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View Diary: SCOTUS: Roberts Helped Pro-Gay Rights Coalition in Key Case (167 comments)

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  •  Well Said (none)
    The current "left" on the Supreme Court consists of centrists (Breyer, Souter, Stevens, and Ginsburg), the center consists of conservatives (Kennedy and the departing O'Connor), and the right consists of, well, the very far right (Rehnquist, and especially Thomas and Scalia).

    I think a lot of Democrats would be delighted with another Anthony Kennedy, and this speaks volumes not just about the reduced power of the Democrats in DC these days, but about what Dems are willing to demand from the federal judiciary.

    But this is very old news.  In 1993 and 1994, when White and Blackmun retired, there was very little  pressure on Clinton from his own party to nominate an actual progressive  (Justice Tribe, anyone?) to the Court. At least by his account, then ranking member Orrin Hatch had much to say about these selections, despite the fact that Democrats had a majority in the Senate when Clinton made his two SCOTUS appointments.

    Of course, this is all indicative of larger truths about the contemporary Democratic Party: a centrist party is going to be satisfied with centrists when they have the power to nominate, and will settle for less nutty conservatives when they don't.

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    by GreenSooner on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 01:33:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't call ... (none)
      Breyer, Souter, Stevens, or Ginsburg centrists -- just not liberal like Justice Brennan or Justice Marshall.  No Republican president would ever nominate Justice Breyer or Justice Ginsburg, but both would be within the range of presidential deference for Supreme Court Justices for Republicans.  The four "centrist" justices you mentioned are slightly left-of-center, although much, much closer to the center than to Justice Brennan or Justice Marshall.
      •  I concur (none)
        I would say that Ginsburg and Stevens are a bit to the left of Breyer and Souter (Breyer being perhaps the most centrist-leaning of the "liberal" bunch).

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