So who will President Obama nominate to replace Justice Stevens? Will CNN's Erick Erickson call whoever it is a goat f*&king child molester?
There are a few good choices, but one person I don't want to see anywhere near the court is Cass Sunstein.
In 2002, at the height of controversy over Bush's creation of military commissions without Congressional approval, Sunstein stepped forward to insist that "[u]nder existing law, President George W. Bush has the legal authority to use military commissions" and that "President Bush's choice stands on firm legal ground." Sunstein scorned as "ludicrous" the argument from Law Professor George Fletcher that the Supreme Court would find Bush's military commissions without any legal basis. Four years later -- in its Hamdan ruling -- the Supreme Court, with Justice Stevens in the majority, held that Bush lacked the legal authority to create military commissions without approval from Congress, i.e., the Court (and Stevens) found Bush lacked exactly the "legal authority" which Sunstein vehemently insisted he possessed. Had Sunstein been on the Court then instead of Stevens, that decision presumably would have come out the opposite way: in favor of Bush's sweeping claims of executive authority.
Worse still, in 2005, Sunstein became the hero of the Bush-following Right when, in the wake of revelations that the Bush administration was illegally eavesdropping on Americans, he quickly proclaimed that Bush was within his legal rights to spy without warrants in violation of FISA. Sunstein defended Bush's NSA program by embracing the two extremist arguments at the core of Bush/Cheney lawlessness: that (1) the AUMF silently authorized warrantless eavesdropping in violation of FISA and, worse, (2) the President may have a plausible claim that Article II "inherently" authorizes warrantless eavesdropping regardless of what a statute says.
In a March, 2006 Washington Post article, Sunstein solidified his credential as Leading Democratic-Law-Professor/Bush-Defender by mocking the notion that Bush had committed crimes while in office:..read on.
This nomination is important to the base and if Obama wants to help get us motivated after the disaster that was HCR then he should not disappoint us on the court. Cass Sustein would be a major problem for me personally as well as many progressives. Will Obama play the fear card and put in a "squish" or go for it?
Orrin Hatch is trying to give himself some wiggle room by saying that as long as a judge isn't an activist, they will pass. Almost any judge Obama nominates will be painted as an activist.
“I can say if the president picks somebody who is clearly qualified, I think there’s no question we can get that person through in a relatively short period of time,” Hatch said. “I don’t see any problem if the person is highly qualified.”
Now, it’s true that Hatch also went on to warn that “if he picks an activist judge,” then Republicans “ought to do everything in our power to defeat that person.” This leaves Hatch some wiggle room to declare the pick unqualified on the grounds that he or she doesn’t grasp the proper role of a SCOTUS justice.
Nonetheless, Hatch set a standard for quick confirmation of any choice who is “qualified.” This seems to be going farther than other Republican Senators in that Hatch is laying down qualifications, rather than ideology, as the key standard that Obama’s pick has to meet.
This could make it somewhat tougher for the GOP to credibly oppose Obama’s pick, since it would require Republicans to portray Obama’s choice as unqualified for the gig, which is a tougher case to make against someone with a long resume without looking obstructionist and unreasonable.