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DSO
05-02-2009, 10:57 AM
What do you think the impact will be of Justice Souter's retirement from the Supreme Court? I know he was appointed by Bush Sr but also read he was less than conservative on decisions involving abortion and other issues. You know what we're going to get but how much will this change the balance of power in the Supreme Court? Are big 2nd amendment battles imminent?

Danny

Bob Gutermuth
05-02-2009, 12:14 PM
NO change, just one liberal replacing another, the balance of power on the court will not change.

BonMallari
05-02-2009, 12:31 PM
NO change, just one liberal replacing another, the balance of power on the court will not change.

absolutely correct...what we have to watch out for is when Bader-Ginsburg and Kennedy retire in the next yr, or God forbid something were to happen to Scalia or one of the other conservative leaning SCOTUS during the BHO reign...I also think that the Specter jump to the Democrat party coincides with Souter's retirement because I think Specter is the Chairman of the Judiciary committee..ouch

badbullgator
05-02-2009, 12:44 PM
I agree for the most part but the peplacement could be MORE liberal

YardleyLabs
05-02-2009, 12:51 PM
Presumably the biggest difference will be that the replacement justice will be much younger while the other more liberal justices are all past any normal retirement age. The new justice will raise the total of Democrats on the court to three out of nine, joining Ginsberg (age 76) and Breyer (age 71) who are the only Democrats now serving.

At age 89, Stevens is likely to retire soon. All of the justices considered to be liberal are 70+ years old. Only one of the core conservative justices, Scalia (age 73), is over the age of 70. Kennedy is currently the swing vote on the court. At age 73 he is vulnerable but highly unlikely to retire voluntarily.

If Scalia or Kennedy retires while Obama is President, that would change the complexion of the court. Other than that (which is probably only likely if Obama is reelected) it is likely that Obama will only have the opportunity to preserve the current balance, not change it. It is fairly likely that Obama will have the opprtunity to appoint two more justices -- replacements for Stevens and Ginsberg -- in addition to Souter's replacement. If Obama is reelected, the odds increase that he might end up replacing three more justices who would be 80+ at the end of a second term (Breyer, Kennedy and Scalia). That would have a major impact on the court, leaving only three conservatives (Robertson, Thomas, and Alito) who are all young.

Bob Gutermuth
05-02-2009, 02:09 PM
Jeff you are essentially correct.

Specter is not chairman of judiciary and was not in this term. Leahy of Vt is. The maverick on the comm is Graham of SC, he may give assent to a real liberal looneytune that we are likely to see.

Gator it doesn't matter if the new justice is more liberal, as the balance is still 5-4 in the favor of the right.

WaterDogRem
05-02-2009, 07:13 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/us/politics/01souter.text.html?_r=1

How about Obama's really disturbing comment....Obama said, "I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation."

So laws on the books don't matter, what matters is how people's lives will be affected. Sorry Obama, wrong again! Sounds like he needs to revisit law school and learn the basic fundamentals of the Judaical branch.

Goose
05-02-2009, 07:52 PM
I will always remember Bush the senior for his poor choice of Souter. A liberal on the court if there ever was one.

Dear Leader's pick will rival the worst ever on the court. No doubt he'll pick a marxist with the same hatred of country (and hatred of Constitution) as Dear Leader has.

BrianW
05-03-2009, 03:32 AM
Dear Leader's pick will rival the worst ever on the court. No doubt he'll pick a marxist with the same hatred of country (and hatred of Constitution) as Dear Leader has.

Sounds like someone from the 9th Circuit of Appeals :rolleyes:

cotts135
05-03-2009, 09:24 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/us/politics/01souter.text.html?_r=1

How about Obama's really disturbing comment....Obama said, "I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation."


So laws on the books don't matter, what matters is how people's lives will be affected. Sorry Obama, wrong again! Sounds like he needs to revisit law school and learn the basic fundamentals of the Judaical branch.

It didn't seem to much matter to Former President Bush and his people, (FISA comes to mind) nor does it concern President Obama if he choses not to investigate or prosecute if warranted people who may have committed crimes fighting this nations war on terror.

Bob Gutermuth
05-03-2009, 09:35 AM
I would like to see Fearless Learder goof like Ike did when he put Earl Warren on the bench and pick a closet conservative for the spot. With the way my luck is going he will pick Ward Churchill or some real dingleberry.

BonMallari
05-03-2009, 09:50 AM
I would like to see Fearless Learder goof like Ike did when he put Earl Warren on the bench and pick a closet conservative for the spot. With the way my luck is going he will pick Ward Churchill or some real dingleberry.

Hillary Clinton....or even worse his wife Michelle

subroc
05-03-2009, 10:09 AM
It will be interesting to see the role reversal of those on the senate judiciary committee. Any bets that the republicans treat this presidents selection far better than Alito and Roberts were treated by the democrats?

YardleyLabs
05-03-2009, 10:41 AM
It will be interesting to see the role reversal of those on the senate judiciary committee. Any bets that the republicans treat this presidents selection far better than Alito and Roberts were treated by the democrats?
Well the Democrats certainly treated GWB's appointees better than the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee treated Clinton's. It would be nice to see the Republicans return the favor.;)

subroc
05-03-2009, 10:56 AM
We shall see!

JDogger
05-03-2009, 10:59 AM
It will be interesting to see the role reversal of those on the senate judiciary committee. Any bets that the republicans treat this presidents selection far better than Alito and Roberts were treated by the democrats?

You're kidding, Right?

Eric Johnson
05-03-2009, 12:58 PM
Jeff-

I don't have the statistics handy but it seems to me that you have reversed the roles. Bush's nominees faired far worse that did Clinton's. I seem to remember that at one time the number of vacancies held hostage by the Dems was so large that some judges at the District Court level were in danger of being seriously overloaded.

Eric

YardleyLabs
05-03-2009, 01:47 PM
Jeff-

I don't have the statistics handy but it seems to me that you have reversed the roles. Bush's nominees faired far worse that did Clinton's. I seem to remember that at one time the number of vacancies held hostage by the Dems was so large that some judges at the District Court level were in danger of being seriously overloaded.

Eric
As judiciary chair Orin Hatch routinely refused to schedule hearings on Clinton appointees. Some of this he justified based on objections by a (Republican) Senator to the proposed candidate -- a policy which had some historical basis in Senate traditions but which he reversed once Bush became President. Both Orin Hatch and John Ashcroft (still a Senator under Clinton) openly said that it was essential to keep liberals out of the courts and that they would not allow liberal candidates to be appointed.

Clinton, who did not place the same importance on judicial nominees and preferred to avoid confrontation on this issue, responded by appointing some of the most conservative judicial candidates ever put forward by a Democrat. With this approach, his record on gaining approvals for appellate court nominees was approximately equal to GWB's. However, he was less successful at the lower court levels and the vacancy rate for district level judicial nominees was very high. These vacancies were rapidly filled once GWB became President.

While the vacancy rate at the appellate level remained largely unchanged under GWB, that statistic ignores the fact that 90 new judgeships were created, thus allowing GWB to fill many more positions. A large majority of all Federal judges were appointed by Republican Presidents.

Eric Johnson
05-03-2009, 02:57 PM
Your post relies on your interpretation of the situation....as did mine. I was simply asking if you had any facts. It appears that you don't.

Eric

YardleyLabs
05-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Your post relies on your interpretation of the situation....as did mine. I was simply asking if you had any facts. It appears that you don't.

Eric
At the Federal circuit court level, 61% of all justices are Republican. At the appellate level, 56% were appointed by Republicans and 36% by Democrats. The number of vacancies increased from 18 (out of 178) to 25 while Clinton was President. For all but two of these, Clinton had made appointments over a period of years that were not acted on by the Republican controlled Judiciary Committee and finally expired at the end of his term. 21 nominations were pending as of 7/1/2000, the traditional last date for considering nominations by an outgoing president. Under Bush, the number of vacancies declined from 25 at the beginning of his term to 12. While Bush actually had more appointments rejected or withdrawn, he was not ultimately blocked from making the appointment as became the pattern under Orin Hatch's administration of the process.

code3retrievers
05-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Do you just make this stuff up and expect everyone to buy into your propaganda.

Of course there are more republican appointed judges. There has only been 2 democratic Presidents in the last 40 years ( Carter/Clinton) Yet the figures you quote are fairly evenly matched considering only 12 of those 40 were controlled by the dems.

The dems blocked bushes nominees and would not allow an up or down vote.

Thats are system, the president gets to pick the judges. So when the left continues to win elections the courts will also turn to the left. I doubt this will happen because the American public is smarter then the left gives them credit for.

cotts135
05-03-2009, 06:22 PM
Your post relies on your interpretation of the situation....as did mine. I was simply asking if you had any facts. It appears that you don't.

Eric

Unlike alot of posters here, ole Jeff there uses facts to base his opinions on. Next time you will know better LMAO:p

YardleyLabs
05-03-2009, 07:34 PM
Do you just make this stuff up and expect everyone to buy into your propaganda.

Of course there are more republican appointed judges. There has only been 2 democratic Presidents in the last 40 years ( Carter/Clinton) Yet the figures you quote are fairly evenly matched considering only 12 of those 40 were controlled by the dems.

The dems blocked bushes nominees and would not allow an up or down vote.

Thats are system, the president gets to pick the judges. So when the left continues to win elections the courts will also turn to the left. I doubt this will happen because the American public is smarter then the left gives them credit for.
I'm sorry. What part are you suggesting I made up or is propaganda? As I noted, Democrats blocked more of Bush's candidates than Republicans blocked of Clinton's. One reason is because Bush had the opportunity to fill 50% more vacancies because of the positions that Clinton was not permitted to fill. Another is because The Dems ultimately allowed Bush to fill the positions that were vacant while the Republicans did not permit Clinton to fill over 20 positions despite the fact that nominees were provided in some cases years before his term expired. The difference is that Orin Hatch didn't even allow hearings to be scheduled on the nominees that he did not want. No votes were held. Under Bush, the Judiciary Committee was Republican controlled when most nominations were submitted. The Democrats used the filibuster to prevent a vote as the Republicans and Democrats have both used before and since for many purposes included blocking votes of judicial nominees (for example, the Republicans used the filibuster to block Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court). The issue was an allegation that Democrats treated Bush nominees to the courts worse than Republicans treated Clinton's.

The fact is that both sides used what power they had in the Senate to influence the President's nominations. I also pointed out that statistically the Republicans were more effective in blocking Clinton appointments than Democrats were in blocking Bush appointments. Other than contradicting whining by Republicans that Democrats were in some way abusing poor defenseless Bush, I'm not sure what part of my observation upsets you. That is the way the game is played, as you noted. However, the President doesn't get to pick his own judges, he appoints judges subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate hjas always had the right not to consent and to use its own judgment concerning the procedures that it will use in making its decisions.

My personal hope is that Obama plays it better than either Bush or Clinton. Our country is pretty evenly split between those who identify themselves as Democrats, those who identify themselves as Republicans, and those who identify themselves as Independents. Currently, two thirds of those identifying themselves as independents indicate that they lean towards Democrats and the balance lean towards Republicans. Those numbers have changed in the past and will change in the future. There was a shift towards Democrats because of the extreme unpopularity of Bush, and there may be an equally extreme shift towards Republicans if Obama fails to address the economy successfully in the opinions of the majority of the public (not this forum;-)). My hope is that the judiciary, Congress, and State legislatures become a better reflection of the balance of our population. That will only happen if there are aggressive efforts to use the current balance in Congress to push more Democrat judges and if reapportionment following the 2010 census can reverse some of the gerrymandering that happened following the 2000 census.

Republicans were very successful in using the 12 years that they controlled Congress (1994-2006) to consolidate their position. My hope is that Democrats can be equally effective while they control Congress, whether it is for four years or ten. While it may sound strange, it is also my hope that neither party is very good at retaining control for too long. I like the fact that things swing back and forth and that the extremists on both sides are held at bay by those in the center (which includes almost no one on this forum;-)).

Eric Johnson
05-03-2009, 10:57 PM
Just a post of clarification. The "Circuit Court" and the "appellate court" refers to the same general level of the courts. The one you missed is the District Courts and it would take a month to sort that out and the reasons behind the numbers.

I think I found the same article. When we look at just the judges appointed by Clinton and Bush, we find that at the appellate level, the numbers are very close. I'm not certain whether there is much to the claim that "x% are Republican" as the party is pretty inconsequential after a relatively short time on the bench. The questions argued don't tend to reflect party affiliation so much as the degree of strict or loose interpretation of the Constitution. In regards to the issue of which President made the most appointments, the figures are remarkably close....perhaps statistically insignificant for the population.

The Hatch strategy was probably founded in what the Democrats did to Bork. Previous to that time, with just a few notable exceptions, partisan politics didn't apply to the naming and approval process of judges with the intensity we see now. A vacancy existed and the Senators of the state were consulted. If they were of the party of the President, their candidate was a shoo-in. If they were both from the other party, the discourse was at least gentlemanly and often, the President still consulted them. He maybe would name someone that they hadn't named, but at least they were consulted. Now I'm not certain that happens.

Eric