Obama Gets Another Court Pick

Stevens has announced he’s retiring. He was appointed by Ford, and is 90 years old this April 20th. This is actually a pretty significant blow to the folks who voted against us in Heller, and likely in McDonald too. Stevens was widely regarded as the intellectual leader of the left-leaning side of the Court. It’s widely expected that Obama will get a third pick for the Court when Justice Ginsberg retires. The 2010 elections are only increasing in importance.

Obama will, of course, replace Stevens with a similar lefty, but it’ll be hard to replace his leadership on the Court.

12 thoughts on “Obama Gets Another Court Pick”

  1. He can try to replace his leadership on the Court, but I suspect doing so would require a nominee who be very controversial. He thought he got his “political” pick out of the way with Sotomayor, but he’d be crazy to go with a farther left nominee in 2010. He’s basically got to pick someone who can just nod along in the Senate hearings and has never said or thought anything too controversial if he doesn’t want to draw up more voter anger this summer. Right now, the White House can keep telling themselves that the people will forget their anger by the time November rolls around. In June or July, that argument will be much, much harder to make.

  2. Bad timing for Obama and the Senate Dems. The question on every Republican Senator’s lips should be “In your view, what are the limitations of the Commerce Clause?”

  3. Make the Democrats pay for appointing an anti-gun Justice. We may not be able to stop Obama from doing it, but we can fully expose whoever replaces Stevens and make the Democrats suffer for it.

    After Sotomayor shows her true anti-gun face with the McDonald v Chicago case, the Democrats won’t be able to play the same games during confirmation hearings with Stevens replacement as they did with Sotomayor.

  4. I thought David Brooks made an interesting point – Obama may as well go as far left as humanly possible, since after November he’s not going to have nearly as friendly a Senate. He doesn’t lose much going for the Hail Mary.

    1. That is a point to be made. On the other hand, the more radical the candidate, the more likely it is to rally the base of the opposition much closer to the election. So if he goes that route, he may lose more seats than he otherwise would if he goes for someone with relatively little controversy following them.

  5. I’m thinking Ginsberg will ride out the term. I really don’t think she liked his little power play at the SOTU.

  6. I dunno – Obama has been curiously diffident in his fights. He’ll kibitz, he’ll lay challenges, he’ll call his opponents all the names in the book. But when it comes time to lay rubber on the road – he’s got people for that. And I think that approach is not going to work for him much longer.

  7. April 20? Same birthday as Hitler. Not that it means anything, just jumped out at me.

    I don’t often agree with Stevens but it seems like he had some solid and consistent thinking behind his decisions. Sort of the mirror opposite with Scalia (agree often, but have WTF moments when trying to find consistency).

    I hope the dude gets another 15 years to enjoy his retirement.

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