Jump to content

Welcome to Nightly.Net
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Trump's Supreme Court Pick: Neil Gorsuch


30 replies to this topic

#1
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Looks like Trump's got a Supreme Court shortlist according to Jan Crawford, who is a reasonably solid Supreme Court journalist:

 

-William Pryor (54): 11th Circuit via Alabama Attorney General
-Diane Sykes (59): 7th Circuit via Wisconsin Supreme Court
-Thomas Hardiman (51): 3rd Circuit
-Steve Colloton (53): 8th Circuit
-Joan Larsen (48): Michigan Supreme Court

 

Pretty close to what you'd expect.  Trump has been referencing Sykes and Pryor by name since Scalia died.  Pryor's got Sessions in his corner and Sykes probably has Priebus.  I kinda think Steve Colloton is on the list because Chuck Grassley is pushing him.  And Thomas Hardiman might well be on there because he served with Trump's sister.  Larsen is probably in there because she's from Michigan, is a woman, and would make the Scalia family happy.

 

Sykes remains the safe choice.  She'd be relatively easy to confirm and comes from a state that Trump would certainly like to reward.  No one could say that he didn't fulfill his campaign promise.  At 59 though, she's on the edge of where presidents usually nominate candidates.  This vacancy will likely be her one and only chance to get on the Supreme Court

 

Pryor is the conservative darling and would generate the biggest Senate battle of them all.  Unlike the usual Republican president, Trump might enjoy that.  And it's hard to underestimate just how hard Sessions will be pushing for Pryor.  I found this article from The Wall Street Journal from 20 years ago that shows just how close the two were and how Sessions considers Pryor a protege.  Sessions will want this badly.

 

The one that would surprise me most is Colloton.  He's a Washington insider, which goes against what Trump seems to be looking for.  Easy confirmation, but wouldn't give any sizzle.  Like I said, I think this is just to make Grassley happy from his perch in the Judiciary Committee.

 

Hardiman is something of a dark horse.  Honestly, I don't know much about him.  Unless his Trump's sister has more pull than I realize, I'd be a surprised if it were him.

 

Larsen is probably the biggest outsider of the bunch.  She's the youngest and has, by far, the least experience as a judge having just been appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court last year so her paper trail is pretty thin.  She's the closest to a stealth candidate on the list and most likely to give conservatives heartburn.

 

So we're kinda back to where we started.  Pryor and Sykes with the inside track.



#2
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Politico claims there are three more names on the shortlist:

 

-Raymond Kethledge (50): 6th Circuit

-Neil Gorsuch (49): 10th Circuit

-Raymond Gruender (53) 8th Circuit

 

Not sure how real this is, these are names that I heard more from the Federalist Society than from Trump himself.  Or maybe it's to appease them because they're darlings of the conservative legal sphere.  Gruender's at least got an interesting story considering that he was once shot by Raymond Gruender Sr. (along with his sister) before he found the decency to stop gunning down his children and shoot himself in the head instead.

 

In other news, I noticed recently that the 9th Circuit has four vacancies at the moment.  It's not unusual for there to be vacancies on the 9th Circuit since there are a whopping 29 judges on it, but I did a quick headcount, and assuming Trump fills all four of them, the balance of power there will be 18-11 for Democrat vs. Republican judges.  For my whole life, the 9th Circuit has been infamous for its liberal rulings, but now all it would take would be for four of the Democrat nominees (12 of the 18 are at least 60 years old) to take senior status and suddenly you could be looking at Republican majority court.  It'd be fitting considering Obama managed to upend the 4th circuit, which was previously known as the most conservative circuit court.

 

That wouldn't necessarily translate to a conservative court, but it would certainly alter the makeup of the court into a fairly moderate one.  Maybe that would finally break the logjam and get the 9th Circuit broken apart considering it's one of 12 circuit court districts, but over 1/5 of the nation's citizens live under it.

 

Oh, and just a side-note, Obama didn't recess appoint Garland to the Supreme Court and his nomination expired this afternoon.  There was a bit of a Twitter storm about how Obama could use a recess appointment to put Garland on the court until the end of Congress's session.  Of course, it was all dumb because all Congress would have to do is turn around and end their session early and have Trump call them in for a special session to sweep the recess appointment into the dustbin.  And Trump would have gotten a free DC Circuit nomination to boot, which I can assure you Obama does NOT want to give him.

 

It was one of those internet fever swamp plans that just didn't make any sense.



#3
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Jan Crawford said yesterday morning that Neil Gorsuch is now the leading candidate for the Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.  A bit surprising since Trump seemed to be leaning against the Harvard/Yale stranglehold on the Supreme Court.  Though, as good as Crawford is, Supreme Court nominees are notoriously difficult to predict.

 

Pryor and Hardiman are also in the discussion.  Pryor is known to have personally met with Trump recently.  Sykes, the leading woman contender, isn't on that list.  Perhaps waiting for the 2nd open seat?  But she is a few years older than the rest of the group and her best chance, unless Kennedy plans on retiring after this next term, is here and now.

 

Trump's expected to name his nominee sometime in the next couple of weeks.  He said last week that he already has a leading candidate in mind.

 



#4
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,992 posts

How about Garland?



#5
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Obviously not a serious question.



#6
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,992 posts

no, it was serious. I mean Obama picked a nice centrist judge but totally by all means let's not meet in the middle and just because we don't like the far left's ideas we should go far to the right instead. But you are you and I am me, so I can see how you'd see it that way. It's okay. I'm not really interested in your answer anyways. I see the US at a point where it's all or nothing and the people in the middle just pay and pay and pay.



#7
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Garland didn't have the votes.  He is not actually centrist at all (unless you want to say that the left would be concerned that he would ever have broken ranks in a big important case like abortion, affirmative action, 2nd Amendment, voter ID cases, etc., you can't call him a centrist).  There is a 0% chance that Trump will name him.

 

There is no reason to even bring him up other than to complain about a closed partisan issue.



#8
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Anyway, multiple reports now that Gorsuch, Pryor, and Hardiman are the names being considered.  Could be the media quoting each other of course.  Anyone remember when Edith Clement was widely reported to be Bush's nominee for O'Connor all through the day until reporters realized she was still at home and not in Washington?

 

Either way, we're getting close.  Trump met with top Senators yesterday and is expected to put his nominee forward next week.
 

Edit: Make that next Thursday.



#9
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

There are rumblings today that Hardiman is, indeed, still in the running owing to Trump's sister talking him up as I suggested when his name first popped up as a short-lister.

 

For what it's worth, Hardiman excites me the least of the three for other reasons.  His big advantage over the other two is on criminal law stuff, and, frankly, I'm fine with a justice being bit moderate on those issues (like Scalia was).  Though, I think there's more of a chance that it'll be him than he's getting credit with the odds-makers.  Based on Trump's likes and dislikes, Hardiman probably fits Trump's mold better than the other two.



#10
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Looks like Trump's decided to change the narrative away from immigration and is moving up the announcement to tomorrow night.  Air travelers will no doubt be happy to hear that protesters will have something much bigger to protest soon.

 

The conventional wisdom of the afternoon shifted away from Gorsuch and towards Hardiman recently.  As I said, Hardiman fits Trump a bit better, though if it were up to me, I'm pretty sure I'd pick Gorsuch.



#11
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts

Fingers crossed he'll nominate me. I already have the black robes.


  • Ms. Spam +1 this

#12
Cerina

Cerina

    Now and forever...

  • Admin
  • 29,960 posts

Heh, white robes would probably get you closer...


  • Jacen123 +1 this

#13
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Chatter's flipped back to Gorsuch this afternoon with a few publications saying they've confirmed it.  But apparently both of them are coming to Washington this evening for the announcement.  Because, Reality TV.

 

So, maybe it'll be Pryor as a last-minute run-in surprise.



#14
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Neil Gorsuch it is.



#15
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Here's a nice video of a speech from Gorsuch.



#16
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,992 posts

Gorsuch is actually a good choice coming from Trump. His views are slightly better than Scalia's so there could be improvement in that area. 



#17
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

That's interesting.  As I was doing research on these judges, I was struck by just how similar his legal philosophy was to Scalia, and how he was the potential justice most likely to fill his shoes as the court's most influential conservative writer.  He seemed to be the tightest fit for the "in the mold of Scalia" criteria.  That speech I linked to was basically a long praise of Scalia's career and why it was correct.  It was titled "Of Lions and Bears, Judges and Legislators, and the Legacy of Justice Scalia".  Hint: Scalia is the lion.

 

The biggest daylight between them I can see would be Gorsuch being more skeptical of Chevron deference and that he's not as acerbic.  Both of which are more likely to push the court to the right than otherwise.  Did you see something that I missed?



#18
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts
Drat. I didn't get the nomination. Maybe next time.
  • monkeygirl +1 this

#19
Carrie Mathison

Carrie Mathison

    Member

  • Member
  • 1,108 posts

Well I'd love to give this a more thorough take from the attorney's perspective, but... I've already started drinking, so you know.

 

But off the cuff... I don't know why, but for some reason I get the uneasy feeling that we have a Souter in the midst.

 

While I won't go so far to say that I'm displeased, I think this was the best opportunity for the GOP to get in someone like Pryor.  No matter what the Dems say, at the end of the day, they were never going to force the GOP to kill the filibuster.  Because they know, that no matter who the GOP nominates, he's just replacing Scalia, so it's one conservative for another.  They're gonna save their ace in the hole just in case Trump gets to replace a liberal, which is entirely likely over the next few years.

 

If that happens, Dems will go all out, force the GOP to kill the filibuster, create a giant media frenzy over it, and so on.  It will be a hell of a lot tougher to push through a Pryor-type then, so I don't know why Trump didn't save Gorsuch for that situation, and get Pryor through now. 

 

I'd say Pryor's chances of ever seeing the bench have gone from a strong possibility, to now probably close to 0%.



#20
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

If he turns out to be a Souter, I'll hand it to him for being a wolf in sheep's clothing, he had me fooled.  Worst case, I'm seeing is that he becomes Roberts' ally in the whole protecting the Court's reputation by ducking hard decisions project.

 

As for Pryor, oddly, he got a lot of flak from the right.  Phyllis Schlafly's son made it a mission to pretty much tar all the Supreme Court candidates not named Charles Canady, who was never a serious candidate due to his age and a ruling he had that went with a transgender person was proof that he was soft or something.  Which is just messed up since Pryor is, if nothing else, the definition of a true believer.

 

Pryor's biggest problem is that I'm not 100% he would have been confirmed.  If he'd been nominated, he might well have lost Murkowski and Collins and with that the McCains, Hatches, and Grahams of the Senate could have easily gone wobbly and refused to support the nuclear option.  But Gorsuch isn't likely to have that problem.  Murkowski gave her blessing even before the announcement owing to having a westerner on the court (and interestingly praising his skepticism of Chevron deference), and Collins isn't likely to run away.  Given that he's an all-around well-respected jurist and has a mild personality and without any particular real controversy that I can see (last I checked, the biggest gotcha so far was a joke about starting the "Fascism Forever" club in his high school yearbook), if the Democrats succeed in mounting a filibuster, it should be nuked pretty easily.

 

If the nuclear option is deployed, that would be great because, like it or not, the specter of the filibuster still has its use as a chilling effect.  If it were removed, than it could clear up any concerns about Pryor being a potentially failed nominee fall away.

 

Also, I'm thinking that they went with Gorsuch first to send a signal to Kennedy that it's okay to retire, a person he respects would be replacing him.



#21
Carrie Mathison

Carrie Mathison

    Member

  • Member
  • 1,108 posts

I'm not sure I disagree with much of that, but I still don't think it answers the question: why wait on Pryor now?  This is Pryor's best chance.  Gorsuch can be left on the bench for a harder confirmation.  If the nuclear option has to be utilized, fine.. but get Pryor in now, and then worry about getting the 51 votes for Gorsuch later.  I think you can probably find 51 votes for Pryor- grandstanding from some of the Republicans notwithstanding, I think we would've seen it amounted to a whole lot of nothing (see, e.g., Tillerson).

 

Just seems like there's a big concession being made here when it didn't need to be.



#22
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

It's not so much getting 51 votes.  I'm pretty sure that Pryor would get, at minimum, 50 Republicans plus Manchin.  It's convincing the institutionalists to take that extra step and nuking the filibuster that I have doubts about.  Remember, if it weren't for McCain, Graham, and Collins, this would have been resolved way back in 2005 when Republicans held 55 seats and the Democrats started using the filibuster for judicial nominations in the first place.

 

With Gorsuch, I don't see how a filibuster survives.  But if the Democrats could plausibly call the nominee controversial (and Pryor definitely would qualify), it'd be tough to hold the majority.

 

I think the ultimate evidence that they were worried about Pryor getting through was that they didn't try.  Trump's hardly shied away from controversy.  Pryor would have been the biggest red meat/Stone Cold Salute nominee he could have put forward aside from maybe Ted Cruz.  If Trump thought they could get him through, I tend to think they would have done so.

 

Which leaves Pryor's best chance either in a world without the filibuster, or waiting until after 2018 where Republicans should pick up at least a couple of seats in the Senate just a matter of the lopsided map.

 

I would like to see Pryor on the Supreme Court eventually.  While Gorsuch seems to be closer to Scalia as a matter of judicial philosophy, having someone fearless on the right side of the court will be important too.  Particularly since I half expect Thomas to retire in 2019.  Now if you're looking for a prime opportunity to get Pryor onto the court, there you go.  Swapping in Pryor for Thomas would tilt the court to the left a bit if anything.



#23
Carrie Mathison

Carrie Mathison

    Member

  • Member
  • 1,108 posts

Gorsuch may indeed be a little closer to Scalia... but I find myself caring less and less about that.  To be honest, I want an unapologetic right-wing judicial activist who will outright legislate from the bench.
 
Scalia may have influenced many lawmakers, judges, and attorneys, including myself, but at the end of the day, what was his legacy?  Was he able to stop the slow march towards activism?  Nope.  The constitution was on life support before he was there, and it's all but dead now.  It's basically a Rorschach inkblot- people will see whatever they want to see in it. "That's unconstitutional!" has now become synonymous with "things I don't like."

 

So my governing and legal philosophy has completely changed.  As I've alluded to elsewhere, it's now simply fight fire with fire.  The GOP b-tched and moaned about Obama's executive orders... and now Democrats are predictably complaining in the same way about Trump's orders, but you better believe once they get back in power, we'll get a whole series of immediate orders doing god knows what.  If you thought Obama's last couple years were bad, that was nothing.  So it's time for Trump to do as much sh-t as possible, and I don't frankly care how autocratic it is.  Likewise, conservative jurists have for decades tried explaining to liberals that maybe judicial activism isn't a good idea, because what happens when someone you don't like comes into power?  Those points were always met with one of three responses, either a) you're racist; b) we'll always hold power because of the growing Hispanic vote duh; or c) a shrug of the shoulders.  To liberals, they didn't seem to understand that maybe turning the Court into a political branch is a bad idea, because that could lead to 9 un-elected people deciding law for everyone, which could lead to great evil and tyranny.  But who cares?  We're getting the results we want, so who cares if the constitution is a "living document?"

 

Well now they got someone they don't like in power, but as far as I'm concerned, it's too late for them to start running back to the constitution and arguing about how we need to carefully examine the text.  F-ck 'em.  This is the world they wanted, so this is the world they're gonna get.  We have a limited window of time to ram through as much of the agenda as possible.  And that is exactly what the GOP should do.  By any means necessary.  Rules, traditions, precedent, the constitution, who gives a f-ck about any of that.  If the constitution is a living document, I guess that means we can do away with some parts of it, like birthright citizenship and voting rights.  Leftists have turned this country into basically a tyranny by majority with no governing principles and it's time for them to face the music.  Luckily we have the power right now.  If the GOP is smart, they'll realize that's the case and they won't have the power forever.  So as much as possible needs to be done, and who gives a f-ck what anyone thinks about it.  Luckily Trump seems to get this.

 

At least for the most part.  Unfortunately Gorsuch likely doesn't.  He probably still thinks things like the rule of law and persuasion matter in this day and age.

 

How quaint.
 



#24
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

I think Pryor would have disappointed you to on that count.  Sounds like you're more looking for Roy Moore, the guy Pryor prosecuted.

 

One thing that has disappointed has been the marked decrease in federalism among the current crop of judges.  You want a radical legal revolution that would be fighting fire with fire and alter the very relationship between the people and the government, that would be the most radical and effective means to your end.  Obviously, Roberts broke new ground in deference to the government being allowed to do whatever they want when he saved Obamacare, but it's been difficult to find any judges that would be willing to take up the mantle.  I don't see any judges on Trump's list that immediately jump out as dedicated federalists in the mold of a Rehnquist, much less a Thomas.

 

Even asking for an O'Connor on this issue seems to be too much to ask.  If Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer all retire in the next few years and leave the court with a strong 7-2 conservative majority, I'm still not sure we'd even get modest reforms like Lopez and Morrison.



#25
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Looks like Gorsuch won't have any problems getting through.  We're getting to three weeks in and there's no momentum for keeping him out, which would be needed to maintain a filibuster.  Most mainstream articles on the guy have been either neutral or favorable and Democrats have made the massive mistake of basing all opposition on the supposed mistreatment of Garland.  And, since Garland wasn't mistreated, just ignored, and calls about how unprecedented it was that the Senate ignored a presidents nominee can be countered with literally hundreds of examples showing otherwise, it leaves the current nominee squeaky clean.

 

Even now, I'm seeing articles about how Democrats need to make Republicans squirm by asking Gorsuch about Garland during his hearings.  It's a political dud that is only working inside of echo chambers.





Reply to this topic