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February 13, 2016

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Let's say he was controversial and not in a good sense. His deeds will outlive him (and most of us too). Let's hope (against all reason) we will not see his likes again.

Already noting that Republicans are saying that the next President should nominate his successor, and that the Senate "should ensure this".

Is that even possible ?

I guess in the sense that they won't approve any Obama nominee, it is.

If the GOP gets Trump as a nominee and decides to slow roll Obama's nominee they could end up with a Hilary (or Sanders!) nomination and a Democrat controlled senate. If they want to hedge their bets, they might take an Obama nominee while they control the senate.

If I was Obama I would nominate an Hispanic, the more radical the better, and the dare the GOP to block his/her nomination in the midst of an election where they already have major problems with the Latino community.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says: "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." But while this is a predictable knee-jerk reaction, it does put the Republicans in a difficult position.

Sans Scalia, the Court looks positioned to make a number of rulings with one less conservativce justice. At best, there will be some 4-4 split decisions, failing to overturn situations that conservatives like. At worst, those 4-4 splits will fail to overturn lower court decisions that they dislike. And there are a lot of controversial cases on the current docket.

And meanwhile, I look for some serious (albeit not in the sense of seriousness) political focus on the fact that there is an appointment to be made. It might even shove immigration and Obamacare off center stage at the next Republican debate.

GOP debate is tonight is it not?

Well, well. If there is a god, he sure has a puckish sense of humor.

Lindsey Graham was on my TV just now, declaring that Obama has to nominate a "consensus choice", which Graham defined, when pressed, as "somebody that at least 25 Republicans can vote for." That leaves Ted Cruz out, so let us be grateful for small favors.

--TP

"If I was Obama I would nominate an Hispanic, the more radical the better, and the dare the GOP to block his/her nomination in the midst of an election where they already have major problems with the Latino community."

They'd like more nothing more over the next 8 months than to gin up long-ago immigration charges (via House Committee, INS not invited) against whomever radical wetback/spic (their words, I guarantee it, through their proxies, basically Ann Coulter's nativist twat) nominee's mother Obama cares to introduce.

Actually, I think Obama should nominate himself, and if confirmed, more likely assassinated, hand over the Presidency to Joe Biden for the duration.

Or, Obama should nominate Rush Limbaugh. His briefs will actually be written on his jockey shorts, the American Tea Party parchment.

He'll be confirmed. Rubio won't show up for the vote, having a panic attack.

Hilarity will ensue.

Which is better than savage violence on a national scale, the only other choice available.

The Bundys are sure to be releasing an opinion of Scalia's replacement through their lawyer, by tomorrow.

And if I were Hillary and Bermie I would start talking about how much respect and admiration they had for Brennan and Marshall. On the flip side, the GOP turnout is like to be a bit bigger because of this.

Although I guess if McConnell has already said he will it allow a vote then maybe the discussion is already over.

NOT allow

"Sans Scalia, the Court looks positioned to make a number of rulings with one less conservativce justice"

The rulings will be mysteriously delayed until after the election, not unlike the mysterious outcome of the Bush/Gore stolen election.

You think Justice Thomas is sitting over there just counting sheep? He's maneuvering right now.

I nominate Anita Hill.

Though Justice Scalia aspired to greatness, Bush v Gore will forever be his epitaph.

"Although I guess if McConnell has already said he will it allow a vote then maybe the discussion is already over."

The Founders had an answer to the fact that I am not represented.

Massive violence and killing.

Reid and Sanders take the high road, conceding Salia's brilliance. See TPM.

John Cole, a former Board member and contributor to Redstate, Hillary mocker, all-around dyspeptic, goes the other way.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/02/13/good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish-3/

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/scalia-death-2016-implications

Tony P: Lindsey Graham was on my TV just now, declaring that Obama has to nominate a "consensus choice", which Graham defined, when pressed, as "somebody that at least 25 Republicans can vote for."

Then Obama should nominate somebody like Sri Srinivasan, who was approved unanimously by the Senate for his current position on the DC Circuit. It should be hard for the Republicans to argue that he was acceptable to everyone in 2013 but is dead on arrival today.

"It should be hard ... to argue ..."

When in recent times, forever, has it been hard for Republicans to argue any damn-fool thing and have it come back negatively on them electorally?

"Dead On Arrival" is in the Republican platform and the Senate rules, as long as the black moderate is President.

You think Srinivasen, whatever his biases, wants to spend the next number of months having right wing racist vermin mispronounce his name far and wide.

Does he have kids?

I'd hire security if I were him, even if he slants conservative.

Obama, a very smart, canny moderate will probably nominate him, as wikipedia updates immediately:

"On February 13, 2016, within hours after the death of Supreme Court of the United States Justice Antonin Scalia, many rumors were circulating that Srinivasan was topping the list of potential replacement nominees President Barack Obama is going to put forward to replace Scalia."

I think that Obama should head-fake that he's appointing Trump, because "you need someone who can convince GOPers that he's one of them, but really isn't", then go ahead with a real nomination.

Just to fnck them up.

before anybody starts in on saying the Dems started it with The Borking, read some history.

The Senate, by serially Borking a succession of Obama nominees for Scalia's replacement will hand the Presidency, and possibly the Senate, to the dems.

McConnell is in a tough spot.

Scalia has faked his death, with help from Texas conservatives. After all, if they can actually kill a guy from the grassy knoll, they can fake killing a guy while he's receiving a massage with an unhappy ending at a hunting splodge.

Trump/Cruz will win and appoint some other rude monster as Justice and then Scalia will emerge bedraggled, with arrows in his back, his appendages reduced, from the West Texas hill country and claim he was kidnapped by liberal, gay Comanches and made Hillary's wife in the interim.

Trump/Cruz will then nominate Scalia, again, for the tenth Justice on the Court.

I don't celebrate the death of anyone except in the case of those boss fights with gave me a particularly rough time in whatever video game I happen to be playing at the time.

I extend my condolences to his wife and especially to his children. I remember my own father's death quite well, and I've no doubt they feel the same now as I did then especially since in both cases it was sudden and unexpected, thus giving them no chance to prepare. For their loss, I am truly, deeply sorry. I would not wish such things on my worst enemy. The emptiness in the aftermath of a death like this is, both literally and metaphorically, Hell.

But for the loss of what he stood for while performing his duty as a justice of the Supreme Court, there will be no wailing, no gnashing of teeth, and no tears. His opinions on gay marriage, reproductive rights, and capital punishment are ones I am pleased to see gone, though I would never advocate for their removal in this fashion. I will not mourn their absence.

For his family, his friends, and his loved ones though? I still believe the death of one diminishes all. And because that, I will say: rest in peace, Your Honor. If there is a hereaftermath, I hope you have found comfort there.

For his family, his friends, and his loved ones though? I still believe the death of one diminishes all.

I call bs. We're all going to die, and in this death we see the light. And he saw that it was good,

On the other hand, Areala, like Girl of the North Country, is a better person than I, and it is they and their better natures on whose behalf a less mean world will come to be.

"boss fights WHICH".

"and because OF that". Where's the edit button? :)

Charles Pierce covers the ground:

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a42134/antonin-scalia-death-charles-pierce/

John Cole, a former Board member and contributor to Redstate, Hillary mocker, all-around dyspeptic

... a thoughtful veteran who eventually noticed that the claims of his Redstate tribemates were indefensible, and actually changed his mind in response to Popperian falsification, an event more rare than the detection of a Higgs boson or the bell-ring gravity waves from merging black holes.

@Count: "Scalia has faked his death, with help from Texas conservatives."

Did you notice that the news report said:

When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Not "Scalia's body", but "a" body.

Could it be one of those "dead girl/live boy" things, with Scalia in the RWNJ witless protection program? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

I'm celebrating his death. He was a harmful person who abused his power to do harm to all of us. I'm glad he is dead.

I was actually really, uncharacteristically mild in choosing the post title.

When Scalia was nominated, when we asked my former college roommate -- then in law school -- about him, she said he was "the Antichrist". I never saw a real reason to think she was wrong.

Yes, peculiar word choice ... "a" body.

As if Maggie Smith, feigning the vapors and her mouth puckered all astringent lemony as she attempts some household power play, and pointing to the drawing room without looking, was announcing the fact to Hercule Poirot.

Perhaps the body is Ruth Bader Ginsberg's, and the news will be kept from the White House, as Scalia dips into hiding, and the President will nominate some closet conservative in moderate clothing, as another one of his endless attempts to bring us together, but for the forseeable future the votes will be 6-3, or at least 5-4, to kill those with pre-existing conditions by directing the spew from lead plumbing directing into their mouths, on account of the government nearest you can murder you more expeditiously, on the further account of Thomas Jefferson being in one of his moods long ago.

Scalia died at a hunting lodge in Texas. I want to know where Dick Cheney was.

I'm torn. On one hand, Scalia demonstrated an ability to survive a hunting trick with Cheney unharmed. On the other, that could just mean Cheney was biding his time...

*hunting trip

I have to say I agree with Areala, tempting though it is to take the John Cole line. Surely part of the fight against the inhumanity exemplified in various Scalia opinions is to retain one's own humanity ?

That said, I fully approve Cole's penultimate paragraph:
"In his death, he will do us one final favor- to further demonstrate how phony originalism is, as right-wing Constitution fetishists spend the next couple weeks just flat out making shit up on how a Supreme Court Justice is appointed, as they attempt to come up with a way to deny Obama the right to appoint a justice this year."

I prefer hunting "trick".

A perhaps more nuanced assessment of Scalia from a liberal perspective:
https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/02/13/el-nino-scalia/

The point about his 6th amendment opinions is well made.

OT Why should anyone listen to John Cole?

Contrition is commendable, but if one has been so wrong about something so gravely important - why can't they just STOP TALKING? And why should we keep listening to them?

The same goes for the execrable Andrew Sullivan - and if you think that's harsh I dare you to google some blog entries from 2003 onwards.

Scalia does have some decent jurisprudence from a liberal perspective, although clearly outweighed by the rest. If I had to rank him among the conservative SCOTUS justices he recently served with in terms of which is "best for liberals" he'd be in the middle. Behind Kennedy and Roberts and ahead of Alito and Thomas.

That would be an interesting rankng actually. Kennedy first for auberge fell and his jurisprudence on homosexuals rights? Or Roberts for saving Obama care? Guess Id have to go with Kennedy there. With Thomas fourth and Alito last. Oh Harriet Miers, where art though?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/14/antonin-scalia-supreme-court-legacy-opinions-partisan-america

Can anyone account for the whereabouts of the notorious RBG at the time of Scalia's death?

:)

Thanks Areala for remembering that life is not 100% politics.

As an aside, I'm not sure the cases of John Cole and Andrew Sullivan are completely comparable. Cole somehow seemed to be able to change his mind without resenting everyone else for his own need to do so. See also McArdle.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/scotus-precedent-senate-fight

The problem with Sullivan's changes of mind was that they were so damn frequent. It's admirable to be able to admit you were wrong - especially after espousing the bad idea really passionately.

But after the 27th mea culpa, it's hard not to think, "Well if your judgment and logic are so terrible, maybe you'd soberer to shut up and listen and think for a bit".

Re Scalia, a friend tells me there is precedent for appointing a justice during a senate recess. I'm assuming that's a no-go as it would guarantee losing the general election - if it didn't cause outright civil war.

"Soberer" = *do better*. Though actually it might be more to the point.

On the other hand, Areala, like Girl of the North Country, is a better person than I, and it is they and their better natures on whose behalf a less mean world will come to be

Beloved Count, you give me too much credit. While of course I sympathise with the grief of any of his family members, and like Areala grieve to this day the death of my own father, I regard Scalia, and all (OK, maybe most of) his works, with horror and dismay. I believe that he and his kind have contributed disproportionately to the degradation of the American body politic, and therefore to some extent of the American project ("a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal").

When I read his comments on torture here the die was finally and definitively cast, and so I am pretty sure the world is a better place without him. On the other hand, given the current state of affairs, and unless Obama is adroit enough, there is no saying that what comes after him will necessarily be any better...

I gotta admit, I'm *stunned* at how quickly Republicans went to playing Calvinball with the Constitution about this.

wj, you said McConnell's statement was "predictable knee-jerk reaction", but I don't even get *how*.

I mean, one of the driving fears for Democrats during the 2008 Presidential campaign was that Justice Stevens wouldn't make it to February 2009. We sure as hell didn't relax in early 2008 because Bush was a "lame duck" who wouldn't try to replace Stevens if he died. Nor would that have been our "knee-jerk reaction".

How is "your Presidenting doesn't count!" the obvious response to a SCOTUS vacancy?!? Clearly you're correct that it *is*, for many Republicans, because too many are having that exact reaction at the same time, but what thought process has gotten them there?

This, from a former front pager's FB, was fascinating

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/02/13/3749464/the-simply-breathtaking-consequences-of-justice-scalias-death/

Of course, reading about this, one would think that Obama has a week or two, so I was surprised to learn that the longest time for 150 days or so, and Obama has twice that left.

Lithwick has this article about potential qualified candidates,

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2016/02/obama_s_supreme_court_shortlist_is_full_of_great_candidates.html

and I was disappointed there wasn't a Hispanic there, cause part of me wants Obama to nominate another liberal Hispanic and toss a stink bomb in the Republican nomination process, though I imagine that is impossible because Sotomayor was the latest. Still, one can dream...

I'm stunned that anyone would think the Senate would cede the court to a President who would be king. Lots if artificial hand wringing.

@ Doctor Science -

Isn't the GOP's MO these days just to stake out the most extreme position as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and then double down? The logic being that they then position the terms of the debate as far in their court (so to speak) as possible.

And it works. The current debate is now about whether Obama is within his rights to even try to appoint a justice. Of course, Democrats are saying "Yes obviously he is," but now it's too late: it's already a contested issue. So proposing a moderate is already positioned as a bold, polarising move, and prposing a liberal as an outrageous one.

It may be playground politics, but it works every single time, so why would they stop?

"Who would be King"?!? Marty, you should examine where you're getting your news & opinions, because that is patent nonsense.

If you're talking about Executive Orders, Obama is on the low side for presidents since the 19th century.

I've seen various paranoid fantasies about Obama's "monarchical ambitions" floating around for years now, but they are *clearly* preposterous. You need to get better at the smell test.

Linda Hirshman at the WaPo explains that if the Senate blocks Obama's SCOTUS nomination, he wins anyway -- because most of the circuit courts are filled with his appointees (as is normal toward the end of a 2nd term).

I'm stunned that anyone would think the Senate would cede the court to a President who would be king. Lots if artificial hand wringing.

No one had a problem thinking the Senate would do it for Bush. Or is being emperor different?

I guess The only thing that will get the GOP to confirm an Obama Nominee at present is if the consequences of not confirming are worse than confirming. The only thing that comes close is losing a presidential election that they might have otherwise won. Since we won't have a sense of that until late summer at the earliest, nothing will happen until then in terms of Senate movement. Perhaps at best a lame duck GOP senate confirms Obama's nominee after they lose the presidential election

Even then, if they hold the senate they may wait, so we may have a full term and a half of an eight member Court.

The punditocracy talks about "lanes" in the GOP primary, and their "establishment lane" emphatically excludes He, Trump. Yet in last night's debate He, Trump admonished The GOP Establishment to do exactly what it is proposing to do: "delay, delay, delay!" The other five clowns in the car agreed, and then some.

To his credit, Jeb! went so far as to admit that Obama has every right to nominate a replacement for Scalia. It was big of Jeb! to agree with the Constitution, as his implicit acknowledgement that Obama is constitutionally the President will hurt him with The Base.

The Cruzader was asked whether, if elected president, he would accept the same limitation he insists on for Obama, namely no SCOTUS nominations in a presidential election year. And he ... what, did you really expect that eely, oily, slimy god-botherer to actually answer the question?

Even Yertl, aka Mitch McConnell, knows that Jeb! is correct: the GOP can't cow Obama into forgoing a nomination. So He, Trump's position is Yertl's strategy: "We shall delay him in the hearings; we shall delay him on the floor; we shall never surrender, y'all."

In light of the supposedly-divided GOP's unanimity on the issue, Obama's choice is constrained to "who is willing to sit in limbo for a year?" Obama himself may have no more f*cks to give, but he cannot dragoon anybody who is less than heroically public-spirited into accepting the nomination.

--TP

"Isn't the GOP's MO these days just to stake out the most extreme position as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and then double down? The logic being that they then position the terms of the debate as far in their court (so to speak) as possible.

And it works."

Adam is right. That's exactly what they do. They make up their own self-serving dishonest and frequently hypocritical reality, their base believes it, the media treas it like a legitimate point of view and the Democrats end up in a defensive position. The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.

Doc, the executive order discussion isn't a question of how many, it is a question of what. He has purposefully and with astounding hubris rewritten laws. Maybe you should put a few brain cells into the longer term implications of a President simply telling the executive branch to stop enforcing any law he doesn't like. He is trying to get a legacy he couldn't achieve. And now he killed a Supreme.

A man who would be king.

Marty: And now he killed a Supreme.

Marty, I see a mind rolling around loose on my screen. It seems to be yours. Let me know if you need it back.

--TP

Adam:

The speed and near-unanimity with which the GOP went to "lame duck Presidents don't get SCOTUS appointments! It's a rule!" made me realize that there's something else involved, and it's intra-party politics.

Currently in the GOP, every incumbent is vulnerable to attacks from the right. It's thus in the interests of each individual GOP Senator to promise to stonewall Obama re: SCOTUS, regardless of whether it's better for the party (much less the country) for them to actually, ya know, do their jobs.

Justice Kennedy was confirmed in an election year. That really should end the debate but craven hypocrisy means nothing in national politics.

Doc, the executive order discussion isn't a question of how many, it is a question of what. He has purposefully and with astounding hubris rewritten laws. Maybe you should put a few brain cells into the longer term implications of a President simply telling the executive branch to stop enforcing any law he doesn't like.

...this does nothing to address your claim that we shouldn't expect the Senate to "hand SCOTUS to" a President with autocratic ambitions, as - again - Bush II's recent experiences suggest precisely the opposite. Or is it somehow meaningfully different to announce you'll not enforce a law as written than to state that a law as written doesn't mean what it says, so you'll be enforcing a different policy instead?

Justice Kennedy was the last in a string of nominations stretching well back into the previous year and completed by February. Nuance is important. So I'm ok if Obama nominates three people and the nominee gets confirmed next October.

"Now he killed a Supreme"

You are either insane or trolling.

@ Doctor Science -

Right. But what I don't get is why they don't seem to pay any price for this sort of thing. What real price did they pay for the debt ceiling shenanigans, the sequester and the government shutdown?

In my (admittedly not hugely informed) understanding, the inherent flaw in the Madisonian system - that the out party under divided government has both incentive and power to govern badly - has generally been avoided because governing badly itself has an electoral price.

Is polarisation responsible for both increased obstructionism and the failure to penalise it? Because the electorate is so partisan that this kind of behaviour in office doesn't actually change very many voters' allegiances?

So I'm ok if Obama nominates three people and the nominee gets confirmed next October.

That would require an up-or-down vote, and I just plain don't see that happening so long as obstructionism as advertised continued.

Which leads to an interesting point if we're looking at this strictly in terms of historical precedents (and not, ya know, the Constitution - that wouldn't be very Originalist of us, would it?): no SCOTUS nominee has languished more than 125 days w/o action one way or the other by the Senate. Fortunately, consistency only matters sometimes.

you said McConnell's statement was "predictable knee-jerk reaction", but I don't even get *how*.

Dr S, consider that Mcconnell started Obama's first term by saying that their #1 priority was making him a 1 term President. Which is to say, opposing anything and everything he favored. That makes opposing even the possibility of him nominating someone, before anyone has even been suggested as a possiblity, look like a knee-jerk to me.

In 2008, Democrats would have been reluctant to approve someone that Bush might have put forward. But reject them sight unseen? That was not my impression -- admittedly very much from the outside.

I'm stunned that anyone would think the Senate would cede the court to a President who would be king. Lots if artificial hand wringing.

Oh come on, Marty! To pick just one example, Sri Srinivasan was confirmed by the Senate in 2013 by a 97-0 vote. Does he suddenly and magically become a terrible nominee? How?

The only reason I can see, in his case, is raw petulance. Or does he have some particular opinion since his appointment to the Appeals Court which offends you? If so, what was it?

Yeah nv, and no lame duck president has nominated a Supreme in 80 years. Pick your precedent.

Wj, I belief that he was not confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court?

Marty seems to have a *hint* as to the real nature of Obama's Imperial reign.

The answer can be found in the long-form birth certificate, in the later addendum where Obama was secretly adopted and made heir of the Hawai'ian Imperial family.

So now Obama is "Emperor of Hawai'i and Conqueror of the Haoles".

Suck it, conservadorks. McCain *could* have prevented this, if he hadn't have wimped out of the surfing contest with Obama (a traditional method of settling the Hawai'ian Imperial succession). But McCain brushed it off, and wiped out anyway.

It really is terrible how the GOP allowed ONE family to become near-royalty, with father, kid, sibling, all lining up for the presidency, but Pres. Malia would probably be mostly okay.

And, in general, the last seven years have been a as much Obama's obstinance as much as the GOP. So the price is Trump and Sanders.

As usual, any discussion of Obama's clear and continuing illegal and unprecedented abuse of power is greeted with mocking, because the Left knows no other way to have a discussion. I can't understand why anyone would be angry. Conservadorks? Really? "Suck it" is how we talk now?

Marty: ... no lame duck president has nominated a Supreme in 80 years. Pick your precedent.

What's wrong with the Constitution?

--TP

Conservadorks? Really? "Suck it" is how we talk now?

Come on Marty, the clue's in the name. She's Snarki, Child of Loki. It's like the scorpion in the tale of the scorpion and the frog, she can't help it, it is her nature. Plus, we wouldn't really want her to help it, would we? Life would be considerably more boring without her.

Yeah nv, and no lame duck president has nominated a Supreme in 80 years. Pick your precedent.

BS as stated. Either by lame duck we're talking post-election, which means Obama has plenty of time before he's a lame duck, or we're talking 2nd-term, in which case Bush II nominated both of his SCOTUS picks as a lame duck. I know of no common usage of "lame duck" as "in their last year in office as dictated by term limits".

You mean to say no nominee has been successfully appointed in an election year for eighty years. Which, yes, carefully dances around Kennedy being confirmed 28 years ago almost to the day.

But at the end of the day, what you're saying, Marty, is that there is historical precedent for the occurance of what you're suggesting as unreasonable, but there's no historical precedent for the occurrence of what I'm suggesting as unreasonable? Got it.

I didn't think Obama would be a lame duck until someone else was elected. That's 9 months away.

As always and ever, I need to refresh after reading lots and lots of comments so as not to be redundant with my comments.

But if you do that, then the rest of us would be under an obligation to do so likewise. Shudder! ;-)

Actually NV, I'm suggesting that appointing Supremes is so political at this point that, were the situation reversed, the Democrats would not confirm a new one at this point. Any "well this happened" just doesn't take into account that was then, not now.

Thing is, Marty, the Republicans have poisoned the well at this point. You know as well as I do that they'd have been making essentially the same argument had this happened six months ago.

And even if you think the Democrats would have the spine to try that now (and don't point back to Bork - you're damned right, things have changed) it's frankly not credible.

And even if it were, it doesn't matter, because it's not the right thing to do. As the Republicans used to like to point out, elections have consequences... right?

What's the argument really? They'll do whatever they can within the rules insofar as it's not politically damaging. All the talk of whether it's right or wrong is mostly subjective, perhaps to the point of meaninglessness. It's just about who's going to be pissed off.

NV, hsh's point being correct, the concept that the GOP has poisoned the well is laughable. Start with his inauguration speech and read every word Obama has said, and everything he's done, the message is crystal clear, his way or the highway and any disagreement makes you bad. So why would any Republican accept his moral authority or right to govern at this point? He fing lectured the supremes at the sotu. Why should he get to pick one.

The Founders, in their wisdom, could have stipulated that Justices be selected by seniority, or by competitive examination, or by lot. They chose to make it an explicitly political process.

So hairshirt is absolutely right, and even Marty (his dementia about "killing a Supreme" aside) has a point to some extent: They'll do whatever they can within the rules insofar as it's not politically damaging.

The job of the Democrats, alone and unaided by a mass media that insists on pretending the GOP is still sane, is to make the GOP stance as politically damaging as possible.

And if the nation doesn't reject the GOP and all its works, then may He Who Gathered Scalia Unto Himself yesterday help us all.

--TP

Marty:

Because he's President, and it's his Constitutional role. Sorry you don't like our system of government, and prefer ad hoc partisan policies to the Constitution.

Also, the idea that GOP-well-poisoning started strictly after Obama's inauguration is perfectly laughable, as is the notion that Obama dictated terms instead of seeking compromise.

That being said, your comment is pretty much flatly at odds with hsh's despite your calling it correct. You're still trying to argue that this is about the Senate Republican argument being based in ethics and just cause. Hsh's comment was about can, not ought.

We may be wandering into intractable territory where my deontological leanings run afoul something that looks an awful lot like virtue ethics on your side.

hsh:

Ofc. The argument is entirely rhetorical, in that the Republicans want to obstruct w/o looking like obstructionists; it's just a matter of finding a fig leaf - of any size - so that they can avoid political damage. Marty is, alas, carrying water for them in this regard.

Why should he get to pick one? For the same reason every other President has nominated justices to the Supreme Court when necessary: it's in his job description to fill vacancies when they happen, and it's in the best interest of the Judicial branch and our own country to be operating with a full house so as to prevent a 4-4 deadlock over an important issue.

That it happens at a time deemed inconvenient to the opposition party is unfortunate for them, but it can be dealt with in two ways: maturely or childishly. McConnell et al have already declared their intentions on that ground preemptively. When that happens it's time for the adults in the room to step in and explain how the rules work.

The mature thing to do would be to announce a desire to work with the president to determine the best nominee for the position. That's how real men would behave. A pity so many of those claiming to work for we the people have forgotten that.

"Why should he get to pick one?" Grow up. You're better than that.

The GOP majority has all the rights to reject an Obama nominee BY VOTING AGAINST HIM OR HER. That's quite different from REFUSING TO EVEN CONSIDER A VOTE.
But voting someone down would put them on the record and likely show their hypocrisy (if they e.g. had confirmed that same person for another federal higher court position not too long ago with no or negligible objections).

I'm still not hearing any good reason why this would hurt Republicans electorally when the debt ceiling, government shutdown etc. didn't really.

Democrats seem to be hopeless at squeezing political capital out of these antics.

I have always been a fan of using charts to clarify
http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/supreme-court-vacancies

The mature thing to do would be to announce a desire to work with the president to determine the best nominee for the position.

The problem with that approach is that the GOP has already taken the position that working together, let alone compromise, is a non-starter when it comes to Obama. I'm not sure they would be willing to do so at this point, even if Obama was to offer up a clone of Scalia. The electoral risk (for themselves, not for the Presidential election) would be just too great for them.

I'm still not hearing any good reason why this would hurt Republicans electorally when the debt ceiling, government shutdown etc. didn't really.

Just for openers, neither of those occurred in the midst of a general election campaign. Consider, if the government got shut down in October of this year, and was still down on election day. (Especially if, to take an extreme case, things like Social Security checks were not sent out because the people who would do so were on furlough.) Not pretty.

All this stuff about "80 years since lame-duck SCOTUS appointment" etc. is purest Calvinball, unless you can point to a precedent where a President could have made a SCOTUS appointment but didn't even try. No, SCOTUS nominations are a core part of a President's duties, and can be the most influential thing a President gets to do.

Marty, I'm curious: have you ever read this account of the Republican meeting on Obama's first Inauguration Day?

You said: Start with his inauguration speech and read every word Obama has said, and everything he's done, the message is crystal clear, his way or the highway and any disagreement makes you bad. I honestly have no idea where you're getting this, except the fever swamps where you're picking up the idea that Obama caused Scalia's death. I just re-read Obama's first inaugural address, for instance and don't see any of what you're talking about.

Seriously, Marty, the murder accusation looks like mental illness of some sort. If you're picking this up from some site (Brietbart?) where that sort of thing is being taken seriously, you need to cut back, because it's hurting you. Consider your life, consider your choices.

And before you start to talk about how Both Sides Do It, bear in mind that at last night's GOP debate the moderate literally said "I'm going to turn this car around!". Too bad he didn't follow up by sending them to their Time-Out Corners

True enough, wj.

On the other hand, the GOP could boost turnout by saying "All hands on deck to stop them replacing Scalia with unqualified Stalinist sodomite Sri Srinavasan."

This is a completely different situation than the intractability of both sides to compromise over the last seven years. This election, and the supremes, set the tone for 30 or 40 more years.

Grow up? That isn't the issue,( him growing up may be). There is no price to pay for protecting the originalist view, the 2nd amendment, limited states rights states rights on abortion, limited government in general. In fact, there may be advantage if the Democrats push too hard. The key for Republicans is to make sure all of those risks are clearly defined.

This election, and the supremes, set the tone for 30 or 40 more years.

I'm not sure what this means. Are this election and potential SCOTUS nomination somehow different from others in that regard? Does this change whatever authority Obama has in nominating a replacement justice (with almost a year left in office)?

"Mostly subjective..."

Indeed.
There is no obvious precedent for arguing that an election year appointment is in any way impermissible:
http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/supreme-court-vacancies-in-presidential-election-years/
Equally, there is nothing to stop the Senate Republicans being obstructionist d*ckheads.

It's going to be an interesting election.

Somebody ping McKinneyTexas; he might have interesting comments on this.

Also, I wish we had Brett back again, to help carry some of the RWNJ water that poor Marty is carrying all alone.

--TP

hsh, I certainly expect Obama to nominate people. I just don't think they will win the "obstructionist" battle as the clarity that the 4 to 4 court will bring sets in. The GOP will get to say that this candidate would vote x and its better to wait. No one changes sides in that argument.

A 4-4 court simply makes lower-court rulings final. I don't know what sort of clarity that brings or why it would be generally better for one faction over another. Wouldn't clarity be a matter of knowing who the nominee is? What if the choice is a perfectly reasonable one? Would that bear on whether or not obstruction will be politically wise during this election?

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