Friday, February 25, 2022

On Supreme Court, Biden Swings for Left Field

DC Circuit jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson
I guess it's official, WaEx reports Biden to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

Jackson, 51, was known to be on a short list of contenders the White House considered for the role and exhibits a unique background, having been a federal trial court judge for eight years without experience as a prosecutor or major corporate lawyer. Other contenders — such as South Carolina judge Michelle Childs, who was believed to have had support from that state's two Republican senators — were thought to have more bipartisan appeal.

Capt. Ed at Haut Hair,  BREAKING: Biden to pick Brown Jackson for SCOTUS; Update: Timing explained?

Sounds like Joe Biden’s not listening to Joe Manchin’s advice. Instead of opting for Judge Michelle Childs for the Supreme Court, who had bipartisan support and Rep. James Clyburn’s endorsement, Biden will instead pick the early favorite, DC Circuit jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Stephen Breyer at the end of this term:

It’s a relatively safe choice, although not the safest choice. Brown Jackson may end up getting no Republican support; she’s seen as a hard progressive, and her record will get significant scrutiny in the Senate Judiciary hearings. Brown Jackson only got 53 votes for her confirmation to the DC Circuit in June 2021, when only Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski crossed the aisle to support her. That’s clearly the ceiling on a SCOTUS confirmation vote, but 50 plus Kamala Harris would be the floor, as Manchin has already made it clear he’d support her.

This leak recalculates the PR strategy. Earlier today, Punchbowl and others reported that Biden had made his pick and the announcement could come as early as today. That prompts a question as to whether the White House intends this as a Friday afternoon document dump to avoid too much scrutiny of Brown Jackson, or as a distraction to avoid too much scrutiny of Biden’s handling of the Ukraine crisis:

Althouse, "Biden Picks Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court."

The NYT reports.

The official announcement from the White House is out. “President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. He also sought a nominee — much like Justice Breyer — who is wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty,” the White House says in its statement.

ADDED: WaPo greets the announcement with this sad headline: "Democrats hope Sen. Luján makes a quick recovery from stroke with vote on Supreme Court nominee looming."

Do the Democrats need every single Democratic Senator? No confidence that surely at least one Republican will cross over?

For your amusement, from Jon Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy,  Book: Judge Jackson Said She "Do[esn't] Understand" Justice Thomas

"I don't understand you,'" Jackson, who clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer from 1999 to 2000, remembered thinking, according to a 2007 biography of Thomas, "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas."

"'You sound like my parents. You sound like the people I grew up with.' But the lessons he tended to draw from the experiences of the segregated South seemed to be different than those of everybody I know," the book, by authors Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, said Jackson thought as she and Thomas shared lunch.

AP, from NYPo, a look at the top 3: Biden interviews trio of candidates for Supreme Court. Childs would have been the more moderate choice, and I'm kind of surprised Klain went against Clyburn and nominated Ketanji. But, really, it's going pretty much the way I thought.

My advice to Republican Senators? Vet Hard, vet fair, vote your conscience. To opponents from the right, don't do as they would do and invade the Senate and interrupt hearings.

No comments:

Post a Comment