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  BREAKING: MSNBC reports Sotomayor next SCOTUS justice (search mode)
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Author Topic: BREAKING: MSNBC reports Sotomayor next SCOTUS justice  (Read 20004 times)
Ogre Mage
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« on: May 01, 2009, 01:25:58 am »

Take it to the bank that the pick will be a woman.  The smart money is on Sonia Sotomayor.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 12:07:09 pm »

I could see Granholm being chosen, although for the first pick I think Obama is likely to play it slightly safe.  Granholm, Sonia Sotomayor, Diane Wood and Elena Kagan are likely to be looked at most closely.  There is also some lesser speculation about Kim Wardlaw and Leah Ward Sears.

If Obama is willing to appoint a staunch liberal, Kathleen Sullivan or Pam Karlan are strong possibilities.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 05:27:35 am »
« Edited: May 03, 2009, 05:08:18 pm by Ogre Mage »

Why is Granholm being mentioned so often?  Does she have any legal experience?

Obama has said that he would like to appoint a Supreme Court Justice with real world political experience.  Given that the conventional wisdom points to a woman nominee, Granholm, who served as Michigan Attorney General, a U.S. Attorney and earned her law degree from Harvard, fits the bill.  She has no experience as a judge, but I think the idea would be to diversify the court by adding someone who didn't come from the judicial monastery.  All of the current Justices were serving on the Federal Court of Appeals when selected.

She and Pam Karlan might be good out-of-the box choices but I think Obama is more likely to play it safe with the first pick and go with either Sotomayor or Wood, or perhaps Kagan if the other two fall through in the vetting process.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 10:49:47 pm »

I think that if Obama is going to make "symbolic" pick, it's probably best to do it with the first pick.  That way it is likely to ultimately have the biggest impact in the public consciousness, which is what you want with a symbolic pick.  It's why Reagan selected Sandra Day O'Connor first instead of second or third.

Obama will get a second pick because John Paul Stevens is virtually certain to retire sometime during his first term.  Perhaps for the second pick he can focus more on getting an intellectual heavyweight.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 02:32:12 pm »

I don't buy MSNBC's spin about Napolitano either.

What I find curious is that while everyone is talking about Sotomayor, nobody seems to mention the other Hispanic woman in the mix, Kim Wardlaw.

Is she considered less qualified, more divisive or what?


Kim Wardlaw received her undergraduate and law degrees from UCLA.  Sotomayor attended Princeton and Yale Law School.  UCLA is a top-tier law school, but its not as overtly elite as Sotomayor's credentials.

Her last name, Wardlaw, means that the general public may not realize that she is Hispanic.  I wonder if that is a factor.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 08:22:48 pm »

Wood now in third place on Intrade:

Sotomayor 28.5
Kagan 23.0
Wood 16.0
Wardlaw 15.0
Granholm 10.0
Sears 6.0
Sullivan 5.1
Garland 4.9
Karlan 4.8



I have thought for some time that it was basically going to come down to Kagan, Wood and Sotomayor, with Granholm having an outside shot.  Kagan strikes me as slightly less likely than the other two because I think the White House wants her to serve as SG and get some practical courtroom experience which she currently lacks.  Then they can have her primed for the inevitable second opening.

As for Wood vs. Sotomayor, I have no idea.  Both would probably be very good choices.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009, 02:32:16 pm »
« Edited: May 14, 2009, 02:34:16 pm by Ogre Mage »

This guy thinks Wood:
http://electionlawblog.org/archives/013644.html

I only partially agree with Rick Hasen's analysis.  Still, my prediction is that President Obama will choose either Sonia Sotomayor or Diane Wood for the opening.  Both judges have a very extensive paper trail.  That leaves them open to attacks, but Obama will definitely know what he is getting.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2009, 03:58:25 pm »
« Edited: May 17, 2009, 04:01:30 pm by Ogre Mage »

When names get floated in the media for the Supreme Court, IMO they tend to fall into one of three categories.

The first are those who are truly under serious consideration.  Kagan, Sotomayor and Wood are almost certainly in this category.

The second are those who are being looked at primarily as a courtesy to satisfy some important person(s).  While it's possible for such a person to move from being a courtesy to serious consideration, more often than not I think that a "courtesy candidate" tends to remain just that.  IMO, Carlos Moreno falls into this category.  He was recommended by Senate Judiciary Committee Member Dianne Feinstein.  And it gives the White House the opportunity to say that they looked seriously at more Hispanics than just Sotomayor. 

The third are those whose names are floated just as a smokescreen.  As px75 suggested, I believe Janet Napolitano falls into this category. 
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 02:43:12 pm »

The National Law Journal has a story by Marcia Coyle in which she queries law professors about their preferred choice for the Supreme Court.  Interestingly, Pam Karlan emerges as the top favorite.  In theory, I think Karlan would be a terrific Justice.  However, her confirmation process would be incendiary.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202430756479

The article also notes very strong support for Diane Wood.  It is a big boon for Wood that she has such strong support from legal academics.  Having the recommendation of that Mandarin class definitely says something about her judicial ability.  Plus, she's a known quantity to Obama and many of his associates from their days together at the University of Chicago Law School.

In contrast, it seems much of Sotomayor's support is more at the street level.  Besides the obvious support of Hispanic organizations, she's been lauded by some community groups.  Someone has even started a "Sonia Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court Justice" facebook page with over 2300 members. 

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=74491867940

Not as highbrow as Wood's supporters, but her diverse experience might be compelling to a former community organizer.
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 11:45:01 pm »

There have been a number of factors contributing to Wood's stock skyrocketing.  One of them had to have been this report:

Quote
Federal Appeals Court Judge Diane Wood, one of the leading contenders to replace David Souter, is in Washington today. The highly regarded Wood is here, ostensibly, to attend a legal conference at Georgetown. But the timing is curious, and here’s why.

According to a student, she didn’t teach her first-year civil procedure class at the University of Chicago Law School yesterday afternoon and provided no advance notice or explanation. That’s apparently because she was flying to DC—to attend the long-scheduled judicial conference, even though she is not on the program as a panelist or participant.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/legalities/2009/05/judge-wood-goes.html
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2009, 12:13:49 pm »

Taylor's ranking of Napolitano is a joke.  And he has Granholm and Napolitano ahead of Sotomayor, LOL.  He is either disingenuous or doesn't get it.

I would consider Ward Sears a serious candidate, but she is as much of a longshot as Jennifer Granholm, probably more so.  Her academic credentials (Cornell/Emory University School of Law) are not as overtly elite as Sotomayor's (Princeton/Yale Law School) and she would not carry as much political benefit to President Obama as Sotomayor would.  She isn't held in as high regard among legal academics as Diane Wood is.

Ward Sears decision to step down in the middle of her term, allowing Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue to move the Court to the right, has been criticized.  "It is very disappointing," said Stephen Bright, president and senior counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights. "It appears she doesn't have time to be a judge." And the think tank she will be joining upon leaving the Court is drawing criticism from gay groups.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/15/AR2009051500418.html
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2009, 03:21:58 pm »
« Edited: May 23, 2009, 03:56:49 pm by Ogre Mage »

My brother's former professor said he thinks there is a secret plan for Sec. Clinton to run for President in 2016 (with Obama's support) and then appoint Obama to the Supreme Court.

In other news, President Obama confirmed in a recent C-SPAN interview that there is going to be an announcement "soon."

Quote
President Barack Obama told C-SPAN on Friday that he’s “going to have an announcement soon” on his pick for the Supreme Court, and said he is looking for “not just ivory tower learning.”

Asked if he would like to serve on the Supreme Court after leaving the White House, Obama quipped: “You know, I am not sure that I could get through Senate confirmation.”
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22885.html
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2009, 06:04:00 pm »
« Edited: May 25, 2009, 06:06:55 pm by Ogre Mage »

ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg and George Stephanopoulos are now echoing my prediction that it is now mainly down to Sotomayor and Wood:

Crawford Greenburg:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=7668848&page=1

Stephanopoulos:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7664212
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Ogre Mage
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 12:16:57 am »

One of my favorite Supreme Court writers, Linda Greenhouse, has a thoughtful editorial on how when a new Justice joins the Court, "you change the Court."  This is true, interestingly, even when the new and departing Justice hold similar views.

Quote
Every time a new justice comes to the Supreme Court, “it’s a different court,” Justice Byron R. White liked to say — and he was in a position to know, having witnessed the arrival of 13 new justices during his own 31-year tenure.

He meant that in a group of nine people bound together by daily ritual and by the need to round up a sufficient number of like-minded colleagues to get anything done, the substitution of one personality for another matters in real life more than it might seem to matter on paper.

It’s an obvious point, but one that is often overlooked in discussions of Supreme Court nominations when, as now, the departing justice’s successor is one who figures to occupy the same side of the ideological divide. President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice David Souter, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, may not vote much differently from Justice Souter, who established a moderately liberal record during his 19 years on the court.

Even before President Obama made his selection, it was commonly said that this particular nomination would not be a “game changer” on today’s sharply polarized court, where two blocs of four justices seem to spend much of their energy competing for the affections of the one in the middle, Anthony M. Kennedy. (In two 5-to-4 decisions issued on Tuesday, Justice Kennedy voted once with the conservative bloc and once with the more liberal bloc; a third decision was unanimous.)

But even when it seems most static, the Supreme Court is a dynamic institution whose component parts are always, although not always visibly, in motion. John G. Roberts Jr. didn’t figure to be a game-changer either when President George W. Bush nominated him in 2005 to be chief justice. After all, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who had just died, was his former boss and longtime mentor, and no matter how conservative he might prove to be, it was hard to imagine him or anyone else finding much running room to Rehnquist’s right.

And yet there is a different tone now at the court, and not only because Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush’s subsequent nominee, is more conservative than the justice he replaced, Sandra Day O’Connor. John Roberts is a justice in a hurry; he pushes hard, like the young Associate Justice Rehnquist for whom he clerked, and in contrast to Chief Justice Rehnquist, who in his later years was capable of voting in surprising ways — to reaffirm the Miranda decision and reject a constitutional challenge to the Family and Medical Leave Act, for example.

It wasn’t that Chief Justice Rehnquist changed his mind on issues that mattered to him — there is no evidence of that. Rather, he seemed to have developed a sense for when it was best for the court, or perhaps even for the country, not to carry every favored proposition over a cliff to its logical conclusion.

That is a sense that Chief Justice Roberts did not appear to gain during his first years on the court; his 2007 opinion striking down voluntary school integration plans in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle was so hard-edged that Justice Kennedy refused to sign it, providing a fifth vote for the result but not for the chief justice’s reasoning.

Whether Chief Justice Roberts has developed a Rehnquist-style sense of when to hold back will be evident next month, when the court is expected to decide whether a central provision of the Voting Rights Act, renewed almost unanimously by Congress three years ago, is constitutional. Based on the deep skepticism he expressed when the case was argued last month, the answer is no.

Beyond Sonia Sotomayor’s stirring life story and impressive résumé, what we really want to know is how she will fit into this mix of ideology, personality, principle and politics. Will she make a difference? According to common sense as well as Justice White’s maxim, the answer is “yes, inevitably.” Will it be a difference that is discernible in the outcomes of cases? That may not be clear immediately.

After Justice Thurgood Marshall retired in 1991, Justice O’Connor published a tribute describing him as the embodiment of “moral truth” and recounting the experience of listening to his stories during the decade that they served together, stories that “would, by and by, perhaps change the way I see the world.”

That was a striking statement from a justice who was on the opposite side from Thurgood Marshall in nearly every civil rights case and whose jurisprudence appeared unmarked by his influence. But it turned out to be Justice O’Connor who wrote the majority opinion in 2003 that upheld affirmative action in admission to the University of Michigan Law School. The way she saw the world in the interval had clearly changed, whatever the cause.

Although she is a pioneer in her own way, it takes nothing from Judge Sotomayor to observe that she is not Thurgood Marshall — just as Anthony Kennedy, for that matter, is not Sandra O’Connor.

Indeed, not even the most experienced justice can count on finding an argument that will persuade Justice Kennedy. But there is some evidence that he can be inspired by example and observation. His opinion for the court in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 gay-rights case, clearly rested on his conclusion that gays were entitled to the “dignity,” as he put it, that the court’s earlier ruling on gay rights in Bowers v. Hardwick had withheld. That opinion, among others, indicates Justice Kennedy’s willingness to look through the eyes of those whose experiences are different from his own.

In any event, Judge Sotomayor’s nomination comes at a special moment: the first projection of the remarkable 2008 election onto a Supreme Court that has so often in these last few years appeared headed in the opposite direction from the country. Whether her arrival proves to change the way the incumbent justices see the world, it will, at the least, change the way the world sees the Supreme Court.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/opinion/27greenhouse.html

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