Same song, second verse. On May 27 of last year I wrote about Sonia Sotomayor and named her as a Supreme Court justice well before the vote took place. Since that proved to be a no-brainer decision, thought I would just repeat the process in what is proving to be an annual event for the President, the nomination of a new member of the Supreme Court.
Today was the first day of the hearings, the most pro forma day I guess. What have we learned? Can’t use the experience line that was used last year so the refreshing change is the phrase de jour. Senator Feinstein calls her brilliant and the President calls the arguments against her “thin gruel ,” whatever that is.
The President also rejected the contention that he was remaking the court to suit himself, citing two interesting names who support Ms Kagan’s nomination. This is almost funny. One is Ted Olson, who one thinks would know better. The other is Kenneth Starr, yep that Kenneth Starr. Bet Bill Clinton freaked when he heard that name from his past.
So, we can could call it a dog and pony show except I like dogs too much. Or we could use Rush’s label. It will be the ” don’t ask, don’t tell” hearings. Better yet, call off the hearings, have the vote and get it over with. Might save some money that way. Still, it would be great if someone like Ann Coulter or even George Will were providing questions. Nice try Sen Sessions.
The President has announced his nominee for the Supreme Court seat of the retiring John Paul Stevens. What a shock, he has picked another woman and thus according to him this will make the court look more like the country than ever before. But would Solictor General Elena Kagan actually do that? Perhaps we should take a closer look.
Now, upfront we should note that these descriptions are not meant as criticisms of the nominee, but as observations in light of what the President said. Ms Kagan is Jewish which will mean the Court would have 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. She is single and in fact has never been married. Unlike Justice Sotomayor whose humble upbringing was repaetedly stressed, Ms Kagan is the polar opposite. She is, as the New York Times puts it, “a creature of Manhattan’s liberal, intellectual Upper West Side; hardly a typical upbringing. She served on the faculty of the Chicago University Law School with guess who? Yep, Barack H Obama. How about that for irony or wonder if this is fulflling a long range goal since Kagan was on the nominee short list last time around.
So, maybe the Court will not really look more like America but just seem to . What is interesting is somethinmg that Rush brings up. Not sure if I agree wholeheatedly but it sounds very plausible. He maintains that Obama is in fact nominating himself. It has been noted that they served on the law school faculty together and it seems that her record or lack of same mirrors that of the President before he was elected. She has as her judicial hero the late Thurgood Marshall and adheres very strongly to his philosophy that the Court should exist almost solely for the benefit of the “despised and disadvantaged,” whomever the Court perceives those to be. She is reputed to be post partisan, a consensus builder, as was the president. Perhaps more telling is how she views the Constitution. And how is that? Kinda hard to say, given the paucity of the written record. But, hazarding a guess, I would use the words living and changing in there somewhere along with oh, maybe the framers didn’t really do all that great a job but we have surely improved it.
But, in all lilklihood, she will be confirmed even if all Republicans vote no, which they will not. But what will be interesting is if the topic of same-sex marriage comes up. Ms Kagan is actually on the record here. And her view is not that of the typical liberal. That just might liven up the proceedings a bit.
I just saw a fascinating list at Forbes of who they consider to be the 100 most powerful women in the world. I am a big fan of lists and Forbes regularly has some of the best in a number of areas.There was a lot of interesting information on the list; from who was included, where some familiar names were ranked and the diversity of occupations and countries( 31 different ones) that appeared.
Sad to say, I was unfamiliar with a number of the names so I won’t be able to speak to a number of those that ranked very high. Number one was Chancelor Angela Merkel of Germany, just one of a surprising number- to me- that were heads of state. There were 10 that were either Chancellor, Prime Minister or President.
I obviously cannot speak to whether or not individuals should or should not have made the list. Some were easy choices that even I could have made, many were not. What observations I have would fall into the are of opinion. So, if you like my opinions, great, if not, great. Very few are etched in stone.
The only member of the top 10 that I recognized was Ms Merkel who headed the list for the 4th year in a row. There were 2 members, Michele Obama and Melinda Gates, whom I found interesting. It seems, seems now, that their influence is more of a derived one, considering who their spouses are, than the remainder of the list. Oprah Winfrey was not as highly ranked as I would have thought but was one of the few involved in media.
Three U S Cabinet members appeared, Sebelius, Napolitano and Clinton along with Speaker Pelosi. Good choices, I thought. Both female Supreme Court justices appeared. I thought Justice Sotomayor’ s appearance might be a bit premature though. Two IT companies, sort of, Yahoo with Carol Bartz and Oracle with Safra Catz , were represented.
One thing appeared more interesting than it probably should be . It seemed that the financial services industry was the business type seen most often. Having said that, I was surprised that Sunoco’s CEO was Lynn Eisenhans who made the list at #10.
The list makes for a very good read and one can learn quite a bit, as I did, about the variety of leadership positions held by women. It is a list that undoubtedly will grow.
I know you have heard of Ms Couric even if you haven’t seen her lately. She does the evening news on CBS. It just seems that not very many people want to watch her . Latest numbers as reported on Drudge show NBC with 7,960,000, ABC with 7,150,000 and CBS (America’s most watched network otherwise) with a whopping 5,180,000. If you total these numbers it shows Couric and company with about 25% of the total. The numbers also reflect the lowest total since Nielsen began keeping the records some 18 years ago.
Now, personally, I could care less if Couric’s numbers are low. In fact, I almost wonder why she has viewers, unless she has those people who just watch CBS by force of habit.
And, to further her reputation as a hard -hitting journalist, she had these tidbits to say at her commencement speech at Princeton. In her speech, she singled out Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean for particular criticism and ridicule while saving a few swipes for Rush Limbaugh and Donald Rumsfield. So what, but there is more. She told the graduates(not all of whom are women, I presume) what great role models they have in Michelle ( $540 tennis shoe ) Obama, Hilary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor. Again, all to be expected .
This is what really intrigued me. She told the grads to guard against “nastiness ” and “don’t be a hater”. And she had a few words that could apply to those of us who blog. The internet is wonderful” but it’s also populated by haters and trolls”. Don’t think anyone has ever implied that I might be a troll. Oh, by the way, her remarks were also posted on the Huffington Post. If you are unfamiliar with that online entity, let us just say they might be a little on the liberal side of the coin.
Suppose that by speaking at Princeton, she thought she might have a bigger audience than on the evening news ? Just wondering.
Perhaps I am jumping the gun a bit, but I really don’t think so. Short of Judge Sotomayor withdrawing or the President changing his mind and nominating himself( he is a constitutional law scholar, you know) . I believe she is a virtual lock for the court. Whether that is good or bad for the high court and/or the country is something that time will tell us. What I would like to focus on instead are some of the comments that have been made in the brief time since her nomination was announced. Many have spoken from the President to the nominee herself.
Mr. Obama said that she arrives at the high court with more experience than anyone now serving there. Unnamed aides expanded that to include the last century. There have only been 110 justices and the last century would include such names as Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes , Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter .
Our friend Charles Schumer , D, NY said that Republicans would oppose her at their “own peril” adding that the confirmation hearings would be more a referendum on the Republicans, huh?
Carlos Ortiz is the chairman of the Supreme Court Committee in the Hispanic National Bar Association. He typified her as a brilliant but humble and ordinary person. He went on to say that it is his belief that Hispanics and all Americans and people around the world would have greater pride in and respect for the United States than ever before. Sounds almost like a comment made about the President, does it not?
Perhaps the most prophetic comment comes from Jonah Goldberg at the National Review Online. He called Obama’s move a brilliant bit of political strategy. He picked ” the most left-leaning Hispanic possible/ confirm-able”. And he thus dares Republicans to vote against her and risk being typecast as anti- Hispanic.
As a close, I will share a prediction made about the nominee in 1997 by El Rushbo. On September 30, 1997 he urged Republicans to block her nomination as she was extremely liberal and was on a “rocket -ship to the Supreme Court. Looks like that ship is about to land.
Periodically but unpredictably there comes an opportunity for a sitting President to have an impact long after his term of office is over. All Presidents do not get this opportunity, some only get it once , other get multiple opportunities. And one tried to create his own opportunity( remember packing the Court?) to influence the future. Yep, we speak of nominating a person to the U S Supreme Court. Mr. Obama now has the chance, early in his term, to make his mark on history. Thanks to Justice David Souter, who is retiring of his own volition, the Court will have a new justice; perhaps by October.
The new justice will be #111 which was an interesting thing to learn, meaning there in considerable overlap on appointments. For example, there are currently 2 justices appointed by Reagan, Clinton, Bush 41, Bush 43 and one by Ford. When the new justice is seated, as a group they will have been nominated by 6 different presidents.
But enough trivia, on to the juicy stuff . Who will be the nominee? The guesses are flying as are the hints and suggestions, both specific and general. Senator Leahy, D, VT wants someone representative of America. There are not enough women or minorities for his preferences. Senator Shelby, R, AL says that even though Obama ( and Biden and Hilary) were against Justices Alito and Roberts, there will be no payback(yeah, right!)
So, a justice who looks like America. Can anyone satisfy the criteria sufficiently knowing they cannot meet all the stipulations. Leahy went on to say that he did not think Obama would select an ideologue while Senator Hatch, R , UT said the choice would likely be a pro-abortion liberal- very possible. Senator Spector(what party is he? ) PA also weighs in on the side of variety, seeming to favor a female Hispanic. He whose opinion will count the most says that he wants someone with a sharp, independent mind. Does that open up the possibilities? Yes, indeed.
Using that phrase as a qualifier, allow m eto toss out some names based primarily on that phrase. No endorsements intended. Feel free to suggest your own, either by comment or on your own.
- Rush Limbaugh
- Hilary Clinton
- Bill Clinton
- The Oprah
- Ann Coulter
- Michele Obama
- Skipper(the penguin)
- Sean Penn
- Jesse Jackson
- George Clooney
- Brad Pitt
- Hugo Chavez (oops, not a citizen)
- Rudy Guliani
- Barbra Streisand
- Saul Alinsky (oops, deceased)
- Sonia Sotomayor
Remember his real keys, identity politics and/or income redistribution. See also how much backbone the Republicans have.
- Bible study
- Christian living
- Foreign Policy
- International politics
- Legal system
- Life and Death
- Local Politics
- State Politics