Home » Advice & Consent 12: SCOTUS politics

Advice & Consent 12: SCOTUS politics

In this episode…  the major party political conventions inject some SCOTUS politics into the national dialogue. Plus… the Notorious RBG drops a mic on one of the nominees.


Direct download: Advice & Consent 12: SCOTUS politics (mp3)

Merrick Garland: 125+ days in the rearview

The Notorious RBG drops the mic

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, No Fan of Donald Trump, Critiques Latest Term (Adam Liptak, New York Times, July 11, 2016)
    • On Garland:
      • “I think [Judge Garland] is about as well qualified as any nominee to this court.”
      • “Super bright and very nice, very easy to deal with. And super prepared. He would be a great colleague.”
      • Re: Senate’s obligation: “That’s their job.” “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”
      • With any additional D-appointee on the Court, she noted “It means that I’ll be among five more often than among four.”
    • On the Court and it’s Future:
      • Complemented Chief Justice Roberts on his handling of the Court this Term.
      • She’s not retiring. She’s 83, but will stay “as long as I can do it full steam.”
      • Noted that Justice Kennedy is about to turn 80, Justice Breyer is nearly 78, and thus there’s a lot at stake in the election.
    • On Trump:
      • “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.”
      • “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”
      • “‘Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,’” Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully.
  • Ginsburg Apologizes for “Ill-Advised” Trump Comments (NPR, July 14, 2016)
    • “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them.”
    • “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

Trump and RNC on SCOTUS

  • Discusses the role of the NRA and endorsing/opposing nominees and “scoring” votes. Before 2009, NRA never scored a judicial nomination vote. McConnell asked them to do so, which would help keep his party in line. In 1979, they did oppose confirmation of Abner Mikva to D.C. Circuit, who passed away this month.
    • 2009: Sotomayor
      • Only 7 Rs voted for confirmation
    • 2010: Kagan
      • Only 5 Rs voted for confirmation
    • Defeated nomination of Caitlin Halligan to D.C. Cir. (President Obama nominated 3 times, never got a vote)
    • 2016: Garland
      • NRA claimed would overturn Heller
      • No confirmation hearing in sight
  • “According to the 2016 Republican platform, it is pornography, not guns in any hand that can hold one, that is a ‘public health crisis.’ Whatever might ‘make America safe again,’ to quote the slogan of the Republican convention’s opening night, it evidently won’t be even the mildest restriction on gun ownership. Is this what the American public, surveying the bloody ground of recent months, really thinks?”


  • Recent survey by HRC campaign to new donors (Full disclosure, that’s me – Tim) there is no mention of SCOTUS as a main issue for supporting her. Reaction?
  • Sen. Sanders mentions overturning Citizens United – what do you all think about campaigning on overturning specific cases like that?

As mentioned by Dan, here’s the American Constitution Society’s infographic on Justice in the Balance.