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View Diary: SCOTUS Is A Political Institution (97 comments)

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  •  That may be a function of the ever more (5+ / 0-)

    continuous political environment. Once upon a time there was a tradition that a president was more or less entitled to have his nominees confirmed unless really major issues like criminal corruption came up. It was logically assumed that a president would select people who shared his policy views. Now there is often an attempt to block people on ideological grounds. I think that has tended to force the selection of nominees whose background presents a small target because they have never held center stage on major policy issues.  

    •  I don't think that's quite it. (3+ / 0-)

      If anything, that gives the President more ability and reason to appoint a big name.  In  particular, the clubby Senate is unlikely to block one of its own.

      Reagan or Bush could have named Orrin Hatch.  Clinton could have named Pat Leahy.

      The bigger factor is, I think, age.  Presidents choose young nominees who are likely to give them a legacy of forty years or so.  And people of the stature we used to get, are older.

    •  Our political environment has been fractious ... (1+ / 0-)
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      i saw an old tree today

      ... all its life. And the impact of court decisions on political actions are nothing new to the Court: Marbury v. Madison.

      We Democrats lifted the veil on the role of ideology in nominations when we drove Robert Bork from "his" nominated seat, and the Republicans have reminded us of that relentlessly since.

      I think what we object to these days is a Supreme Court justice who carries a political agenda onto the court with him and her. That is, an agenda that is different from ours. Of course, nominees have their own political views and are creatures of political processes as they rise to the bench. And they are human beings who can't help but view the issues that come before them through the lens of their own life experiences. But we don't like a judge who we believe twists the facts, the precedents and the key points to decide a case to fit her and his "agenda." Yet many do it often.

      Bottom line: the law cannot help but be a political process. However, it need not be driven by a political agenda du jour.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 07:18:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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