on Apr 6, 2010 at 10:16 am
In the wake of the weekendâ€™s interviews with Justice Stevens concerning his possible retirement, reporters and commentators discuss possible successors to Justice Stevens, and in particular the much-publicized â€œshort listâ€ of candidates consisting of Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland.Â At theÂ AP, Mark Sherman notes possible demographic considerations that could go into President Obamaâ€™s decision, including race, age, gender, religion, and educational background.Â Â Sherman also notes that whichever candidate is eventually nominated will â€œbe hard pressed to immediately replicate [Justice] Stevensâ€™ success in forging majorities.â€ And atÂ CNN, Bill Mears notes that though many are treating Justice Stevensâ€™ retirement as inevitable, â€œseveral close friends suggest [he] may wish to stay for another year, and several former law clerks have privately encouraged him to do just that.â€Â In theÂ Washington Post, Harvard Law student Dylan Matthews expresses disappointment at the reported list of frontrunners, and he opines that to significantly move the Court to the left, President Obama should select a â€œreal William Brennan/Thurgood Marshall style liberalâ€ or a â€œpolitician capable of whipping votes.â€
Others discuss the impact that midterm elections and the nationâ€™s political climate may have on the nomination process. AtÂ Slate, Dalia Lithwick writes that, with the exception of Judge Wood, none of the three â€œshortlistâ€ names â€œreassure liberals that the Court will not continue to move rightward over the course of the Obama presidency,â€ and she concludes that the scope of the possible nominees may be limited by the prospect of a very difficult nomination process.Â In the Washington Examiner,Â Byron York writes that the possibility of losing Senate seats in the midterm elections and filibuster a nominee means that â€œDemocrats would like to see Stevens go now rather than later.â€ Andrea Stone ofÂ AOL News looks at each liberal justice to determine who might take the mantle of that wing of the court, noting that Justice Breyer â€œmay be the leading progressive voice on the Courtâ€ and is â€œa prolific writer who can go word-for-word with Scalia.â€
In the blogosphere, Jonathan Siegel ofÂ PrawfsBlawg weighs in on Senator Arlen Specterâ€™s assertion that a nomination in the now-contentious Senate may be filibustered by Republicans.Â Siegel calls Senator Specterâ€™s â€œfear of total Senate gridlock on this appointmentâ€¦an overly exaggerated fearâ€ and writes that President Obama is more likely to have a nominee confirmed now than after midterm elections in which the Republicans may gain seats.Â Douglas Berman at theÂ Sentencing Law Blog prepares for the nomination process by recapping his posts from previous Supreme Court transition periods.Â Ashby Jones at theÂ WSJ Law Blog recaps the weekendâ€™s heavy coverage of nomination speculation and writes that â€œthe Court will be different with Justice Stevens gone, despite the fact that Stevenâ€™s replacement wonâ€™t tip the Courtâ€™s liberal/conservative split.â€Â And atÂ Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost analyzes Justice Stevensâ€™s majority opinions inÂ Graham County Soil and Water District v. United States andÂ Padilla v. Kentucky, and he concludes that, despite frequent discussion of his retirement, Justice Stevens remains â€œa â€˜judgeâ€™s judge,â€™ scrupulous in analyzing any issue from all sides. Ken Rudin atÂ NPRâ€™s Political Junkie blog also weighs in on possible replacements for Stevens.
Adam Liptak ofÂ The New York Times details the fallout ofÂ Bowles v. Russell for disabled veterans filing for government assistance, writing that the governmentâ€™s â€œleisurely approachâ€ to processing such claims makes it difficult for veterans to meet the stringent deadlines thatÂ Bowles enforced.Â Liptak encourages the Court to grant in a related pending cert. petition,Â Henderson v. Shinseki, so that the justices can â€œconsider whether they really meant to shut the courthouse door on veteransâ€ in theirÂ Bowles decision.
Ashby Jones at theÂ WSJ Law Blog and Warren Richey of theÂ Christian Science Monitor cover the Courtâ€™s Monday decision to deny cert. inÂ People of Bikini v. United States.Â Richey also writes on the denial of cert inÂ Jensen v. Stoot (here) and inÂ Al-Turki v. Colorado (here).Â AtÂ SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston also covers the â€œnumber of significant issuesâ€ that the Court chose to bypass in its Monday orders.
An editorialist atÂ The New York Times applauds last weekâ€™s decision inÂ Padilla v. Kentucky and concludes that the case â€œestablished a constitutional principle that will help ensure that the Sixth Amendment rights of immigrants are protected.â€Â At the Huffington Post, Robin Steinberg writes that the decision â€œa big victory [for]â€¦public defender officesâ€ that will contribute to what she calls â€œlong overdueâ€ reforms to the public defender system.
- TheÂ ACS Blog reports that Justice Sotomayor recently hosted Elizabeth You, a high school senior with a passion for law, and invited her to see oral argument at the Court and to chat with the justice in her chambers.Â You, who is battling Ewingâ€™s sarcoma, had this special holiday gift arranged by attorney members of theÂ Elves of Christmas Present.
- Nicholas Greitzer of theÂ UCLA Daily Bruin (viaÂ How Appealing) previews this monthâ€™s oral argument inÂ Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.
- AtÂ Concurring Opinions, Gerard Magliocca writes that the delay in releasing an opinion forÂ Bilski v. Kappos may indicate that the Court is â€œconsidering something more ambitious than wiseâ€ in its forthcoming opinion.
- Bob Egelko of theÂ San Francisco Chronicle and Jessica Bernstein-Wax of theÂ San Jose Mercury-News cover the Courtâ€™s decision to deny cert. in Bonvicino v. Hopkins.
- Ed Whelan at theÂ National Review writes that the political left may oppose the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan to the Supreme Court because of her views on executive power and civil liberties.
- Tony Mauro at theÂ BLT reports that Justice Stevens was absent from the bench for Mondayâ€™s orders, but he also notes that this is not uncommon for the justices, especially on the third Monday of an argument cycle and with no oral arguments scheduled.