

    Alas, there is but one answer to your final question; it’s………..9/11! 9/11! 9/11!…ad nauseum.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    Some also flouted the Algor, sorry, Kagan is fat, objection.

    Need to dig that up.

    But, maybe Cole omitted that one because including it would anger his owner, Tunch.

  37. 37
    WereBear says:

    The most important attributes are believing God is Mammon and a pale male organ which has never been in a wetsuit for recreational purposes.

    That they can prove.

  38. 38
    Cacti says:

    @sparky:

    then it is reasonable to say she doesn’t think much of the notion of unfettered free speech

    That would put her in line with the entire SCOTUS canon on the First Amendment, which has never found a right to unfettered free speech.

  39. 39
    Mental Lint says:

    I believe the GOP also has a Federalist Society membership requirement.

  40. 40
    superking says:

    John, I get that people you don’t like are making arguments you don’t find convincing, but that doesn’t mean the arguments are frivolous or stupid.

    I actually find it frustrating that people outside of the Harvard and Yale alumni associations don’t seem to have a chance of being nominated. Yes, Harvard and Yale are great schools, but it is not the case that all the smart and qualified people went to those schools. Nor is it the case that having attended them automatically qualifies you for a position of significant power.

    This is a big fucking country, and it would be at least nice to think that people who didn’t have the opportunity or desire to go to Harvard or Yale might–after working hard, gaining experience, and demonstrating skill–just might have a chance of making it to the Supreme Court.

    For the same reasons, people from the Midwest, or the mountain states, might want to think that they don’t need to be from New York, New Jersey, or California in order to be appointed to the Supreme Court. With Kagan on the Court, only Thomas will be from a fourth state. I can’t understand why someone from New York would be preferenced over a other potential nominees whose qualifications far exceed Kagan’s.

  41. 41
    aimai says:

    That Paul Campos thread on the evils of the Socratic Method was priceless. I’ve stopped even stopping by LGM, one of my past favorites, because Campos began shrieking at me, personally, in comments because I had the temerity to disagree with something someone else had written on obesity. I read the whole thread on Kagan and I’ve got to say that Campos is, as it turns out, a massively hysterical authoritarian on a number of subjects and the first thing he does is accuse everyone else of fascist tendencies and unprogressivism when they appear to disagree with him on a matter of either substance or style. I thought he’d hit rock bottom on the issue of obesity but he is really taking the whole Kagan thing rather personally too. I wonder how she managed to hurt his fee fees?

    aimai

  42. 42
    Kit says:

    @stuckinred:
    Andrew Sullivan

  43. 43
    John W. says:

    Have we conclusively pinned down what civil procedure textbook she used? I DEMAND ANSWERS.

  44. 44

    @malraux:

    I don’t think the anti-Ivy sentiment is the worst thing, but if it’s non-Ivy it’s going to be Texas, Michigan, or U of C. That’s not really that big of a difference, it’s just that the non-Ivy group carries a very large chip on their shoulder.

  45. 45
    tim says:

    Wow, John, this some excellent, even witty, blog hit/comment trolling on your part. I stand impressed.

    Though, of course you misrepresent some of the objections to The Kagan and in the process cater to your commenter fanbase here, but hell it’s your blog.

  46. 46

    @aimai:

    Meh, I think Campos is pretty embarrassing, but I like the other contributors too much to stop reading LGM, even though I considered it (and said as much in the thread). It’s nice to see that he isn’t getting much in the way of backup.

  47. 47
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @superking:

    John, I get that people you don’t like are making arguments you don’t find convincing, but that doesn’t mean the arguments are frivolous or stupid.

    Paul Campos’s masterwork on the ills of the Socratic Method is both frivolous and stupid.

    Michael “I Am The Cow On The Tracks” Steele and saying the 3/5 compromise was dy-no-mite!: another frivolous and stupid argument.

    K-Lo, David Brooks, Ed Whelan: ditto that.

    That was not the list to plant your flag and go out on the attack in its name. It is chock full of frivolity and stupidity.

  48. 48
    Tazistan Jen says:

    @aimai: Campos is also completely full of shit in that post on socratic method. Most law school professors use it, and nearly all 1L professors. He can’t possibly think it is some kind of meaningful indictment. Not like, say, sleeping with your students.

  49. 49
    Brian J says:

    @geg6:

    In what sense? She’s almost certainly going to be confirmed, so while the stupidity on display is frustrating, it’s not likely to make a difference as far as her eventual placement is concerned.

  50. 50
    John W. says:

    In regards to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford (not sure why people don’t include it – Rehnquist and O’Connor went there) but they are the best law schools in the country and it’s not impossible to get in there if you put the work in, regardless of finances. Could they do better? Possibly. I’d certainly want to push them in that direction. (For fairness sake, NYU is also a great law school)

    Obama himself went from Occidental to Columbia to Chicago to Harvard Law.

    I’ve seen lesser caliber law schools, I go to one and have friends at others … and frankly, Harvard and Yale are better.

    People that are smart enough to be SCOTUS justices don’t go to the University of Illinois Law School, and that’s a good one! They dedicate every waking hour of their life to get into one of the top two or three. That’s what they do.

    Oh, and I’m the first in my family to graduate from college (and about to do so from law school) and hail from the midwest. I’m not biased.

    In short, there is some merit to the idea of a lawyer hierarchy.

    That all said, It’s absolutely hilarious that Duncan Kennedy was invoked in that Campos thread.

  51. 51
  52. 52

    I didn’t find the Brooks column that bad, fwiw.

  53. 53
    Ben JB says:

    In addition to conclusive answers as to your sexuality (which in one post he will claim to drop as an issue and then go back to in the next post), I think Sullivan also wants you to have the experience of failure.

    Which makes a perverse sense for our times: Fuck up your bank? Have a bonus! Fail in some way? You’re perfect for the Supreme Court!

  54. 54
    wrb says:

    I like Kagan, but am sympathetic to #8.

    I grew up in the greater NY C area and then moved west. I found that a lot of the assumptions I shared with my fellow elite educated east coasters were completely fucking wrong, particularly with regard to regulatory and environmental issues (I’m not talking about pro v. anti-environment, I’m talking stupid v. effective). Such failures of understanding and empathy would have caused me to make decisions that were wrong.

    The court is way unbalanced toward NYC. It needs western, preferably rural, justices.

  55. 55
    themann1086 says:

    @aimai: Shit, I remember that thread. That was one of the most embarrassing threads I’ve ever seen on the internet. Ever.

  56. 56
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @superking:

    John, I get that people you don’t like are making arguments you don’t find convincing, but that doesn’t mean the arguments are frivolous or stupid.

    Paul Campos’s masterwork on the ills of the Socratic Method is both frivolous and stupid.

    Michael “I Am The Cow On The Tracks” Steele and saying the 3/5 compromise was dy-no-mite!: another frivolous and stupid argument.

    K-Lo, David Brooks, Ed Whelan: ditto that.

    That list is a consortium of frivolity and stupidity. I am stunned anyone would seek to defend it in anyway.

  57. 57
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @sparky: A stenographer? I guess you will be calling her Ms. Teleprompter Light, next. Whatever tactics she used as an attorney for the government, meaning what she argued was for the SOLE PURPOSE OF WINNING THE CASE. That was her job and it is not sound critique to criticize her for those tactics, nor assign what she said as her personal belief. That doesn’t mean she may not believe what she said, but you nor I and can discern that UNTIL HER CONFIRMATION HEARING WHEN SHE IS FUCKING ASKED AND CAN ANSWER FOR HERSELF.

    Right now it is just rank speculation from idiots like Reason and you. Somebody please give me a lobotomy, these puma wankers will never ever stop with the stoopid. I want to be able to understand them.

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @superking:

    I actually find it frustrating that people outside of the Harvard and Yale alumni associations don’t seem to have a chance of being nominated.

    Sidney Thomas came close. He was on the very short list.

    Late Sunday night, President Barack Obama called Billings jurist Sidney Thomas to let him know that he would not be the nominee to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

    Always a bit of a dark horse — not an East Coast, Ivy League law school graduate — Thomas nonetheless reportedly remained on the president’s shortlist while the final decision was made. Thomas was the first Montanan to have been seriously considered for a position on the U.S. Supreme Court.

  59. 59
    Brian J says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    My question to all those who want someone outside of Harvard and Yale Law is, who are the people you have in mind?

    No, seriously. I don’t doubt that there are plenty of qualified people who could take over Stevens’ seat, but I’d like to know who they are and why they have a chance of being nominated. And yes, the last part, for better or worse, does make a difference.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @tim:
    Actually, I am a Kagan skeptic, based on difficulty of determining how we she’ll vote on civil liberties issues involved in the so-called war on terror.

    I think that issue is so important, that I am uncomfortable with having to guess so much about her philosophy.

    (watch the fanbase come out now!)

    But 90 percent of the objections, from both right and left have been completely silly. So why not make fun?

    I would rather Obama had nominated some one else. But he nominated who he did, and she is almost sure to be confirmed. There is good chance that she will be fine justice and I will approve of her tenure in every way possible.

    So, debate over the nomination has reached zero marginal benefit at this point.

    On other hand, if conservatives want to waste their time on this stuff, it will keep them from making trouble on other fronts, so maybe people should try to keep the debate going.

  61. 61
    mai naem says:

    I do wish there was a mod/lib westerner or a liberal southerner on the court. I say liberal because they are the ones who understand how much the poor/less powerful are screwed in a million little ways that they aren’t in the NE because of the regulation set up in the NE. I wish he had gone for a loud and proud true blue liberal because the Repubs aren’t going to give him an inch even if he nominated Jeff Sessions’ son.

  62. 62
    Brian J says:

    @wrb:

    Which assumptions would those be? I don’t mean this as a defensive question. I’m genuinely curious.

  63. 63
    Brian J says:

    @Violet:

    Kim Wardlaw, whose name has also been thrown around repeatedly, is a graduate of UCLA, and Pamela Karlan spent much of her career at UVA before going to Stanford. That’s outside the Northeast axis, but they are still elite schools.

  64. 64
    Rosali says:

    Since federal judicial clerkships are often a pre-req for the Sup Court, the GOP should tell the justices to stop recruiting from HLS and YLS.

  65. 65

    @Brian J:

    Wood and Thomas are non-Ivy’s.

  66. 66
    bluehill says:

    I can kind of understand the anti-harvard/yale sentiment, but I doubt that Obama’s criteria list started with ivy-league degree. I wonder if Bernstein would apply the same criterion to his choice of doctors or financial advisors.

  67. 67

    @jl: It is a fair question and concern. There is not much to go on. But she did pen a letter when at Harvard with some other Deans I think that objected to some of Cheney’s claims concerning The GWOT. It has been posted several times here at BJ the last few days. And she wrote a paper on how she supports a strong executive branch and presnit powers, especially on the domestic front for social justice and things like that. But unlike Cheney’s Unitary Executive theory, she loudly caveats her beliefs with congress involved in creating and oversighting those powers.

    All these questions will soon start to be answered with her written responses to senators and personal interviews, then on teevee for us all to see in her Conf. Hearings. I just object to speculation and conclusions from the left that are either dishonest, or more dishonest. We expect that from the wingers, but shouldn’t from our own side imo.

  68. 68

    @jl:

    Amen. I’d classify myself as a Kagan agnostic. Were there better potential choices? Probably, there usually are, but I don’t think it makes that much of a difference, and now that she got nominated complaining that someone else didn’t get it just doesn’t strike me as being worthwhile, but the prospect of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan didn’t send a thrill up my leg or anything. It’s just that much of the criticism she’s gotten on the left is silly/offensive, and I am inclined to call that out.

  69. 69
    ellaesther says:

    From looking at pictures of Kagan and Sotomayor, it’s clear to me what Obama looks for:

    Women, who only come up to his shoulder, and have very respectable noses.

    I don’t know that future Presidents will seek the same thing, though, and who knows where his or her shoulder will fall. So. Not sure you can take that information to the bank.

  70. 70
    WereBear says:

    As I mentioned earlier, I find her manner charming and warm; makes me believe the persuasive attributes the President said he chose her for.

    The fact that she’s a teacher also gives me a chuckle; I’d like to see a few justices explain their reasoning… and show their work.

  71. 71
    eemom says:

    Apparently Greenwald’s rabid jihad against Kagan has overcome his impeccable disdain for the “Establishment” media. He quoted that most esteemed legal authority, David Brooks, on Democracy Now today.

    I guess I should be impressed……didn’t think he was capable of uttering that many sentences without the word “establishment” in them.

  72. 72
    Calouste says:

    And if someone could tell me when it was that every last person on the planet in the USA completely lost their shit, I would really appreciate it.

    Let’s keep things in perspective. 95% of the people have their shit together fairly well, it’s the 5% in the southern half of the North American continent that have some issues in this particular case.

  73. 73
    de stijl says:

    Sully has a new angle floated via a reader e-mail – she’s never failed at anything in her life, and thus, lacks the requisite human experience. Also, she’s never had polio or lost an election, too. And the stalled appeals court nomination was not a rejection per se. Plus, she’s asking for it.

    Sorry for the link. Get off the boat at your own discretion.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Kagan is surely no unitary executive nutjob. That much is clear. I also have been disappointed by silly arguments from some quarters on the left.

    After looking things over, Greenwald’s only strong argument is that we don’t have much record to judge what she will do on national security civil liberties issues.

    BTW, I too am curious to hear from wrb about what these assumptions are that Ivy League people supposedly have.

    edit: I was astonished to see Greenwald quote an obviously dishonest Brooks column. I posted in a comment a nice contrast in Brooks’ attitude towards Kagan and Roberts, who in some ways are very similar (not ideologically, or in terms of judicial philosophy, though)

  75. 75
    Brian J says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Thomas, sure, but Wood teaches at Chicago, and she went to Texas, which is generally considered one of the elite law schools in the country. And Chicago basically an Ivy League school in everything but name.

    But besides Thomas, who else? You don’t even have to down as far down on the list as Montana. Name me some graduates of Illinois or UGA or Washington & Lee who should be in the running.

  76. 76
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @superking:

    I actually find it frustrating that people outside of the Harvard and Yale alumni associations don’t seem to have a chance of being nominated.

    I dunno, maybe the more recent batch is Harvard/Yale – heavy, but then again Stevens went to Northwestern, Ginsberg graduated from Columbia, and O’Connor and Rehnquist went to Stanford.

    Historically, it’s been more of a mix than people might imagine.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Brien Jackson: Me, also, too. This is case #437 where I find myself somewhere on a scale from neutral to disappointed in something Obama did, but the critiques, from left, right and center, are so incoherent and over the top that I can’t help but roll my eyes. Obamabot that I am.

  78. 78
    Karen says:

    Here are the new arguments I expect to hear in the next few days.

    1. Obama is anti Catholic by nominating a Jew to be on the SC. (I am Jewish so this isn’t antisemitic, it’s using the argument Donahue always uses when he mentions Jewish people.)

    2. Obama hates men because Kagan is a woman.

    3. Obama hates white men (see above argument).

    4. Obama is against tall people (Kagan is 5’3).

    5. Kagan is too smart, not enough of a real American.

    6. It isn’t Sarah Palin

    7 It isn’t Sarah Palin.

    8. It Isn’t Sarah Palin….

  79. 79
    Llelldorin says:

    I’m wondering how much of the dominance of HLS and YLS isn’t caused by the current emphasis on getting someone really young onto the USSC, so they’ll have a long tenure. HLS and YLS very obviously try to select people who are volubly and visibly brilliant even in their twenties. Really, those are the people who are going to made a big enough splash by their forties to be USSC candidates. Someone who quietly establishes a brilliant track record by their late fifties to early sixties won’t be considered in the current climate.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @de stijl: How the eff does anyone know whether ‘Kagan’ ever ‘failed at anything in her life’?

    Maybe she has been brokenhearted for ten years because she did not make the Supremes by 40.

    Maybe she is single because her one true love (of whatever speculative description you wish) turned her down.

    Maybe she can’t fly fish.

    Geez. Ridiculous stuff.

  81. 81
    John W. says:

    The irony of this Yale hatred is that the right loathes Yale Law with a passion rarely seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had already appeared on Beck’s tree of craziness.

    And I still think Koh would have been the ideal choice. Sad that he’s too controversial to make the short list.

  82. 82
    Brian J says:

    @Karen:

    And yet, if in some bizarre universe he nominated Palin, he’d be accused of being scared of her chances in 2012. So he still wouldn’t satisfy these guys.

  83. 83

    I was astonished to see Greenwald quote an obviously dishonest Brooks column.

    It’s the curse of the advocate, and the mark the adversary system makes on one. Take everything you can find, and throw it at the other side. Make them object, and make the judge sustain. Courtroom technique isn’t always good rhetoric.

  84. 84
    Mark S. says:

    @jl:

    Maybe she went 0 for 4 and had three errors in the Lesbian Softball World Series?

  85. 85

    @Brian J:

    Yeah that’s basically my point. The “non-Ivy” argument is basically meaningless, because “non-Ivy” is still likely to mean “elite law school with competitive admissions.”

  86. 86
    scav says:

    This year’s been one pretty much one long constant shrill shriek, honestly. Hell of set of lungs some people have.

  87. 87
    Zachary Pruckowski says:

    @New Yorker:

    Wait, New York is the Fakest of Fake America? I thought that was Hollywood?

  88. 88
    aimai says:

    I have to laugh about the confusion among (some) commenters between “people who go to ivy league schools” and east coasters and non-environmentally minded people. Hello? Do people not grasp that Harvard and Yale, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, draw from a national and international body of potential students? There’s plenty of californians, texans, and even Alaskans and Iowans in them there halls. And I hate to animadvert on people I’m related to but my *&^% east coast born and raised uncle, a product of Yale Law School, wrote “Do Trees Have Standing?” which is like the ur bible of the environmental law movement. The law is national and people who study it tend to have very broad interests. Its not like you have to have been born in Arizona to realize that we have national parks.

    aimai

  89. 89
    WereBear says:

    @Zachary Pruckowski: No, you had it right. I thought NYC was the Elitist of Elite America, myself.

  90. 90
    Brian J says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Then we’re on the same page.

    I guess it’s better to say we need geographic diversity.

  91. 91
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @John W.:

    They say the same thing about Berkeley. Yet John Yoo is living proof that Boalt has its share of wingnuts. My torts professor turned out to be the “Father of the Intelligent Design Movement.”

  92. 92
    eemom says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    But Greenwald does not identify himself as an advocate. He identifies as an, um, objective scholarly commentator.

    Also, I’d be surprised if he spent more than two hours inside a courtroom in his tiny little 8-year legal career.

  93. 93
    Lyrebird says:

    What Mr. Whipple said. (#14)

  94. 94
    Betsy says:

    It is high time that we short-Americans gain more representation in American politics. When was the last time there was a president who was under 5’5″? Name me a justice other than Ginsberg who can be described as petite? How can our plight be truly understood in an establishment of the statuesque?

  95. 95
    batgirl says:

    @Rick Taylor: Nah, empathy is only okay when one has it for upper-class white men otherwise one is being biased and we can’t have that. No siree!

    In fact, if you look up empathy in the conservapedia it probably says something along those lines — empathy is being able to walk in the shoes of upper-class white men.

  96. 96
    Ridiculous says:

    John,

    Just so we’re clear, what ARE the acceptable criticisms of Elena Kagan? This isn’t a troll question (though you’ll probably treat it as one) but an honest query. Apparently 99% of the people criticizing the pick are wrong, so what are we allowed to criticize her for without being whores, sellouts, wingnuts, etc.? Seriously, is there anything? I personally think she’s an unremarkable influence and status grubbing careerist, undistinguished from a million people running around Washingotn DC, who has deliberately refrained from expressing an opinion on anything in order to advance her career. What does that make me, a glibertarian? A teabagger?

  97. 97
    John Cole says:

    @Ridiculous: How about you attack anything to do with the law. You don’t see me singling out Greenwald or people who have positions with her legal thinking, writings, or the like.

  98. 98
    wrb says:

    @aimai:

    Do people not grasp that Harvard and Yale, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels

    Not the issue. It is that 4 justices will come from NYC, and all but one from its satellites.

    How is deep empathy and understanding of the west then even possible?

    Why shouldn’t the teabaggers be fearful?

  99. 99
    John Cole says:

    @Ridiculous:

    I personally think she’s an unremarkable influence and status grubbing careerist, undistinguished from a million people running around Washingotn DC, who has deliberately refrained from expressing an opinion on anything in order to advance her career.

    Also, props for stating that as an anonymous commenter on a blog.

  100. 100
    WereBear says:

    @Betsy: Now now, that’s heightest talk!

  101. 101
    Rick Taylor says:

    @batgirl:
    That’s pretty much the conclusion I’ve come to.

  102. 102
    WereBear says:

    @Ridiculous: status grubbing careerist? Really? Well, you are well named. She became a teacher; at a prestigious school, yes, and she became the Dean.

    But nobody says “I know how my dreams of power can be realized! I’ll teach!”

    Roy Cohn, now… that’s what you’re thinking of. I can understand your confusion, since you have the spare brain cell out for varnishing.

  103. 103
    Gregory says:

    1.) Titillating David Brooks- no boring career oriented types need apply. Try to squeeze in some college era hijinks his thigh under the dinner table

    Fixed.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    @wrb: To restate Brian J’s question: My question to all those who want someone outside of NYC is, who are the people you have in mind?

    I mean, we can find all kinds of people born out in the weeds (Lessig is originally from SD) but once they head off to school and get into the usual law school train, how do they stay connected to western issues when pretty much all the relevant jobs are somewhere between Boston and DC. I don’t think experience in the corn field when you were 14 is going to amount to much.

  105. 105
    someguy says:

    Thank God you re-centered our Two Minutes Hate on the right there, John, because for thirty seconds or maybe even 35, I was starting to think that people were attacking her and causing more damage by strafing from the left.

    Silly me. What an asshole I am to think that was even possible. Nobody on the left would be so stupid as to be attacking the perfect left/corporatist/stealth esbian-lay (shhhhh!) candidate who will be on the court for maybe 50 years. Nobody on our side would be that dumb…

  106. 106
    chopper says:

    as someone who grew up playing 16″ softball (yeah, the mushpounder) let me say that this woman is completely unsuitable for the supreme court based on that one grainy picture.

    totally.

  107. 107
    de stijl says:

    Per Time she also needs to be from the Heartland(tm). Most of the article is a rehash of the non-Ivy Leaguer point, but scroll down to the last paragraph.

    Arguably, this a variant of Ed Whelan’s no NYCer requirement.

  108. 108
    Betsy says:

    @WereBear:

    “I know how my dreams of power can be realized! I’ll teach!”

    This just made my night. Thank you.

  109. 109
    Martin says:

    @Ridiculous: Just a nit that I’ve recently picked with Sully, how do you get recognized for SCOTUS without being a careerist – especially if you are generally disadvantaged toward that position. To make the point clearer, how does an african american get considered for high office without a career that is 5x more distinguished than the old white guys you are running against?

    The people that are considered for these kinds of positions are self-selected careerists. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be put in front of us to be critical of. I don’t think there’s any mystery why so many members of the court are unmarried. And for the women on the court, there wasn’t even a notion of a female supreme court justice when they set off to college. The only path there was through a very carefully planned career.

  110. 110
    Ridiculous says:

    Right, because I’m being nominated for one of the most powerful (and least accountable) positions in America! Or something.

    Look, I could give a shit who Obama nominates (I didn’t vote for him, I didn’t vote for anyone, and I frankly could give a fuck what happens to this country) but if I think it’s pretty funny to see you lot here at Balloonjuice fall in line like obedient little children behind someone whose progressive qualifications can only be divined using augury and a Ouija board.

  111. 111
    Brian J says:

    @Martin:

    That’s true, but not even my main point.

    I don’t doubt that there are plenty of brilliant professors at Berkeley, UVA, Texas, and Michigan, to name a few elite universities that aren’t Harvard or Yale. But there’s got to be some reason the professors at these institutions aren’t really mentioned as future Supreme Court justices.

  112. 112
    chopper says:

    yes, the fail is very strong in all this.

    i can’t actually figure out which is the biggest fail. that means this is a good week.

  113. 113
    Belvoir says:

    Sullivan : “David Brooks’ column today really helped crystallize for me my qualms about Elena Kagan. ” Ugh, he’s back to driving me up a wall again.

    Oh, she’s never “taken a risk”, because Sully and Brooks are the ones , those daring young men on the flying trapeze (barf) who get to decide that. The idea of Brooks being an arbiter of who’s too nebbishy, studious, cautious, non risk taking- well, he should know.
    No evidence of Kagan being a cringing, careerist toady though!

    Sully and Brooks just take the cake here- that a profile of diligence, achievement, moderation and restraint are somehow flaws in a potential Justice. Sullivan especially- a person that spent the past week making a big fool of himself shrieking about her sexuality – something he has no fvcking idea about– now complains that she’s too boring. I don’t say this lightly, but Sully really does have this hostility to women, this very real ignorance of a certain type of woman who is driven to achieve at the expense of a personal life. And he really filled that in with his own imagination, based on nothing but vapor and rumor.

  114. 114
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Ridiculous: No, it makes you an a-hole with a chip on your shoulder and lacking reading analytical skills. Cole’s humorous list is items that have nothing to do with being on SCOTUS. There are a number of legal issues including the theory of the unitary executive, the handling of detention issues, etc. in our war with Al Qaeda, abortion that are relevant. Her hair cut and her batting stance are not.

    And thanks for sharing your “status grubbing careerist” insight.

    IMO there’s just not enough evidence yet to make an informed judgment. That’s what nominations and hearings are for.

  115. 115
    Shade Tail says:

    @Ridiculous @110:

    So mocking demonstrably stupid criticisms is “falling in line like obedient little children”. /eyeroll/

    And if you care so little about this, why are you bothering yourself to ask for more info? One might think that you’re just trolling.

  116. 116
    tim says:

    @Ridiculous:

    Welcome, Ridiculous. You will now experience the full force of the Balloon Juice Echo Chamber Cool Commenters’ Club.

    Dissenting voices are not welcome here. Well, except by the proprieter, because folks like you and me keep threads going longer, as the regulars foam at the mouth trying to shut up or banish us.

    Good luck.

  117. 117
    Martin says:

    @Brian J: I think there’s two reasons:

    I don’t know, I think it might be as simple as why do so many top Biomedical Engineers come out of Johns Hopkins and UCSD? Because those are the best schools in that discipline.

    Not every school is a strong con law school. Schools like Stanford and Chicago are strong, but they seem to prepare students more for academia than for the bench. I think Harvard and Yale are simply the incubators for the high court. It’s not like it’s such a large market that you can afford to have dozens of schools focusing on that career path. Faculty with larger career aspirations naturally migrate toward those incubators, and government naturally go to those incubators to start their search for members for the court.

  118. 118
    John Cole says:

    @Ridiculous: I’m reasonably sure the only opinion I have EVER expressed about Kagan is that she will probably, as Greenwald has suggested, shift the court to the right. I’ve also said she is obviously qualified and not Harriet Miers, but that we should wait for the hearings.

    Everything else I have said about the matter is mocking people who raise stupid shit like her driver’s license and sexual preference. How that is “falling in line” is beyond me.

  119. 119
    bluehill says:

    @ Martin

    Your point reminds me of a Chris Rock joke/observation:

    [My only three black neighbors are] Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest singers of all time, Denzel Washington, one of the greatest actors of all time, and Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers of all time.” His white neighbor? “A dentist. And he isn’t like the greatest dentist in history either. I had to host the Oscars to get that house — a black dentist in my neighborhood would have to invent teeth.”

  120. 120
    Ridiculous says:

    oh yes, nominations and hearings. the very process that was mocked as an empty “charade” by…who said it… it was… oh right, elena kagan.

    boy oh boy, a really sharp bunch here.

    again, i really, honestly, don’t care who obama nominates because i dont’ have anything invested in the success or failure of his administration. i just think it’s very darkly amusing to see a group of people who regularly and loudly congratulate themselves for their originality and iconoclasm immediately and reflexively denounce people who disagree with obama’s pick.

    but yeah, keep finger pointing at me, because behind my pseudonym i’m actually scooter libby!

  121. 121
    Ridiculous says:

    John if you’re that cynical then I guess you’re AOK by me. As for why the rest of the people around here would be on board with a pick that clearly moves the court to the right…well, they can answer that I guess.

  122. 122
    matoko_chan says:

    This is why we need to channel more research funding to Strong AI.
    So we can have gender-neutral robotic justices that can be randomly programmed to be living-constitution robots or constitution-in-exile robots.

    This was my dissent to Sully.

    I think you are wrong about her. I listened to a Toobin interview and I was gobsmacked by one line: “She got along with everyone in college.” Now I don’t know about your college, but my college experience involved passionate intellectual duels with fireworks and explosives over competing ideas. I think that is why Obama wants her. After all, he was the same way at Harvard Law. And didn’t you endorse him because of it?

    I don’t think she is hypercautious…..i think she and Obama might both be superrational.

  123. 123
    tomvox1 says:

    I would like to know when precisely SCOTUS nominations became the ultimate Rorschach test for demonstrable levels of assholishness in the pud-pulling pundit class on the Right, Left and Center.

    And in this particular example, is it solely because Kagan has short hair? Oy!

  124. 124
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Ridiculous: Well, nomination and it’s processes, and hearings kept both Bork & Miers off the Court.

    As for your pseudonym, nah, not Scooter Libby who’s probably intelligent, if too loyal. I’m thinking you’re more likely Mark Levin or Mark Steyn.

  125. 125
    gwangung says:

    @tim: OK on the pomposity. Nice lack of reading comprehension. But more self aggrandizement and self righteousness, please.

  126. 126
    Shade Tail says:

    @Ridiculous @121:

    As for why the rest of the people around here would be on board with a pick that clearly moves the court to the right

    Did you bother to read the post or any of the comments before you started writing? This has not been about supporting Kagan, this has been about mocking idiots who are making stupid arguments.

    Do try to keep up.

  127. 127
    gwangung says:

    @Ridiculous:

    again, i really, honestly, don’t care who obama nominates because i dont’ have anything invested in the success or failure of his administration. i just think it’s very darkly amusing to see a group of people who regularly and loudly congratulate themselves for their originality and iconoclasm immediately and reflexively denounce people who disagree with obama’s pick.

    Need to be more pompous to match tim.

  128. 128
    tomvox1 says:

    Also, too: It is really, really hard to know how a judge is going to rule once on the court, as well as the fact that their positions tend to evolve over time, at least in relation to the political changes in the country at large (see Justice Stevens, John Paul). So maybe all this “Kagan’s definitely going to move the Court to the Right!!!” absolutism should be taken with a grain of salt. Just sayin’.

  129. 129
    tomvox1 says:

    @Belvoir:

    Right Fucking On.

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ridiculous:

    i just think it’s very darkly amusing to see a group of people who regularly and loudly congratulate themselves for their originality and iconoclasm

    Wow. You are like so keepin’ it real man. Way to speak truth to power… er, well, to some people on a blog.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Betsy says:

    Jesus, Kurtz has some nerve.

    Let’s see:
    Single, childless woman who attains prominent position: coldblooded careerist.

    Wife/mother who attains prominent position:
    A) not Serious, since she’ll be distracted by her family obligations
    and/or
    B) coldblooded careerist who neglects her family.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m not convinced she’s going to pull the court to the right, either. There’s obviously no way of knowing till she starts ruling, but I haven’t seen a cogent, specific argument, referring to actual cases, that suggests this will happen. Not that it isn’t out there, I haven’t been following this too closely.

  134. 134
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brian J:

    Easterbrook and McConnell are from the University of Chicago. Wilkinson is from UVa. Wood is from Texas. Kozinski is from Boalt.

  135. 135
    Cacti says:

    @Ridiculous: @Ridiculous:

    again, i really, honestly, don’t care who obama nominates

    Of course you don’t.

  136. 136
    Mark S. says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m reasonably sure the only opinion I have EVER expressed about Kagan is that she will probably, as Greenwald has suggested, shift the court to the right.

    Really? I don’t buy Greenwald’s interpretation of her work on the “unitary executive,” and in her testimony in her SG nomination she was emphatic that there should be judicial review for enemy combatants. She seems fairly solid on the 1st Amendment, her other major area of research.

    I have no idea how she’ll rule on criminal cases, I’d bet the farm she’s pro choice, and she’s probably sympathetic to gay rights.

  137. 137
    soonergrunt says:

    And if someone could tell me when it was that every last person on the planet completely lost their shit, I would really appreciate it.

    That was at 5:26 P.M. CST today.

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sweet jumpin’ jesus. I just saw that quote from Kurtz. I know there are the odd whispers about Souter and Lindsey Graham, even Herb Kohl, when people bother to remember he’s there. But has anyone ever suggested they cold-bloodedly ‘abandoned’ fatherhood to advance their careers? How ’bout Bob and Liddy Dole? Sarah and Todd are like rabbits, then they drag their school age children around the country as stage props.

  139. 139
    burnspbesq says:

    @aimai:

    Chris Stone is your uncle???

    I LOVED HIM!!! One of my three favorite professors. “Should Trees Have Standing” is an absolutely brilliant piece of outside-the-box scholarship.

  140. 140
    WereBear says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Mistah Kurtz, he brain dead.

    A penny for the old guy.

  141. 141
    ruemara says:

    Everyone lost their shit when you let kneegrows work alongside the perfect aryan race and wimmens out of the kitchen or the birthin’ cave.

    SATSQ

    & I’m still not clear on why most definitely Kagan will swing the court to the right.

  142. 142
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Mark S.: So what does it mean to “move the Court to the right”? That the votes will be 6-3?

    Does anybody really think she’s going to be comfortable hanging with Scalito and the boys?

    and p.s. Thanks for some actual discussion of the issues.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    I think there is slender speculative evidence, based on a slender record, that Kagan might move the court to the right on civil liberties in national securities cases. That is all.

    But that is an important issue to me, so that is what I have tried to look into.

    I seriously doubt she would move the court right on all issues or even most issues.

    Mr or Ms Ridiculous is truly ridiculous. The moniker fits.

  144. 144
    Mark S. says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    Does anybody really think she’s going to be comfortable hanging with Scalito and the boys?

    Maybe they can smoke cigars together after they overturn Brown, Roe, and Miranda all on the same day.

  145. 145
    Hal says:

    Sullivan : “David Brooks’ column today really helped crystallize for me my qualms about Elena Kagan. ” Ugh, he’s back to driving me up a wall again.

    What a weirdly unconservative argument Sullivan made today. That success is somehow not valid without failure. That Kagan by virtue of her successes without apparent sacrifice or failure some how make her a bad choice for the court because failure makes for a more well rounded person.

    Don’t conservatives always makes arguments for strict meritocracies and to ignore hard luck stories?

  146. 146
    gwangung says:

    I think there is slender speculative evidence, based on a slender record, that Kagan might move the court to the right on civil liberties in national securities cases. That is all. But that is an important issue to me, so that is what I have tried to look into. I seriously doubt she would move the court right on all issues or even most issues.

    You’re making sense.

    Stop that. We have a reputation to uphold.

  147. 147
    Tazistan Jen says:

    If I had to bet, I would bet that Kagan will *not* move the court to the right. Someone said earlier that lifetime appointments are very freeing, and that seems to be true. Justices often become more liberal when they have the time and freedom (and staff) to explore the issues fully. I can’t think of many who became more conservative.

  148. 148
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Mark S.: Well of course! What was I thinking? While playing poker of course. I’ll bet she plays poker.

  149. 149
    Lawnguylander says:

    The reason it’s important that only Yale and Harvard grads are being nominated lately is that there are a whole nine Supreme Court jobs, one of which comes open every few years. Think of all the tens of thousands of graduates of other good law schools who are being shut out of the Supreme Court. Some of you assholes obviously have no empathy for graduates of top non-ivy law schools. They are all fucked career-wise and probably all have to work at McDonalds instead of the Supreme Court.

  150. 150
    de stijl says:

    This is the article Kurtz was linking to in his tweet.

    My initial take is that he is a really bad headline writer and not necessarily requiring that a nominee have a spouse and children (the article is mostly a plea for more workplace flexibility for women with young children.)

  151. 151
    Uloborus says:

    Guys, I think Ridiculous is just a deliberate troll. There’s no arguments there, just insults from someone who claims to not care about the issue anyway.

    This is different from our usual trolls, who just have some strong opinion that doesn’t match with the headliners’ and everyone (including the troll) gets catty about. Often I think these opinions are just plain stupid, but you know, they have some point they’re trying to make. Ridiculous is just kinda trying to start a fight.

  152. 152
    Mike Kay says:

    @jl:

    I was astonished to see Greenwald quote an obviously dishonest Brooks column.

    your kiddin’?

    after all this time on B-J, you’re surprised to discover glen would do such a thing?

    remember how he mislead everyone on B-J about his financial ties with hamsher (PACs).

  153. 153

    @Tazistan Jen: You are absolutely correcto.:)

  154. 154

    @Mark S.: We must remember, Cole predicted there would be no HCR bill, him and BTD agreed in a blood oath, or some such. I think he predicted the “whitey tape” would destroy Obama’s candidacy also too, but I could be wrong about that. Personally, I feel assured mo better now that Kagan will move the court so left it falls off Malkin’s granite countertop and breaks her toe.

  155. 155
    colby says:

    “someone whose progressive qualifications can only be divined using augury and a Ouija board”

    Or by looking at her record of advocating giving Presidents a freer hand to increase regulatory power, campaigning against DADT and DOMA, working for Mikva and Marshall…

  156. 156
    Silver Owl says:

    I think the criteria is be a virginal white christian woman or a white christian conservative man that “appears” to boff his wife missionary style regularly but says a lot of stupid chit on a regular basis.

    LOL! It’s definitely not about law.

  157. 157
    Splitting Image says:

    And if someone could tell me when it was that every last person on the planet completely lost their shit, I would really appreciate it.

    As far as I can tell, the turning point was Super Tuesday, 2008. Hillary Clinton failed to stave off the challenge from her uppity challenger, and it became apparent that he had a serious chance to win it all.

    Nothing’s been the same since.

    Also, about that whole business of Elena Kagan “moving the court to the right”, you need to keep in mind that Stevens has been doing his job since I was two years old. He’s been observing every other justice since they joined the court and he knows exactly when to pounce to get one of the gang of five to break ranks with the other four.

    Nobody is going to be able to replace that, at least right away, and that is the real reason the court will appear to be more conservative after Stevens leaves. The court won’t actually shift very far unless Kagan turns out to be more right-wing than Anthony Kennedy, and I can’t see that happening.

    I also think that the whole business of trying to “stack the deck” in the court is largely a fool’s enterprise. The Republicans made something like 14 out of 16 nominations over a forty-year span and still have Kennedy blocking them from overturning Roe vs. Wade. That is a miserable failure by any standard. Bush vs. Gore aside, it’s possible to be grateful that the court is still as liberal as it is.

  158. 158
    mclaren says:

    20 January 1981. That was when every last person on the planet completely lost their shit.

    America was relatively sane up till then. After that, ketchup became a vegetable, the president wandered around the West Wing muttering “Klaatu barada nicto,” and the Secretary of the Interior explained that we didn’t need conservation of natural resources like forests because “God gave us these things to use. After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.”

  159. 159

    @mclaren:

    20 January 1981. That was when every last person on the planet completely lost their shit.

    For once I agree with you. The world will end soon now.

  160. 160
    policomic says:

    @aimai: I’ve also given up on LGM, which used to be part of my daily routine. The last straw for me was Charli Carpenter’s idiotic census post. But what irritated me about it was not just that I (and a lot of other commentors) thought she was dead wrong, but the way she responded to her critics, which is very similar to the Campos method: mischaracterize what those who disagree with you have said, imply that they are bad liberals (and probably bad people), and don’t own up to any errors, ambiguities, or omissions in what you originally posted. Farley, Davenoon, and Lemieux write some worthwhile stuff, but it’s not worth what the C + C Bullshit Factory does to my blood pressure.

  161. 161
    colby says:

    I, too, doubt that Kagan is going to “move the Court to the right”, if only because of the Rule of Five.

    With five conservatives on the Court (okay, one conservative and Four Insane Clown Posses), ANY nominee from the center to the left will be writing in the minority for another few years. Once that’s no longer the case, it won’t matter if Kagan is more or less liberal than Stevens, because the entire court will be more liberal just by virture of having the non-conservative majority that Stevens could not enjoy the last few years.

    So, unless Kagan is more conservative than Kennedy- and I’ve seen NO evidence of that- the Court will functionally stay as it is, until one of the Republican appointees leaves for whatever reason.

  162. 162
    LD50 says:

    @tim:

    Dissenting voices are not welcome here. Well, except by the proprieter, because folks like you and me keep threads going longer, as the regulars foam at the mouth trying to shut up or banish us.

    Don’t know what it is, but somehow the martyrdom routine just doesn’t suit you.

  163. 163
    tomvox1 says:

    BTW, Sullivan circa 1991:

    Not so long ago I thought this was an exaggeration about some fringe elements in the gay movement. Whatever the differences among gay men and lesbians, there was always a sense that everyone was essentially on the same side. Now I’m not so sure. It’s not so much that, within the gay world, there are now those who have assumed the rhetoric of the historic enemy. Nor even that, in the heat of battle, some have taken to desecrating others’ religious beliefs and practices, embracing the very forms of intolerance that homosexuals, of all people, have historically shrunk from. It is that they have attacked the central protection of gay people themselves. They have assailed the ability to choose who one is and how one is presented, to control the moment of self-disclosure and its content. They have declared that the bonds of common sympathy must be sacrificed to ideology, that the complexities of love and loyalty and disclosure can be resolved by the uniformity that is the classical objective of terror. The gleam in the eyes of the outers, I have come reluctantly to understand, is not the excess of youth or the passion of the radical. It is the gleam of the authoritarian.

    http://courageman1.blogspot.co.....uting.html

  164. 164
    Brachiator says:

    What It Takes To Be a Justice

    I think this dating agency skit from the British comedy show, Smack the Pony, nicely illustrates the nonsense in the contradictory BS “requirements” for a Supreme Court Justice.

  165. 165
    Joey Maloney says:

    Late to the party, but: brilliant. Simply brilliant.

    Mr. Cole, this is why I read your blog. Well, that and the suspense of when Tunch will kill and eat you.

  166. 166
    Brian J says:

    @Martin:

    That does make sense. It’s probably a (vicious?) cycle where the best of the best simply locate at the top few schools, and top few among the top few schools, no matter where they start off.

    @burnspbesq:

    Is that all? You’ve got a few names there, but my guess is, there are far more possible Court contenders with strong connections to three or four schools than there are contenders with connections to the rest of the schools. I’m not saying this is necessarily a good or bad thing. I’m simply saying that it doesn’t make sense for some people to complain that possible contenders aren’t being mentioned if there just aren’t that many people, for whatever reason, actually in contention.

  167. 167
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @policomic:

    mischaracterize what those who disagree with you have said, imply that they are bad liberals (and probably bad people), and don’t own up to any errors, ambiguities, or omissions in what you originally posted.

    There’s a _wide_ swath of that kind of attitude across the left. I think it arises from the idea that when you don’t you have power, all you have is principle, so your principles had better be ironclad, buddy, because that’s the full measure of who you are in this world. I can think of like 5-10 major bloggers I just couldn’t stand to read anymore over the past two years because of that habit. Some of them have actual principles but just never let anything go and never back down and never show less than full confidence. And some of them just fake the whole principle part.

  168. 168

    @Ridiculous:

    i just think it’s very darkly amusing to see a group of people who regularly and loudly congratulate themselves for their originality and iconoclasm immediately and reflexively denounce people who disagree with obama’s pick.

    Shit, that reminds me, it’s been a dog’s age since we’ve had a “Regularly and loudly congratulate ourselves on our originality and iconoclasm” thread. Sure, the open threads are nice, and I’m always up for pictures of Tunch and Lilly, but how ’bout some more “regularly and loudly congratulate ourselves on our originality and iconoclasm” threads. Also we need more threads where Cole talks about naked housecleaning. For some reason I can’t get enough of those, despite the medication.

  169. 169

    @tim:

    Welcome, Ridiculous.
    __
    You will now experience the full force of the Balloon Juice Echo Chamber Cool Commenters’ Club.
    Dissenting voices are not welcome here. Well, except by the proprieter, because folks like you and me keep threads going longer, as the regulars foam at the mouth trying to shut up or banish us.

    How long before tim starts telling us that we can’t handle the truth?

  170. 170

    @tomvox1:

    Also, too: It is really, really hard to know how a judge is going to rule once on the court, as well as the fact that their positions tend to evolve over time, at least in relation to the political changes in the country at large (see Justice Stevens, John Paul).

    Or for a better example, but one farther back in history, see Earl “We’d better put all of the filthy Japs in concentration camps” Warren who shifted so far to the left after being nominated to the court that the John Birch society agitated for his impeachment. OK, I realize that the BIrchers also thought that Eisenhower was a communist and that there was an international communist conspiracy to sap and impurity all of our precious bodily fluids. but it’s still pretty impressive considering that he almost became Ike’s VP.

  171. 171
    Anne Laurie says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    In fairness to Brooks, I think he implied that you couldn’t be a Justice if you didn’t come across as a boring career type.
    __
    That is correct—Brooks: “What we have is a person whose career has dovetailed with the incentives presented by the confirmation system, a system that punishes creativity and rewards caginess.”

    The shameless hypocrisy of David “BoBo” Brooks accusing anyone of being a “cagey careerist” ranks right up there with Rush Limbaugh complaining about drug-abusers being given a slap on the wrist. It raised him two ranks on my life list of “People I Would Very, Very Much Like to Kick in the Junk, If Only They Had A Junk to Be Kicked”.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    (I didn’t vote for him, I didn’t vote for anyone, and I frankly could give a fuck what happens to this country)

    Then go fuck yourself, Non-citizen.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    How long before tim starts telling us that we can’t handle the truth?

    I’m still waiting for tim to explain how he shot web.

  174. 174
    Et Tu Brutus? says:

    As the last person on the planet still in possession of their ‘shit’, I demand the appointment to the Supremes of someone attractive, preferably with nice legs and an erect carriage
    (redheads seem to generally have both, yes?Although a milky skinned brunette would also be fine. Did I mention gender? any of the three will do, so long as the first two criteria are satisfied)

  175. 175
    Batocchio says:

    From what I’ve read so far on Kagan, she’s not the best pick. However, there’s plenty more I need to read from/about her, and some of the attacks on her are just nuts.

  176. 176
    Pope Todd says:

    It’s not every person on the planet that has lost their shit, it’s just a majority of those in the US.
    And that happened a long time ago, long before you, I or anyone else alive there were born.

  177. 177
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    As to Sullivan, his idea of a reasonable risk seems to be barebacking while while infected with HIV. I’m not sure we should take him seriously.

  178. 178
    Rick Franks says:

    Why would anybody give a rodent’s rear what the equine behind Andrew Sullivan says? His idea of risk is unprotected sex.

  179. 179
    tim says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Well…you obviously can’t. ;)

    Also, and again: who, exactly is this “WE” of which you speak?

  180. 180
    tim says:

    @RobNYNY1957:

    Gasp! You’re not supposed to mention that! :O

  181. 181
    Surly Duff says:

    Sullivan is a twit. I am surprised he isn’t demanding that Kagan provide the doctor’s records to prove she isn’t Trig’s mother.

  182. 182

    […] Cole has the list. And it really does start to get just a bit absurd after a while, the more things people demand out […]

  183. 183
    Mad Kane says:

    Hilarious! Thanks for the laughs.

  184. 184

    […] What It Takes To Be a Jus­tice (Bal­loon Juice) […]

  185. 185

    […] of course people aren’t quite sure what they want. John Cole put together this list of what we’ve learned so far about “What It Takes to Be a Justice.” And it is […]

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  3. […] Cole has the list. And it really does start to get just a bit absurd after a while, the more things people demand out […]

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