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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trouble Likely for Obama Supreme Court Picks

One of the few fortunate things about the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) was that there were no openings on the Supreme Court. It doesn't seem likely, however, that we will experience the same good fortune with the administration of President Barack Obama (the Anointed One). Justice John Paul Stevens is now approaching age 89, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75 and has had two bouts with cancer. Since both are liberals, the Messiah could not change the ideological makeup of the high court in replacing either or both of them.

When the Senate Democrats were engaging in their blocking tactics vis-a-vis George W. Bush's judicial nominees, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), now the minority leader, warned that the tables would be turned one day, and that the Republicans could play the same game. Let's hope that he keeps his word.

For those of us who favor strict construction of the Constitution-- Justice Antonin Scalia calls it originalism-- it's scary to think of the kind of judges that a radical leftist like Obama will appoint. ~~ SR

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From Newsmax.com:

Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr said President Barack Obama is likely to face stern resistance from Republicans over his Supreme Court picks due to his opposition to George W. Bush’s nominees.

At a Feb. 13 lawyers’ conference in Boston, Starr noted that with four members of the Supreme Court in their 70s and Justice John Paul Stephens now 88, Obama could make two or more selections for the high court.

But as a senator, Obama supported a filibuster against nominee Samuel Alito and voted against John Roberts’ appointment. Resentful Republicans could make bipartisan support for an Obama nominee extremely difficult, according to Starr, who investigated Bill Clinton’s Whitewater land transactions and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Starr said in remarks reported by the Washington Times: "There is one historical factoid of note: [Obama] is the first president of the United States ever in our history to have participated in a Senate filibuster of a judicial nominee. Never before has that happened."

Starr quoted from an earlier Times article about the problems Obama faces, which pointed out that his "voting record and long simmering resentments over Democrats’ treatment of President Bush’s nominees will leave Mr. Obama hard-pressed to call for bipartisan help confirming judges or even an up-or-down vote."

In addition to the Supreme Court, the Senate must confirm presidential nominees to the 179-judge federal circuit courts of appeals and the 678-judge U.S. district courts.

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