Charlie Pierce has a suggestion for the replacement for Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
I am all-in for total chaos on this whole Supreme Court thing.
If the Republicans are going to invent a new constitutional tradition on the fly, I say the Republic is best served by making them choke on it. Already, Steve M. is pointing out the shitstorm that would break if the president were to nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Mountaineer Mike Tomasky has an interesting suggestion regarding a brilliant young jurist who also would put the GOP deeper in the ha’penny place as regards Hispanic voters. Good. All good. But let me suggest a name as well.
I am, as I said, all in for chaos, and this would be the all-timer.
Professor Hill is a widely respected scholar of the law. She would be a fine addition to any court in the land. Also, she would make the Republicans eat their own faces, one at a time. Imagine the hearings. The Republicans would have no choice but to bring up the whole Clarence Thomas matter again. Although perhaps, this time, the other women who allegedly were harassed by Mr. Justice Thomas would not be intimidated out of testifying, and the Democratic senators would not be intimidated out of calling them. (Sorry, Joe Biden. That was a bad day for you.) This would be Your Show Of Shows.
Look. We’re all kidding ourselves anyway.
The Republicans likely aren’t even going to give the president’s nominee a committee hearing, let alone a confirmation vote. Any Republican who voted to do either one would be barbecued in a primary, and they all know it. (Even New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, the Metternich of Manchester, who’s in the fight of her life next November in a purplish state against popular Democratic governor Maggie Hassan, took a dive on this one.) We might as well have some fun with this disgracefully futile exercise in allegedly constitutional government.
I know he’s being tongue-in-cheek or puckish, or whatever term you want to use for being too-cute-by-half, but the suggestion has some merit. There has to be a way to absolutely shame the Republicans into doing something when President Obama sends up his nominee, be it Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Judge Sri Srinivasan of the DC Circuit, or his wife.
I would prefer that the president send up a real choice; one that would actually get on the court rather than someone who will be just a token while the Republicans do nothing. While it may be good politically for the seat to remain vacant so the Democrats can run and possibly win both the presidency and Senate seats by running ads on how the country is suffering because of the vacancy, the country will actually suffer because of the vacancy.
Then again, if the GOP is that set on letting the next president pick the nominee, let’s wait and see who Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will pick. That should teach them.