GAG. (And Paul Krugman is just so, so mystified that so many progressives support Sanders. Be mystified no longer, dear professor.)
Dan Crawford gave me the news this morning before I’d already learned of it. He emailed me with the subject title: “Merrick Garland…here we go!” He linked, without comment, to the NYT article on the announcement.
UGH. I guess the idea is that there just aren’t enough super-establishment Supreme Court justices already. We definitely need one more.
And Krugman is just so, so mystified that so many progressives support Sanders.
I WANT TO SCREAM.
I’ll post at more length later today; I don’t have time right now. But at the risk of drawing attention to the attention of the Secret Service, in an unpleasant way, I will take the time right now to say to Obama: Drop dead.*
And I’ll take the time to note this: The title of the NYT article is “Obama Chooses Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.” Its subtitle? “Appeals Court Judge Is Respected by G.O.P.” Well, the G.O.P. that the Washington in-crowd hasn’t noticed isn’t all that popular right now with, um, some of the G.O.P.
*Na-na-no; this is said facetiously. The drop-dead part, that is. Please, Secret Service. Really. I don’t like Joe Biden all that much, either.
UPDATE: This blog post in Slate by someone named Michael Gerhardt, whom I’d never heard of before and who is not identified there by anything other than his name, makes me cringe.
This guy’s bottom line: Yup, can’t be a merit nominee to the Supreme Court unless you’ve been an intrinsic part of the Centrist Establishment in Washington for, say, several decades.
And interestingly narrow definition of merit, wouldn’t you say?
Okay, well, actually he is identified by more than his name. He’s a Centrist Establishment person. Just an educated guess, but still ….
Fittingly, the post title is, “Merrick Garland deserves to be on the Supreme Court.” Because what matters is what Merrick Garland deserves, not what the multitude millions of people whom the Supreme Court pretends don’t exist. Or just aren’t worth the time of such an august group. Or even a moment’s thought.
Then again, there is this hopeful note, also from Slate. It’s by Jim Newell, Slate’s main political analyst.
Added 3/16 at 6:32 p.m.
UPDATE TO UPDATE: Calmer now. Reread Jim Newell’s awesome article and agree with every word of it. Including why Obama almost nominated Garland to fill John Paul Stevens’ seat for real. Which pretty much sums up why I can’t stand Obama and don’t want a third Obama term in the person of a chameleon.
Added 3/16 at 7:10 p.m.
PS: Greg Sargent writes:
I’ll bet that a big part of his selection was that Garland was willing to go through the process knowing he probably won’t get to actually serve on the court, while a younger judge who could have another chance later might not want to.
In thinking about it more, I’m betting that that was a very big part. As in, none of the others would accept the nomination, and told Obama so.
Repubs apparently now think they can have the last laugh. Senate Repubs reportedly now are considering whether to confirm during the lame duck session after the election if Clinton wins. But of course, then Garland would be expected to withdraw if Obama does not withdraw his name saying that Clinton and the new (Democratic-controlled) Senate should handle it.
This post is starting to feel not like a blog post but like a blog.
Added 3/16 at 8:36 p.m.
PS TO PS: Yup. It’s been officially confirmed by go-to-Centrist Ruth Marcus: Garland resoundingly (her word) deserves to be confirmed, and what really matters is what Garland deserves.
Her piece is titled “A Supreme Court nominee too good for the GOP to ignore.” I’m not kidding. That’s its title. You really have to read this thing. The whole thing; you don’t want to miss the part about her running into him on the street after she became a well-known Washington Post journalist. Her piece apparently is not intended as a parody of a Washington insider’s view, although it does double duty as that.
Yup. This post is a blog unto itself.
Added 3/16 at 9:02 p.m.
It sure would be nice to see someone on the court from Michigan or Northwestern or Cal or Texas (Diane Wood!) or Wisconsin, but at least he has Midwest, middle class, public schooling roots and clerked for Brennan. I see that in the 1980s he taught antitrust at Harvard and practiced it at Arnold & Porter, which means he probably drank the “consumer welfare” Kool-Aid that contaminated antitrust law ever since brilliant Republican lawyers who got their professional teething fighting consumer claims coined that catchy term.
Speaking of consumer rights, I wonder if he believes in the concept of the “contract of adhesion,” which seems to me was destroyed by the boilerplate arbitration clauses ruling by the Scalia-dominated Supreme Court Republican majority?
What is this ridiculous fixation with Diane Wood? Man, I realize that she has had an extremely elite cheering section bordering on an outright propaganda machine pushing her for the Supreme Court almost since she proverbially walked over her grandmother to get the appeals court nomination in 1995. But her fan base is exactly that: extremely elite. Others know her for what she is: someone who knew exactly the right buttons to push as an appellate judge in order to position herself for elevation to the Supreme Court and someone who’s no progressive darling on much of anything else. Abortion rights? Got it! Pregnancy discrimination? Oooo, yah. Anything else? Probably not. At least for the first decade-plus of her tenure on the bench, until progressive politics seemed to change for a brief time with Obama’s election.
And anyone who thinks she hasn’t allowed herself to be a tool of her high-profile double-colleagues, on the bench and on the UC law school faculty when push came to shove, including (clearly) secretly, is wrong. When the chips are down against one of her own, it’s all for one and one for all. And a while back the chips were down, something that would have come out had Obama nominated her instead of Sotomayor and Kagan to the Court. She played a small role in it, but a role nonetheless.
She also was the one federal appeals court judge who back in (I think) 2004 testified to a congressional judiciary committee (I can’t remember which house of Congress) as spokesperson for a slew of federal appellate judges, against a proposed addition of a new subsection of one of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure to prohibit the by-then-widespread use of hidden opinions by federal appellate judicial panels—literally, hidden, and requiring that they never again be mentioned—to resolve appeals.
Weirdly, one of the two heroes in this saga was none other than Samuel Alito, who at the time was the federal appellate judge appointed by Rehnquist (a whole other issue, but I won’t get into right now) as head of the Appellate Rules committee. The other hero was a man named Patrick Schiltz, who is now a federal trial judge in Minnesota.
You can read all about this saga here:
(Schiltz is featured prominently in the book. He is, by the way, a G.W. Bush appointee to the bench.)
So what actually makes you think that Wood should be a Supreme Court justice? That she went to U-Texas rather than Harvard or Yale? How about, maybe, what she did after she graduated from law school and finished her Supreme Court clerkships? As opposed to, say, what these folks did:
The latter two reportedly were on Obama’s five-member shortlist.
I really, really didn’t want to spend the time it has taken for me to write this today. But I dropped what I was doing and did take the time. It was either that or continue to feel very, very queasy.
But here’s a tip, Urban Legend: Never, ever, EVER again sing the generic praises of a judge unless you actually know about the judge. Ever again.
PS: I played a little role in the hidden-opinions saga myself. I was the only person who Schiltz quoted and identified by name in his report that ended up playing the key role in the outcome who was neither a federal appellate judge nor a law prof. I’m at p.49 of the report titled Response: The Citation of Unpublished Opinions in Federal Courts of Appeals.
Here’s the right link to the Schiltz report:
I posted a bad link in my PS and had to delete it.
No F’n guts even when he has nothing to lose.
And anyone who thinks Clinton won’t renominate him–he is, after all, part of the in-crowd–and that her choice to replace Ginsburg will be someone who is not, is dreaming.
I can’t stand either one of these people.
Oh, wait. Clinton won’t renominate him. He’s not a woman. How could I forget.
When Republicans nominate justices who write $h!t like, “It’s NOT a tax, so we can rule on it; it IS a tax so it’s constitutional,” what difference does it make who makes the nomination?
Not sure I can agree with either Bev or Daniel. The descriptions appearing on multiple media sites such as the Guardian and Think Progress give Gardner a pretty liberal identity and emphasize his being more like the liberal justices than Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy. Descriptions seem to suggest that the Court would take on a 5 to 4 liberal weight. Seems not so bad. As far as Obama taking on a good fight I would suggest that Gardner is just the nominee that the Republicans will now have to come out swinging even more strenuously if they intend to not take any action. And how would any choice for SCOTUS be less than an a well establishedpaticipant in the judicial process? He didn’t choose Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan and choosing the head of ACLU, or someone with a similar background, wasn’t in the cards.
He’ll be more like the liberal justices than Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy? Wow! What progressive could ask for more!
Srinivasan would have been better. Seriously.
And btw, Jane Kelly and Paul Watford are federal appellate judges and have never been the head of the ACLU. Jeffrey Fisher worked for a while as a corporate lawyer in a Seattle mega-corporate law firm. He’s never been the head of the ACLU either.
Warren, could you elucidate on that odd comment?
He’s talking about Roberts’ opinion in the ACA case in 2013.
Hey, Bev; I bet the Republicans turn him down out of sheer cussedness and Hillary does a lot better than you predict although I do agree that the eventual nominee is not likely to have run the ACLU. It’ll be a little like Boehner’s turning down the “grand bargain”.
Yeah, I think maybe I agree. I just updated my post to add comments about, and links to, two Slate articles. Here’s the one that matters, by Jim Newell, Slate’s replacement for John Dickerson, who’s way better than Dickerson, in my opinion:
Yes; I give Judge Garland credit for being willing to play this role. He’s a smart man who undoubtedly understands the dynamic involved. The politics of the dance of the three branches has never been clearer. The only mystery to me in all of this is why it was not more clearly acknowledged earlier. Three dimensional checkers.
“I realize that she has had an extremely elite cheering section bordering on an outright propaganda machine pushing her for the Supreme Court almost since she proverbially walked over her grandmother to get the appeals court nomination in 1995. But her fan base is exactly that: extremely elite. Others know her for what she is: someone who knew exactly the right buttons to push as an appellate judge in order to position herself for elevation to the Supreme Court and someone who’s no progressive darling on much of anything else. Abortion rights? Got it! Pregnancy discrimination? Oooo, yah. Anything else? Probably not. At least for the first decade-plus of her tenure on the bench, until progressive politics seemed to change for a brief time with Obama’s election. . . . And anyone who thinks she hasn’t allowed herself to be a tool of her high-profile double-colleagues, on the bench and on the UC law school faculty when push came to shove, including (clearly) secretly, is wrong. When the chips are down against one of her own, it’s all for one and one for all.”
Wow. It’s a good thing you provide clear and convincing support for these strong allegations of deception, weakness and general lack of integrity. This is the angriest outburst I’ve ever seen on the blogs I’ve been following for about 15 years. And I’ll sing whatever praises I feel like about anyone anytime I feel like it, whether I have the kind of insider knowledge you have or not. If you don’t like them, it’s your post and you can feel free to delete them. It’s a great principle for building a following: insult the few people who bother to read your posts and take them seriously.
Let’s see: you “can’t stand” Obama, you obviously “can’t stand” either of the Clintons, so by implication you “can’t stand” the great majority of Democrats in the country who have voted for at least one of them. Especially those black folks, whose overwhelming loyalty to Obama and the Clintons shows they just aren’t ready for democracy. John Lewis? What a tool! Since nobody can stand Republicans, that leaves only people who precisely follow the Bernie Sanders formula and refuse to accept any alternative. Looks like it’s time for you to start looking for a country with a critical mass of people who meet a very tight set of political purity standards.
This absolutely is not the place, or for that matter even the time, for specifics. Wood is 65 years old and does not hang out any longer with the in folks in D.C., and was not being considered this time around for nomination to the Supreme Court. She’s exactly the kind of judge—exactly the kind of person—whom Hillary Clinton would nominate, and had Clinton won the presidency in 2008 she almost certainly would have been the nominee in 2009 or 2010. She’s really Hillary Clinton in a robe provided to her by Hillary Clinton’s husband although she had nothing in her professional background to recommend her for that position other than the skillful choice to work in some part of the Clinton administration (I can’t remember which part) for a couple of years, commuting between D.C. and her home in Illinois. She’s the right gender and she’s been the Women’s Movement judge on her appellate court. Perfect! But there’s that dang age thing now.
But back in 2009, when she was one of the Final Three, along with Sotomayor, to fill Souter’s seat, I actually did get into some specifics, in a lengthy comment, albeit using a pseudonym, on one of Slate’s discussion boards known as The Fray, which was dismantled and deleted from Slate’s servers four or five years ago.
I also remember getting into a heated exchange of emails at the time with, of all people, Glenn Greenwald, who at the time was writing for Salon and who wrote a piece there strongly backing Wood and strongly disfavoring Sotomayor.
I’m tempted here to say more, but really, this just isn’t the place.
Okay, well, maybe I’m fed up enough with your comment to say just a little bit more: Wood herself engaged in no illegal conduct, but eventually she did help conceal (albeit not in a way that amounted to illegality) that someone else did. The illegal conduct, all of it related, occurred over a period of several years, and in early 2003, after only some of it had occurred, there was a brief investigation into it by the Public Integrity Unit of one of the F.B.I.’s regional offices. The investigation was aborted in (if memory serves) the spring of 2003 when Attorney General John Ashcroft (understandably) transferred most agents (including the one investigating this; the investigation was at a nascent but still significant stage) in corruption-investigation units into anti-terrorism units throughout the country.
And please don’t misrepresent what I said to you, which is not that you can’t say whatever you want to say about a judge or anyone else.
As for the adoration of Obama by older and middle-aged blacks, I look forward to their reactions once it becomes known that he has now nominated to the Supreme Court someone who, quoting from Politico, is “(a) former prosecutor [who] often split with his liberal colleagues on criminal justice issues” and that, as noted elsewhere in articles yesterday believes both that prosecutors and police officers always act in good faith. If this guy is actually confirmed, he’ll be an Obama-appointed Samuel Alito on deference to law enforcement (including in what’s known as the “qualified immunity” doctrine in civil rights litigation against police and prosecutors), state and local prosecutors, and state-court judges. We’ll see then how well that Obama’s-the-second-coming thing holds up.
And here’s a shout-out to anyone interested in this particular issue regarding Garland: How does Garland feel about this 2006 Supreme Court opinion effectively removing whistleblower protection from prosecutors who suspect that a colleague prosecutor is knowlingly using false testimony by a police officer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcetti_v._Ceballos.
Just woderin’, y’know.
And as for their weddedness to Clinton, suffice it to say that blacks who regularly use the internet for news and for social media—i.e., millennials—aren’t so resistant to maybe reevaluating her. Try this on for size (scroll down a bit in this article): http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/hillary-clintons-no-good-very-bad-weekend.html#
And maybe check this out, too, while you’re in the mood: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/hillary-clinton-2016-whats-wrong-with-hillary-213722
I’ve been following Angry Bear is one of 3 blogs I’ve been followin for many years (Krugman and de Long are the others). I just wanted to say that I feel the overall quality and tone of Angry Bear has significantly diminished lately in the past year or so.
Hmm. Check out my response directly to urban legend. Then get back to us.
He was nominated to be unlike the hypothetical cartoon “obama nominee” that McConnell was protesting. I don’t think that this is because Obama is STILL flailing around, looking for common ground. I think that he wanted to throw the politicization of the process by the Republicans into high relief. My guess is that if Hillary or Bernie is elected, his name will be withdrawn…. To a great degree, Obama has the freedom to do this because even replacing Scalia with a moderate will bring the court significantly leftward. This is why the conservatives had a seizure when Scalia died….
Jim, Garland would not bring the court leftward in the absolutely critical realm of criminal justice issues, including jurisdiction to challenge via federal habeas corpus petition anything state-court criminal convictions or sentences on grounds that some aspect that lead to the result was unconstitutional–including police or prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel, and including immunity of cops and prosecutors from civil liability in civil rights lawsuits.
That in fact reportedly was a big plus for him in Obama’s opinion in 2009 and 2010 when he was being considered to replace Souter and Stevens–even though the Dems controlled the Senate.
Thomas Friedman, of all people, had a terrific line about Obama in his NYT column a day or two ago, something like, “Let’s face it; you wouldn’t want President Obama to be the one selling your house for you.” The column, which really was quite good, was about the TPP, and what Clinton should say about it now. But that comment about Obama was hilarious, and absolutely spot-on.
Truth be told, I’ve thought for about seven years now that Obama’s primary concern is to be accepted as a moderate by the People Who Matter. I don’t think he cares all that much about anything else, really.
Garland should not be on the Supreme Court as an appointee of a Democratic president.
Have only visited Angry Bear occasionally up till now. My bad. I’m now a confirmed fan of Beverly Mann. My kind of liberal!
Please do not put another nickel in her.
Thanks, heysailor! Appreciate it. And welcome to the AB Comments threads. Run75441 usually welcomes new commenters, but not this time, I guess.
Run and I are friends in real life. Or were.