I guessed yesterday that he’d opt for Barrett in the end so I’ll own my mistake here. That was based on two hunches. When given a clear choice between doing the conventional establishment thing and something bolder and less conventional, Trump would be unconventional. And when given a clear choice between satisfying his base and sending them over the moon, he’d send them over the moon. He’d already made a stellar conventional pick with Gorsuch, after all. Now was his chance to roll the dice on Barrett.
He seems to have concluded, correctly, that SCOTUS appointments are one matter in which the stakes are too high to gamble. His process with Gorsuch was straightforward: Trust the egghead conservative lawyers around him. Don McGahn and Leonard Leo know who’ll deliver. They chose Gorsuch last time and he’s delivered so far, to rapturous applause from Trump’s base, so why wouldn’t POTUS trust McGahn and Leo again? Whatever cultural thrill Barrett would have given social conservatives, the point of the pick was to install someone who’ll reliably vote the right way and lock down policy gains for the right. And conservatives have been very good at that going back to Clarence Thomas’s nomination, thanks to people like McGahn and Leo. The emotional trauma of Souter, Stevens, Brennan, and to a lesser extent Kennedy has made “no false moves” the motto of the right-wing SCOTUS assembly line and it’s paid off handsomely, with the notable exception of John Roberts’s vote in the ObamaCare case. (And Roberts has been solidly right-wing on virtually all other matters of import.) No false moves.
Alone among the final four, Kavanaugh was the “no false moves” candidate. Hardiman might have drifted to the center. Kethledge’s immigration rulings gave some pause. Barrett, for all her cultural appeal, is a black box jurisprudentially. If any one of them had been appointed instead and disappointed the right, the question would understandably have been asked, “Why didn’t Trump pick the safe candidate, Kavanaugh?” What would he have said? “He worked for Bush”? C’mon. The difference between Kavanaugh and Barrett, at least at this stage in their careers, is the difference between the pitcher who wins 18-20 games every year and the 20-year-old rookie who throws 105 m.p.h. Everyone wants to see the rookie pitch — but maybe not for the first time in Game Seven, as who knows if she can find the strike zone consistently? And if she doesn’t, you’re stuck with her for 40 years. The bullpen will be empty for that particular seat until 2050, if not longer.
David Brooks makes a smart point about Kavanaugh too. The reason he’s the safe pick is because he was incubated by the conservative legal culture shaped by the Federalist Society since the mid-80s, which developed precisely because righties wanted to make sure Republicans stopped picking Brennans for the Court. That culture was still too new to prevent Bush 41 from picking Souter in 1990 but it’s taken over the right in years since, to conservatives’ great benefit. Another way of putting that is that it’s because Kavanaugh is an “establishment” Washington creature that you know what you’re getting by putting him on the Court. Thanks to the Federalist Society, the conservative judicial “establishment” is far more reliable than the conservative political establishment. And this bullpen is fully loaded:
Well, the REAL reason he picked Kavanaugh was to pack the court so they will decide Trump can pardon himself. I know, because MSNBC said so.
How does the left avoid feeling the embarrassment they cover themselves in?
It wouldn’t matter if Trump picked someone with a glowing aura around their heads; the left is going to object to it because the left is objectionable. The left cannot leave the law in the hands of the Constitution.
Brett Kavanaugh was Trump’s obvious choice. He has suggested on several occasions that a sitting president may have constitutional immunity from criminal prosecution.
@Greg: Again with the stupid? The constitution clearly states the congress must remove a President from office then prosecution of any type can proceed. While handling the awesome duties of the most powerful person on the planet he should not be bothered with trying to effectively defend himself from prosecution criminal or otherwise. The supreme court has nothing to do with impeachment procedures nothing nada zip zilch, they do not take criminal cases.
This pick looks young and healthy he will sit on the court for many many years seems the MSM is all wound up tight if the court is left or right, shouldnt they all agree they are there to uphold the Constitution?
While the Constitution does clearly state how Congress can remove a president from office, it says nothing at all about whether or not a president can be subject to criminal prosecution while still in office. That question remains unanswered.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation should be blocked, precisely because he believes a sitting president should be immune from such criminal prosecution. He has published papers stating as much:
Separation of Powers During the FortyFourth Presidency and Beyond
Essentially, Kavanaugh’s position would put any sitting president who has a modicum of support in Congress completely beyond the reach of the law. Nominating a person who holds such views to the Supreme Court is one of most self-serving things a sitting president who could soon be subject to criminal indictment could possibly do. It’s another flashing red danger light that’s totally lost on Trump supporters, just as Trump’s behavior toward Putin and our NATO allies has been lost, and just as his suggestion that he might have the power to pardon himself has been lost.
@Greg: Its quite clear,The President can be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. The Constitution, Article I, Section 3: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. The Senate and only the Senate has that power.(thats what the pesky word “sole” means) Clinton was impeached by the House, the Senate failed to convict so he remained in office. If Mueller wants to present his evidence to the House for consideration they may impeach him but the Senate and only Senate can convict.
Not any lower or higher court that is not in he constitution, he is not immune there are set procedures, just as Clinton was not immune, Andrew Johnson was not immune.
Removal from office and prosecution for a criminal act are two entirely different things.
We don’t impeach criminals. We prosecute them. Congress has nothing to do with it.
@Greg: The senate has yet to convict a sitting President, I imagine they could execute or send a President found guilty of treason to Levenworth. There first must be a crime, after that the constitution is clear. It was put to the test and agreed upon by the Justice Dept during Nixons troubles. We must refer to the highest Law when subjects like this are discussed.
Back to the subject I have questions about this pick, he has been endorsed by men I highly respect but being a letter of the law guy his opinion submitted on Obamacare was troubling as far as intent was concerned. The other 11 opinions accepted by the Supreme court need to be examined to determine in what style he will decide future cases.
Wait… blocked because he has an opinion you don’t like? You stated yourself the Constitution does not prohibit it, so why would his opinion be disqualifying other than you simply don’t like it? If it’s a question, it has more than one view in response (unless liberals are allowed to shut down all other views) and without two or more opinions, how does the question get answered?
Not being a Democrat, Trump would not have support regardless of if he broke the law or not. Republicans tend to get rid of fellow Republicans who bring disgrace upon the government and break the law. Democrats circle the wagons and protect their people regardless of what crimes they commit.
But, all this discussion is merely academic. The FIRST thing you need is a crime and though you have been looking DESPERATELY for one, through legal and illegal means, for over two years and, failing that, have tried DESPERATELY to construct one, you have failed to complete that first step.
@Deplorable Me, #8:
No, it should be blocked because his views regarding the immunization of sitting presidents in general could force him to recuse himself from numerous cases regarding this particular president, leaving the Supreme Court incapable of resolving split decisions on matters of urgent national importance.
It’s abundantly clear that we cannot rely solely on our present Congress to rise above its partisan and intra-party divisions to hold this particular president in check when necessary; the republican majority has been far more concerned with protecting and enabling him. An incapacitated 8-member Supreme Court would further detract from the already weakening system of checks and balances that the Founding Fathers so carefully set up.
Under other circumstances, Kavanaugh might be a reasonable choice. He might have been every bit as reasonable as Garland Merrick would have been.
You have no clue what Mueller knows, now that multiple Trump associates have begun talking to him. He hasn’t been making daily press releases, unlike the Congressional republicans, pet media outlets, and highly paid and ever changing legal teams who have been working hard to cover Trump’s ample posterior.
@Greg: You are being lied to again, but suck it up like a thirsty puppy. The story stems from an article he wrote for a lawyers mag in 2009 well before Trump, some lib butthead grabbed that and twisted it was promptly presented with 2 pinocchios, Kavanaugh was not advocating for the Supreme Court to interpret the existing law, but for Congress to change it. A Bloomberg Opinion writer flushed this out on Tuesday, using the argument to prove some media outlets have it all wrong. But you keep believing what ever twisted fringe freak story that comes along.This may be far beyond your sources reading comprehension and yours http://www.minnesotalawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Kavanaugh_MLR.pdf
That would be the article linked in post #4. Kavanaugh argues that Congress alone can be counted upon to deal with any criminal acts that might be committed by a sitting president. The underlying assumption, of course, is that the majority controlling Congress is willing to do so. I see little present evidence of that. The GOP would immediately shut down the Mueller investigation, if they thought they could get away with it. A number of Congressional republicans aren’t even worried about the political consequences; they’re bailing out at the end of their current terms and are more concerned about who will be beholden to them after their departures from public office.
No, he shouldn’t recuse himself, particularly since Ginsburg hasn’t recused herself based on her oft-declared bias against Trump.
What sort of actions or behavior has Trump committed that indicates he needs to be held in check? He is PRESIDENT and as such deserves, on the strength of his rightful and legal electoral win, to have his policies brought before Congress for consideration. There has been NOTHING to hold him in check about. He’s done nothing wrong, violated no rules or laws and is far less radical and overreaching than his predecessor. In fact, he is restoring the rule of law and Constitutional guidance eroded by Obama.
The only circumstances making Kavanaugh anything but a shoe-in is the anti-American, crybaby tantrums thrown by those who backed a criminal and can’t accept the fact that she lost.
Mueller and his team leak every savory tidbit they find. He is failing at his job of providing the left with an excuse to proceed with impeachment so he has to pull such stunts as throw Manafort in jail for no reason other than being under indictment. NOTHING. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. All farce, all hoax, all liberal theater, all at the expense of the nation. It is a total disgrace.
OH? And why would they think they could not “get away with it”? Something to do with the process of ELECTIONS? Something that the CONSTITUTION provides to keep fallible men honest? Nice job of destroying your own weak-ass argument. Only Democrats routinely defend and support criminals but, of course if they didn’t, they’d have hardly anyone to support anyway.
They really should try to shut it down and see what happens, then they’ll know.
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President — More than two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists offer their consensus view that Trump’s mental state presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual well-being.
Donald Trump wrote own health letter, says physician Harold Bornstein
As if we didn’t know this already…
@Greg: They should all have their licences revoked not one of them has actually talked with the President one on one to make such an assessment they are frauds in your freak parade.
Ethics rule forbidding psychiatrists from offering professional opinions about public figures they have not personally evaluated not only be unethical, it is totally irresponsible.
There’s more publicly available information regarding Donald Trump, his behavior, and his thought processes than they’re likely have from direct contact with most of their patients.
I suppose those who truly believe they’re observing a danger feel it’s their duty to mention it. Donald Trump isn’t a private citizen; he’s a public official who has the most potentially destructive powers on the planet at his fingertips.
Yeah, well, see that’s the point you are an expert at missing. While it is legislatively possible, they still CAN’T, so your “theory” that Congress cannot be relied upon to do their duty, should it arise, is shredded.
And how many have actually questioned Trump personally? I swear, you liberals must take idiot classes somewhere. You WILL absolutely grasp at any and all tenuous, thin, iffy straw anyone that caters to idiots will offer you.
@Deplorable Me: They have outlawed straws, the NY Times in 1994 had a Yuge article about how great a Trump Presidency would be, but he was a democrat back then and donating to Politicians.