Saturday, February 13, 2016

"The Mortality of Supreme Court Justices Is an Element of Wild Randomness in the American Political System"

"What happens next—or, what would have happened under the old rules of American politics—is that the president names a successor. Senate Republicans might object to a particular successor on the merits, arguing that an individual candidate is too extreme, or scandal-plagued, or otherwise unqualified. But the old rules no longer apply, because they are not rules at all, they are mere social norms. The consistent pattern in Washington over the last two decades is that any social norms that stand between one of the parties and power inevitably falls by the wayside. For instance, the Senate used to apply what it called a 'Thurmond Rule'— again, not a rule but a norm—according to which the Senate would not confirm any new judicial appointees during the last six months of a presidential election year. Conservatives have already demanded the extension of the 'Thurmond Rule' to the entire year, and the Republican Senate has mostly complied. Influential conservatives are already demanding that the Senate block any Obama appointee at all."

Jonathan Chait at New York reacts to the death of Antonin Scalia.

As does Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker writes that Scalia "mostly failed."

And in the Los Angeles Times, Melvin I. Urofsky challenges Scalia's "originalism."

No comments: