An Uneasy Feeling: Obama’s Short List Reportedly Includes Two Controversial Possible Nominees

Many civil libertarians and liberals were critical of President Barack Obama’s selection of Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter. Sotomayor voted with conservatives on the Second Circuit in key police abuse and free speech cases. (here and here and here and here. At the time, many of us opined that Obama would not dare appoint such a nominee to replace liberal icon John Paul Stevens. If the three candidates leaked by the White House on the short list is any indication, there is a two out of three chance that he will do precisely that.

The short list includes Judge Diane Wood, 59 of the Seventh Circuit, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 49, and Judge Merrick Garland, 57, of the D.C. Circuit.

At an initial matter, it is important to note that these are three highly qualified people with long and prestigious records. Moreover, I previously stated my support for Diane Wood who would be a terrific choice for the Court. The only other person who I would like to see on the Court as much as Wood is Harold Koh, former Yale Dean. For civil libertarian, Koh would be the single most significant confirmation to the Court since Louis Brandeis.

Garland is a respected jurist and a moderate. However, civil libertarians and liberals would likely oppose him. He routinely votes with the government, particularly in police cases.

Diane Kagan would also be a lightening rod. She has taken positions opposed core civil liberties, here. Kagan has supported Bush positions on “the war on terror” and is viewed by civil libertarians as part of Obama’s embracing of Bush era doctrines.

Glenn Greenwald has a column on an equally troubling prospect of nominating Cass Sunstein to the Court, here.

Given the 5-4 split on the Court, the selection of Garland, Kagan, or Sunstein could have a cascading impact on case law in the area by moving the Court to the middle and right.

Replacing Stevens with someone opposed to core civil liberties values would be the ultimate betrayal of liberals who helped elect Obama. It would also be a deep insult to the legacy of Stevens. While it is comforting not to see Sunstein on the list, it is a great disappointment not to see Koh who is currently part of the Administration. Liberals wil have to be heard clearly and strongly if they want to see Wood or Koh on the Court. The odds are currently two of three against them.

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72 thoughts on “An Uneasy Feeling: Obama’s Short List Reportedly Includes Two Controversial Possible Nominees”

  1. “board”



    bore, t.v.
    Inflected Form(s): bored; bor·ing

    : to cause to feel boredom (Ex: Mom, I’m bored up here at the Brainless Vista Mall. Can you come pick us up?)

  2. BVM – we all assume you are speaking of yourself. Everyone else here seems to at least be able to speak in coherent sentences, have at least a vague familiarity with US law & the Constitution the ability to make a point (right, wrong or arguable) clearly.

    But compared to you a sea sponge would be an intellectual so I guess that explains your anger.

  3. BVM, you dumb fuck, Obama’s mom was an American citizen, that makes him an American even if he were born on the moon. Grandpa Walnuts was born in Panama, not the US and yet nobody had a problem with that requirement when he ran.

    If Obama & Co follow their usual negotiation strategy he will hope to gain a couple of R votes by nominating Bobby Bork. The Rs will respond by labeling him the most radical liberal ever nominated in the history of all mankind. The media will of course repeat that unchallenged until it is accepted fact. The teabaggers will scream that this is more Nazi Commie socialist destruction of their country and everyone will be amazed that liberals are frothing at the mouth like Buddha (and me) – we must be unhinged to expect a more liberal appointment.

    Bork will be confirmed 51-28 with 1 abstention.

  4. Shorter BVM: blah blah Long Form! blah blah Kenya! blah blah Criminal! yada yada yada

    and then 10 people died of boredom

  5. Republicans are already threatening a filibuster of a liberal choice.

  6. BVM” I understand Obama has spent nearly 2 million dollars (probably our tax dollars) to avoid showing a $15 birth certificate and his other documents. Can any of you morons see a problem with this?”

    Another birther myth. BVM has no proof. No proof at all.

    In fact, the lawyers who represented Obama personally provided their services for free.

    In the 68 LOSING lawsuits that were brought against various government, the government lawyers provide the legal defense as part of their normal duties. Obama did not spend any of that money.

    The fact is that the birthers are wasting OUR money with their frivolous, baseless suits.

    Berg sued in PA. He lost. He wasted our money.

    Hemenway sued in DC. He lost. He wasted our money.

    Taitz sued in CA and GA. She lost. She wasted our money.

    Apuzzo sued in NJ. He lost. He wasted our money.

    And the beat goes on.

    Still soliciting funds at your site for a new bathrobe, BVM.

  7. I see a problem, BM.

    I see an empty but obnoxious looking eyesore of a Mall obstructing the view.

    I’ll say it again very slowly so you can understand:

    1) There are a lot of actual legal reasons to hate Obama. Like aiding and abetting treason. You could “get one” inside yourself if you hadn’t closed all the bookstores and installed pet rock stores.

    2) Of the reasons to hate Obama, his citizenship isn’t one of them. Every lawyer who isn’t also a ditzy faux blonde dentist knows this is true. Real estate? Not known for being able to think well or at all let alone judge the sufficiency of evidence. Stick to what you know: closeout sales and filthy food courts. Oh! Nevermind. I see you are clearing out the bullshit and offering free bowls of tripe. How very consistent of you.

    3) Some of the other reasons to hate him are far more relevant to preserving the Constitution than your thinly veiled racism. Like preserving the Separation of Powers and restoring habeas corpus.

    Now see? That was all much more creative than calling us “morons”, Been Vacant Mall. Better a moron in the opinion of a fool than an empty mall. You are just another sign of a broken nation. The ghost of commerce past.

  8. BVM:

    I don’t agree with any of Obama’s policies but you could not keep something like this a secret. There are people who are probably offering millions of dollars for a copy of his birth certificate. If he was indeed born in another country there is no way you could keep it quiet for this long. If 2 people know a secret it is not a secret.

  9. I understand Obama has spent nearly 2 million dollars (probably our tax dollars) to avoid showing a $15 birth certificate and his other documents. Can any of you morons see a problem with this?

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