"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WSJ: Ruthless People -- Libs to Ginsburg: Drop dead

This was one of those article that made you want to read the first paragraph twice to make sure you understood that the liberals want Ruth Gingsburg to retire from the Supreme Court more than conservatives so that Obama can appoint her successor.  There is one small problem in that Republicans can say no to the Obama choice and filibuster since the Democrats set the standard for filibustering Republican judicial nominees.  Turn about is fair play.

Looks like the Democrats had no idea the losses in 2010 were going to be that large or bet they would have put pressure on her earlier.  With the 2012 election on the horizon chances of a liberal Democrat making it to SCOTUS as an appointee of Obama is slim to none.  Not sure how many Democrats would even go along with an Obama pick at this point.

It is very simple -- no budget with cuts = no more nominees.  Would Democrats sacrifice nominees not to do a budget?  Wouldn't be a surprise at all.   This could get really interesting.  Looks like the Dems shot themselves in the foot on Gingsburg by not putting pressure on her to leave before the 2010 elections, but she doesn't seem to want to retire so they are stuck which is too funny.
JULY 6, 2011, 3:11 P.M. ET

Ruthless People
Libs to Ginsburg: Drop dead.
Some legal observers would like to be rid of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Associated Press reported over the weekend. These aren't conservatives who find her too activist but liberals who find her too old and worry that if she doesn't get out soon, a Republican president will get to replace her:
Ginsburg could retire now and allow [President] Obama to name a like-minded successor whose confirmation would be in the hands of a Democratic-controlled Senate. "She has in her power the ability to prevent a real shift in the balance of power on the court," said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine law school. "On the other hand, there's the personal. How do you decide to leave the United States Supreme Court?" . . .
But some on the left say that the focus on the personal is misplaced. Ginsburg needs to put self-interest aside and act for the good of the issues they believe in, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy wrote recently. Kennedy said 72-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer should leave, too.
Too much is at stake and both life and politics are too fickle to take the risk that everything will work out as the justices desire, Kennedy said.
David Garrow, a Cambridge University historian who follows the court, said Ginsburg's situation points to an institutional problem for the court, "the arguably narcissistic attitude that longer is better." . . .
Justices sometimes look at electoral projections when considering retirement, he said, adding that Ginsburg probably still could decide to retire next summer if Obama's electoral prospects seem shaky.
These guys don't seem very confident about Obama's re-election prospects, do they? Interestingly, quite a few conservatives we talk to are correspondingly pessimistic about the Republicans' ability to defeat Obama. We're with the libs on that one, though only very tentatively.

How can Erwin Chemerinsky miss you when you won't go away?
What's odd about the demands for Ginsburg to take one for the team--really, to sacrifice the remainder of her professional life for the team--is that as crassly political as the people making them are in the view of the law, they don't seem to have given much thought to the politics of confirming a Ginsburg successor. 
The most obvious problem is that although Democrats hold a majority of seats in the Senate, it is not a big enough majority to control the body. If Ginsburg were to retire a year hence, Republicans could easily prevent the confirmation of an Obama-nominated replacement in the four months before the election by using the Democrat-pioneered tactics of waging a smear campaign and filibustering to prevent a confirmation vote. With 47 Republican senators, they could lose as many as 6 and still sustain a filibuster.

Excerpt: Read More at The Wall Street Journal

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