What Does It Say About Republicans?

Tam points out that half of our Heller dissenters were put on the bench by Republicans.  By any measure, shifting the federal courts more toward the center has actually been one of the Republican party’s most stellar achievement, and even here, the best we can really say is “Well, Republicans tend to get it right about half the time.”  Really, the federal judiciary should be owned by conservatives right now, but it isn’t.  Yet moving the court rightward has been an accomplishment.

Republicans: even doing our best work, we’re still pretty damned incompetent.

15 thoughts on “What Does It Say About Republicans?”

  1. “Republicans: even doing our best work, we’re still pretty damned incompetent.”

    Well they ARE politicians. Incompetence is part of the job description.

  2. I don’t think this particular issue says much of anything about Republicans, but about how difficult it can be to predict how a judge will rule.

  3. I think it’s worth pointing out, that if Reagan had gotten the nominee he wanted, we’d have a collective second amendment right now.

  4. I think you’ve got your proportions wrong, Seb. Republican presidents nominated 7 out of the 9 justices; hence, they got it right 5 out of 7 times.

  5. Reagan or Bush?

    And remember, Republicans will tell you that the government is part of the problem, get elected, then prove they were right.

  6. In fairness, Stevens was appointed back when the Standard Model was considered utterly wacky. I don’t think anyone could have found a judge which would have voted with the majority, even if that consideration was on the radar.

  7. Also worth noting is that at the time of his appointment, Stevens was not nearly the loopy-lib that he is today. Remember Univ. of California v. Bakke, the 1978 case that came within one vote of ending reverse discrimination? Justice Stevens authored the anti-discrimination opinion. It’s too bad he abandoned his views on the issue sometime between then and 2003, when the issue resurfaced in Grutter and Gratz, each of which split 5-4 (one for, one against, with Stevens voting with the bad guys both times).

    As to incompetence, I partially agree with Rightwingprof that it is very difficult to predict how a judge will rule in the future. I say “partially” because the Democrats seem to do a pretty good job of it. The last time a Democrat appointed anyone who arguably turned out to be anything short of a liberal was in 1962, when John F. Kennedy (himself a good deal more conservative than anyone alive today and bearing his surname) appointed Byron White. Even White was a moderate at best, begin solidly against the “constitutional” right to abortion, but pro-affirmative action, and Lord knows where he would have come down in Heller if he were still around today.

    My view is that Republicans are handicapped by the fact that everyone officially agrees that you’re only supposed to appoint and confirm justices based on competence, judicial temperament, and other politically neutral criteria, without trying to find out how someone will rule on particular issues in advance. Republicans follow that rule, and end up batting .500 on the issues most Republicans care about (better than .500 on the Second Amendment, as others in this thread have noted, but worse on abortion, the takings clause, the death penalty, civil rights for terrorists, and too many other issues to count). Democrats ignore it completely, and have batted 1.000 since LBJ. The only reason today’s Supreme Court functions at all is because an overwhelming majority of the Justices were appointed by Republican suckers who play by the rules.

  8. I thought the tradition is to have 4 conservatives, 4 liberals, and one centrist. So, when a conservative resigns, another conservative is nominated?

  9. Nope… that’s just kind of how it is now. If Obama is nominated, and Scalia falls over dead or retires, he’ll be replaced with a flaming socialist.

  10. “Tam points out that half of our Heller dissenters were put on the bench by Republicans. ”

    Say what? Since when is 1 of 4 “half?”

    Stevens – Ford (D)
    Souter – HW Bush (R)
    Ginsburg – Clinton (D)
    Breyer – Clinton (D)

  11. Um … I am an idiot. Fully acknowledged. I apologize for that serious brain-fart.

    Thanks, Sebastian.

  12. :-)

    Nor, I submit, will Stevens so quickly acknowledge the error of his ways.

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