Friday, May 1, 2009

Souter Retiring

Justice David Souter is retiring from the Supreme Court at the end of this year's session in June. The ultimate pig in a poke, Souter was nominated by George Bush the Elder at the behest of his Chief of Staff John Sununu, in an effort to avoid a bruising confirmation fight. As a result, Bush's nomination turned out to be a reliable vote in the liberal wing of the court, and it squandered what could have been a more successful, judicially inactive Supreme Court.

Souter's departure does nothing to change the balance of the court. Expected departures of John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg will also have little impact on court balance. President Obama may indeed get to make three Supreme Court nominations in his first term...generally speaking a boon to one's ideological backers...without making even a ripple in court make-up.

George W. Bush's wise decisions on Roberts and Alito will stand as among the most important legacies of his Presidency.

UPDATE: Just thinking about the delicious miasma of special interest horse trading that will go into this nomination makes me smile.....


Anonymous said...

Perhaps we'll get less 5 to 4 decisions?

Dan said...

The special interest horse trading will end up causing the Democrats to select a conservative.

Ghost of Halloween Past said...

Uh oh CW, first referencing Broder on Specter and now shrugging at the impact of potentially 3 Supreme Court nominations: you're sounding a little like Rush "everything is going according to plan" Limbaugh here :) .

The Conservative Wahoo said...

GHP--I usually look to you for better comments, irrespective of how much I disagree with them. Three Supreme Court noms are likely to replace three people who vote the way Obama wants them to anyway. Yes, new blood could extend the liberal bloc in a temporal way, and if I ignored that, I do apologize. But in a substantive, vote-by-vote way? Come on?

The Limbaugh comment is just cheap.

Ghost of Halloween Past said...

Hmmm, are you calling a comparison with Rush a "cheap shot"? That's not just a little cranky, but also seems to be a dangerous position to take given your interest in participating in the Party.

OK, so you've taken up a decidedly positive spin on these situations that one *might* also see as posing significant negatives for the Party interests (off my game or misinformed as I might be). I gently noted the lockstep similarity to the recent interviews with and commentary from Rush Limbaugh, a comparison that yes, I would be highly offended by myself, but seems to be the highest honor these days in your neck of the political woods. I suppose it would have been more flattering if I'd used Bill Kristol or Newt Gingrich as the example.

But Rush is just so much damn funnier.

And in all seriousness, my usual teasing of you aside, I am very glad and relieved you took offense. Not that I mean to insult you, quite the opposite. I find it baffling to think that a party with some truly great minds and speakers at its disposal is looking to people like Hannity and Limbaugh as its thought leaders and public orators. And I would like to think you are part of some new political wave, and not just more of the O'Reilly/Coulter/Buchanan flotsam swirling around in some backwater eddy.

Because, having lost some bitterly hard fought elections before, I know that a sea change is always just an election away. And I want my country's leadership, whether Dep. or Rep., to successfully ensure freedom and justice for all ... and all that good stuff.

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