Does Cruz Know Something?

Ted Cruz is predicting there will be a Supreme Court vacancy this summer. A lot of people are getting very optimistic about Second Amendment cases because we get to replace Scalia with Gorsuch. Even if Gorsuch turns out to be as solid on the Second Amendment as Scalia, that doesn’t get us anywhere. Recall that before Scalia stepped down, the Supreme Court still wasn’t taking gun cases, even when the lower courts were just as if not more blatant than the 4th Circuit Court of appeals was. We need to replace Ginsburg or Breyer if we’re going to get anywhere.

Interestingly, however, not too soon after Cruz made his prediction, Ginsburg told the BBC she’s not so sure how much steam she’s got left:

Asked how much longer she would stay in post, she said: “At my age you have to take it year by year. I know I’m OK. What will be next year?”

She added: “I’m hopeful however, because my most senior colleague the one who most recently retired, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down at age 90. So I have a way to go.”

I wouldn’t read too much into that, but that doesn’t sound like someone who’s intent on staying on the High Court until the bitter end.

27 thoughts on “Does Cruz Know Something?”

      1. Hey, if Jesus checked in with this guy, I’m pretty sure he’d have a word with Cruz himself. Or at least with his dad.

        PROPHECY #15 – Well over six months ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that Ted Cruz would be his designated voice within the Senate. When the Lord said this to me, he made no mention of him becoming President but only that he would continue to be his voice in the Senate.

  1. This is pure speculation (and unjustified optimism) on my part, but could it be possible that the Court declined to take another 2A case under Obama because there were internal concerns that Scalia might not make it long enough to see the case to conclusion?

    If you think things are bad now, imagine if Obama had been able to appoint a replacement for Scalia after the Court granted cert on a 2A case. Truly terrifying.

    1. My pet theory is a bit more grim: Robert’s was being squeezed by the Administration with threats to launch a campaign that will delegitimize the court and himself in the eyes of the public. Maybe they even had some dirt. Who knows? But I think Roberts is very concerned about the image of the Court, and I think he could be intimidated in this way.

      Scalia died somewhat suddenly. I’m not sure he was thinking the end was near.

      1. Seems to me that Roberts did more himself to delegitimize the Supremes than Obama was capable of. The absurd Obamacare decision stands out but the 2A ducking is part of it too. However, if you or Matt are correct, presumably he will reverse when Gorsuch is confirmed. I fear that he is just a weak man who doesn’t want to take on tough cases in a divided country and is perfectly happy to let the Circuits run amok.

    2. I think it was just wariness about what Kennedy would do on both sides. It only takes 4 justices to grant cert. The 4 justices at the core of the Heller majority may have been worried that Kennedy would jump ship and side with the minority on something like assault rifles or right to carry. Boom, there is a major chunk of the Second Amendment gone. Conversely, the four justices of the Heller minority would be worried that Kennedy would stay with the Heller majority, and that ties their hands.

      So both sides are dealing with a large unknown, Justice Kennedy, and they don’t want to risk it. So neither side wants to grant cert on a gun case.

      Replacing both Scalia and one of the Heller minority with Second Amendment friendly justices would guarantee a pro-gun rights result no matter how Kennedy votes, so that’s when I’d expect to see another gun case.

      1. your guessing seems very reasonable to me

        the silence of SCOTUS since the McDonald v Chicago ruling has certainly been mysterious

        1. As I recall, the NRA was very nervous about Heller and was late in signing on because of concerns about Kennedy. Robert Levy who was funding the case had a different opinion and proceeded. Turned out that Levy was right and Kennedy was fine. Personally, I think the defector is Roberts perhaps because of one or more of the theories mentioned above. Why the Supremes are allowed to have their cert votes be secret is beyond me.

          1. It wasn’t Kennedy, or rather, it wasn’t primarily Kennedy they were concerned about. It was Sandra Day O’Conner. But when she stepped down and was replaced by Alito, that changed things.

  2. If Darth Vader Ginsburg quit or croaked it would simply be too much to hope for.

    At that point, it would be worth convincing Kennedy and Thomas to retire to replace them with somebody in their 40s or 50s. Have a 6-3 hold on the court for a generation or better.

    1. aerodawg, I think you nailed it. If you’re a member of SCOTUS who’s up there in years and truly believes in the Constitution, Trump and a favorable Congress gives you a window to retire.

    2. Last year Thomas was referencing not staying on the court until death and he’d like to retire. I say that Ginsburg is pissed that killary didn’t win and she couldn’t retire so she could be replaced by the first trans judge. Now she has to wait it out 4 years. For as goofy as I think Cruz is, his understanding of the SCOTUS is deep from his clerking time, so I wouldn’t dismiss him on this. I leaning towards a Thomas announcement after this confirmation plays out.

    3. I continue to be confused about people on the right wanting Thomas to retire. He is only 2 years older than Alito – do we want him gone too?

      1. It’s not that I want him gone, but, he has referred to his desire to retire. I can’t help but think that the decision to retire from highest bench is made knowing what will happen to that seat and who would fill it. RBG had said in the past that should wouldn’t go before 2017 and I think she really want her replacement named by Hillary.

        1. If he wants to retire, then of course he can and should. I was responding to the suggestion of aerodawg (and several others that I have heard) that Thomas should be “convinced” or otherwise made to retire.

  3. If I had the start-up capital, I think that a hot item at gun shows would be a RBG voodoo doll.

  4. As to Roberts I speculate there is a blackmail file. I also wonder why Obama backed up Hillary with Benghazi? I thought she must had very good leverage on him

  5. My guess would be Kennedy retiring. Nominating Gorsuch may give him the confidence that Trump will replace him with a distinguished, accomplished jurist.

  6. Below is the current make up of SCOTUS, with Gorsuch thrown in. It was stated that Breyer to Ginsburg would be optimal. However, even though Kennedy tends to swing to the right in some, if not the majority of cases, replacing him with a strident pro-2A justice would achieve the same effect. Also Kennedy is the second in age to Ginsburg.

    My hope is that we’ll be able to replace at least two of the three: Ginsburg, Kennedy, or Breyer during Trump’s term, in addition to adding Gorsuch to the court.

    Justice| Age
    Clarence Thomas| 68
    Samuel Anthony Alito| 66
    John G. Roberts, Jr.| 62
    [Neil Gorsuch]| 49

    Anthony M. Kennedy| 80

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg| 83
    Stephen G. Breyer| 78
    Sonia Sotomayor| 62
    Elena Kagan| 56

  7. Justice Ruth Ginsburg is only 83? Geez, she looks like she’s at least 123.

  8. Roberts is big on the “[i]f it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more” theory of jurisprudence. It may have been he was waiting for all the circuits to weigh in (and, perhaps, hoping for a circuit split to force hands).

    There are some problems with that philosophy, of course.

  9. Ted Cruz knows that it’s been a long time since Ted Cruz was in a headline. There’s fundraising to do, and probably a serious challenger to deal with in 2018.

    Solution: headlines during CPAC!

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