Your Lying Eyes

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18 May 2008

Obama and the Court

A commenter on my last Obama-no-worse-than-McCain post asked, as surely will John McCain in his desperate efforts to hold onto "his" base,What about the Supreme Court?

One thing to keep in mind is that the Court's right wing core is not likely to go anywhere soon. Scalia is the oldest of the 4, a spry 72. Even Anthony Kennedy, the court's conservative-leaning swing vote, is a mere 71. He's had some minor heart issues (a couple cardiac stents were inserted a few years back), but otherwise he can be expected to outlast an Obama administration. So there's little chance Obama could undo Bush's only worthwhile contribution to civilization.

So Obama will likely only have a chance to replace one liberal justice with a more liberal one. Justice Stevens is the oldest justice and quite liberal (particularly for a Republican), but he is at 88 apparently the picture of health. Still, he's probably the best bet to take the opportunity of a Democratic administration to call it quits. But how much more liberal a justice is Obama likely to nominate? Probably not much. Justice Ginsburg has had treatment for colon cancer, and might be the next most likely to retire, but again you can't get a whole lot more liberal than she. Breyer, the most moderate of the liberals, and Souter, a bit less moderate, are young and there for the long haul. So for the next 4 years at least we're pretty safe.

Of course there's a lot more federal judicial appointments Obama will be making, and there he can do real damage, but that's the way it goes. I'm not going to endorse electing a lunatic just to have a chance at some decent court appointees.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to endorse electing a lunatic just to have a chance at some decent court appointees.

I personally want to thank you for that because, considering the monumental influence you wield, McCain would probably waltz to the presidency if he had your endorsement. ;-)

But seriously, I know what you're saying; I just wish I had an argument to the contrary. But I don't.

May 21, 2008 9:00 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Yes, a less pretentious phrasing would have been "I'm not going to vote for a..." On the other hand, however ineffectual my endorsement might be, as a New Jersey resident my vote is even more useless.

May 23, 2008 11:58 PM  

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