March 27, 2010
"The Horrible Prospect of Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein"
Glenn Greenwald unloads against the notion that The Left likes Cass Sunstein (as was suggested by Peter Baker in a piece reviewing possible replacements for Justice Stevens). While Sunstein's close to the president, I really can't see him being nominated to the Supreme Court.
Posted by armand at March 27, 2010 10:49 AM
| Posted to Law and the Courts
I don't know if Koh is the guy, but wouldn't it make sense that Obama might want to appoint the first Asian-American to the Court? Personally, I don't care if the next nominee is from Mars; I just hope Obama can be trusted to appoint someone as dogged on the left as Stevens. Because in that whole Greenwald screed, the one thing I certainly agree with is that the Sotomayor for Souter substitution was a wash; only a pretty passionate lefty can sub for Stevens without the Court tilting rightward on one set of issues or another, if not all of them. And as power-drunk and indifferent to precedent the conservative bloc has become, we can't afford to replace Stevens with a justice just barely left of Kennedy. I don't even say this as an arch liberal, because I've never deluded myself that Obama is one -- but if he's left of center at all, and clearly he is, he must know that in filling that seat it's going to be worth fighting for a proper offset to the conservatives' excesses.
I agree that Sotomayor was largely a wash, though I expect her to be somewhat to the right of Souter in some areas. The name that should terrify from your point of view is Judge Garland. Hell, a Republican could name Garland. If we'd like the Court to have a left he'd be an extremely poor pick. Of course the "first-Asian" issue is one of the points the Right is using in their fight against Goodwin Liu. I can see the political/history appeal of naming the first Asian, the first gay/lesbian, or a black justice who isn't Justice Thomas, but I don't see the White House making the pick on that basis - though if they can get that as a cherry on top ...
Btw, why have they still not nominated anyone to the DC Circuit? They've had 15+ months.
Maybe they're going to do a bait and switch thing, setting up someone really good at the D.C. Circuit as a possible candidate for the _next_ Supreme Court seat, which Obama might fill in term 1, and certainly would fill (probably with another 1 or 2) in a second term. So it goes like this. Sort of like Meier, they set up some wackjob liberal for the Court when Stevens steps down, and quietly appoint a more credible firebrand to the D.C. Circuit. Let the GOP Bork their first Court nominee, offer one who seems mellow by comparison (but is Stevens-esque, at least by orientation), get him confirmed, and the GOP punches itself out on SCOTUS 1, making it risky for them, in an election year, to corroborate the Party of No crap by contesting a second, reasonable-seeming nomination to the D.C. Circuit.
Or maybe they're just busy. :-)