Friday, April 09, 2010

Trickle Down Effect?

By now you've likely heard that Justice Stevens has formally announced his retirement. No real surprises there. Rather than his replacement (near unanimous consensus on the internets is that Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be tapped, or perhaps 7th Circuit Judge Dianne Wood) what I wonder is closer to home: what effect, if any, could a looming SCOTUS appointment have on Professor Liu's April 16th Confirmation hearing?

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Blogger Dan said...

So I listened to KQED's Forum on the way to work this AM, and they had a couple of law-prof types discussing the issue (although no one from Berkeley). The closest the discussion came to mentioning Liu was when one guy said Obama might pick a woman now, so that he is free to pick a man--"possibly an Asian American man"--when Ginsberg retires (cause I guess she is next on the chopping block).

Not sure if you can put much stock in that line of conjecture, but it does seem like, if he picks a man now, he will have to pick a woman next, which puts Liu at least two justices removed.

On the other hand, if he picks a woman now, I bet it will really rile up the conservos still stinging from the whole "wise latina" debacle, and I don't think Obama can afford to mess with the conservative base right now. On the other other hand, can he really piss them off anymore than health care already did?

Clearly, there's a lot to consider here, but I guess the summation is that if he picks a woman now, Liu has a decent shot at Ginsberg's seat. If he picks a man, it'll be a while.

4/09/2010 11:02 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I realize your question was more about THIS confirmation than his prospects for SCOTUS, but I think the two are inextricably linked.

4/09/2010 11:08 AM  
Blogger Carbolic said...

The problem facing BO is that the most natural SCOTUS candidates are Clinton COA judges, and most of them are just too old under the new "longevity" strategy.

Even if GL is being "groomed" for a SCOTUS appointment--plausible but entirely speculative--he would likely have to have spent at least two years as a circuit judge first. In other words, he would be a second-term appointment.

Which is part of the reason why Republicans may be interested in dragging out his 9th Circuit confirmation as long as possible: to either achieve a complete Estrada or at least delay so that GL hasn't garnered enough judicial experience to be a real high court candidate.

Even without nefarious scheming, the likely impact will be a delay for GL, as the Judiciary Committee now has bigger fish in its plate.

4/09/2010 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone else excited about the logical inevitability of people getting appointed to SCOTUS directly out of law school?

4/09/2010 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Preeta Bansal, Pres Obama can achieve:
1) Asian-American woman
2) someone "outside" of the judiciary with political experience (OMB)
3) a former private practitioner (Skadden)
4) a former public official (NY Solicitor General)

4/09/2010 11:26 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Hm. Interesting, though my money is still on Kagen.

4/09/2010 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why wait for them to get out of law school? Justices don't need to be lawyers. Find an undergrad with a good LSAT and nominate him or her... that will get at least 4 years more of solid ideological votes.

4/09/2010 1:45 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hillary Clinton is an outside choice that would likely be confirmable.

4/09/2010 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preeta Bansal looks pretty good.

4/09/2010 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how Preeta classifies herself (or if she even does), but all of the people I know from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan do not consider themselves "Asian-American." It is obviously technically correct, but I don't think Obama would appoint a South Asian person and claim he had appointed an Asian-American.

4/09/2010 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we have a thread to complain about the newly released Fall 2010 class schedule?

4/10/2010 10:12 AM  
Blogger James said...

Well, wouldn't he claim he appointed a South Asian-American?

4/11/2010 11:51 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Republican Senator Jeff Stevens dropped Liu's name as an example of someone that would cause Repubs to "go nuclear" and filibuster the nomination:

4/11/2010 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How great would it be if Liu got the nomination? I bet a lot of people would be rethinking their votes for grad speaker!

4/11/2010 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bansal was also a clerk to Stevens. How fitting would that be. (Roberts --> Rehnquist)

4/11/2010 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such person as Republican Senator Jeff Stevens, so we shouldn't worry too much about what he says.

4/11/2010 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Malignant Heart said...

James @3:06:

Hillary's needed where she is. But what about her husband for the Court?

Lots of animus toward President Clinton, still, in Congress, but lately he's been sold as a "sensible centrist," especially relative to the partisan excesses of the Bush years. He's also credited with trying to push Hillary to the center during the election.

The job's probably too small for him, but he's not only capable of doing it. More importantly, he could be the "leader" a lot of people are hoping for with this next pick, someone to galvanize the left-leaners on the Court.

Of course, his disbarrment could be a problem! ;)

4/11/2010 7:12 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

*Jeff Sessions. My bad. I still think we should not worry much about what he says.

4/11/2010 8:58 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

@Malignant, I think both Clintons are probably too old for the job, but Bill especially. (I don't know if he is any older than Hilary, but I just think he looks like he will die sooner. She is in great shape! Plus, being President ages you like crazy.)

4/11/2010 8:59 PM  
Blogger James said...

Bill lied under oath. I don't think that makes him a good pick- that and the right loves to hate on Bill.

Hillary is a little on the old side, sure. But she's got to have a good 20 years of jurisprudence left in her. She's tough.

4/12/2010 12:45 PM  

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