Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Score One for Baker's Political Prognostication Powers

I said Alito would be confirmed by a comfortable margin with no filibuster.

Correct.

I also said it is the next vacant spot on the court, not O'Connor's seat, that will provoke the battle royale. With O'Connor's retirement and replacement you get four strong conservative votes, not five. Our side lost one when White was replaced by Ginsburg. A pretty serious swing, but the GOP wasn't complaining, now were they?

The next seat will make the Bork battle look like a party provided a Republican is doing the nominating. If not, the GOP will sit politely by while the Democrats appoint pretty much whoever they wish, AS USUAL.

13 comments:

Tlaloc said...

Revisionism?

"If not, the GOP will sit politely by while the Democrats appoint pretty much whoever they wish, AS USUAL."

Yeah except for all those candidates the GOP locked up in commitee. Sure they may not have literally filibustered but the GOP has used procedural rules to bar a lot of Dem picked nominees to the courts.

JC said...

If we say that O'Connor was "moderately liberal" then Kennedy (the new "swing vote") is "moderately conservative." I think that is a fair enough characterization, given my understanding of their voting histories.

Some reports have suggested that Breyer may be leaving soon (before Bush is gone?), and if he were replaced by someone at least as conservative as Roberts, then Roberts would be the new "swing vote." That would definitely complete the Supreme Court shift from left to right (in terms of its composition) that began last year.

Of course, it remains to be seen how Roberts and Alito will actually vote on hot topics. SC justices have a history in recent years of slipping to the left over time.

tbmbuzz said...

The next seat will make the Bork battle look like a party provided a Republican is doing the nominating.

Depends on the election results later this year (and if it happens before GWB's term ends, of course). If the makeup of Congress (Senate) remains roughly the same, then it will be more like the Alito nomination - lots of hot air but futility by a politically impotent opposition that has now lost many battles to GWB.

Hunter Baker said...

I think Kennedy is basically Harry Blackmun all over again.

On the other question T raises, I think he has confused the lower courts with the Supreme Court, to which I was clearly and obviously referring. Thus, the lack of "revisionism."

KeithM, Indy said...

hunter - maybe that was to nuanced for liberals to understand??

tbmbuzz said...

Next time I'd like to see the nominee ask Joe Biden to repeat his question. :)

Tlaloc said...

"On the other question T raises, I think he has confused the lower courts with the Supreme Court, to which I was clearly and obviously referring. Thus, the lack of "revisionism.""

So your principle of what is appropriate for judges only applies to supreme court judges? Quite a nuanced position.

JC said...

He didn't state a principle of what is appropriate; he stated something that has historically been true. Look carefully at the paragraph you quoted---there are no normative statements or even the word "should." You objected to the statement ("revisionism") and he clarified it.

Tlaloc said...

"He didn't state a principle of what is appropriate; he stated something that has historically been true."

Well the "all nominees deserve an up or down vote" has certainly been a common GOP "principle" until it became inconvenient with the Miers nomination.

His statement is historically true if you narrowly define which case you consider. If you look at the larger picture it is not true. Much as I can say that a quarter is 100% likely to come up heads if I choose to only use those cases where it did.

tbmbuzz said...

Well the "all nominees deserve an up or down vote" has certainly been a common GOP "principle" until it became inconvenient with the Miers nomination.


Except that Miers had no support in the Senate other than from Harry Reid and possibly a handful of other senators, and this was completely obvious. She in essence had her up or down vote. By contrast, the nominees that were successfully blocked by the Senate Democrats, such as Miguel Estrada, would have won a Senate up or down vote, and this is obvious too.

Tlaloc said...

"She in essence had her up or down vote."

No she didn't. Had there been an actual vote Senators would have had to decide whether they would cave to White House pressure or stand by stated principle. Naturally that would have been quite the spectacle. So they pressured her to be withdrawn WITHOUT a vote.

Hunter Baker said...

Actually, T, you accused me of revisionism, which would indicate a mistake of history (although revisionism as actually means to correct history). Since I was very clearly speaking historically of the Supreme Court then it would not be "nuanced" to not be speaking of other judicial nominations. It would simply be to speak of what I was specifically speaking about.

Improve your aim or get off the court.

Ed Darrell said...

Hmmm. 42 votes against. A serious filibuster would have beaten him.

It seems to me that gloating is reserved for those who can't, or don't, count.