stealthlawprof

Thursday, September 08, 2005

When will GWB appoint a new Justice?

Let's start with some useless speculation -- How long will President Bush take to make his decision on the remaining Supreme Court seat?

I get this weird sense that GWB may be trying to get Chief Justice Roberts (an appointment I predicted before starting this blog, but for which I would like to receive credit anyway -- of course, I was hardly alone in seeing that one) through the confirmation process before giving out the next name. Oddly enough, the Senate Democrats seem to sense this and act irritated that he will not give them both names at once.

What am I missing here? I see no advantage to GWB in delaying the naming of the new Associate Justice, and I see no reason why the Democrats should object if he does delay -- except perhaps to convince him to delay.

The Demos are going to look silly attacking Roberts at this point. (And that, as always, is unlikely to deter them.) As I noted in a comment on Ann Althouse's blog, they have spent months and millions trying to get an angle on Roberts, and they have nothing to show for it. Roberts has great press and great polling numbers. The Donkeys can try to flex their muscle and get 40-45 votes against him, but they cannot defeat the nomination. They simply risk more alienation of whatever swing voters are left if they attack Roberts aggressively. (If they go so far as to filibuster -- a scenario I find very unlikely -- they also risk that the Pachyderms will dust off the "nuclear" option.)

Furthermore, the Roberts for Rehnquist transition is far better from their perspective than a Roberts for O'Connor transition. The longer the President delays, the longer O'Connor serves. That should be a godsend from the Donkeys' perspective.

On the other hand, for GWB to delay will allow the Demos to practice on Roberts and get really worked up for a full-scale attack on the next nominee. A quick appointment would force them to figure out where to concentrate their fire. (A bit of a variation on the Rehnquist-Scalia combination from the Reagan era.) While the new nominee is likely to catch the flak anyway, putting it right next to the Roberts hearings is more likely to show the opposition for what it is.

Of course that leads to yet one more question -- what is the opposition to GWB's appointments? Very simple -- think in terms of the Federalists after losing the election of 1800. The Midnight Judges Act was their attempt to keep the judiciary as their bastion of power even though they had lost the election. Similarly, the Donkeys have lost elections but have had a power base in the courts. Now that power base is endangered. If they lose this, they have nothing left until they can win elections again ... and as long as the benighted electorate sees the Donkeys as the party of gay marriage, terrorist appeasement, and race baiting (alas, not nearly the ring of "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion"), the Demos will be the Permanent Minority Party.

P.S. I tried to create a link where I reference the Althouse blog, but I am new at this. Here is the information:
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/09/must-roberts-now-meet-even-higher.html#comments

1 Comments:

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Tyler Simons said…

    here's how you embed a link. Type this into the text of your post:

    {a href="url" target="_blank"}your text{/a}

    you need to substitute the greater than/less than carats, (above the comma and period on the keyboard) pointing in the same direction, for the "{"s -- if I entered them in this comment, it would think I was trying to post a link. The target="_blank" causes the link to open in a new window, leaving it off (as you must do in blogger comments that don't use HaloScan) causes the window that features your blog to move onto the page to which you have linked.

    Cheers

     

Post a Comment

<< Home