Home / General / How about Sam Alito as the median SCOTUS vote?

How about Sam Alito as the median SCOTUS vote?


Don’t blackmail me bro!

Jay Willis of Balls and Strikes breaks it down(Gift link):

If Donald Trump wins the White House this fall and has a chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice or two in the years that follow — by no means a certain prospect, but one that must be contemplated — his nominees are likely to be quite different than they were during his first term. Everything we know about Mr. Trump today suggests that he will take his judicial cues not from the conservative legal establishment, as he did previously, but instead from the conservative legal movement’s extreme fringes.

What does it take to make Leonard Leo’s Roaming Judicial Death Squads look kinda moderate?

One proposal comes from AFA Action, an organization whose mission is “to align policy with biblical and constitutional principles.” Its list features three Trump-appointed federal appeals court judges: James Ho, best known for his unironic use of the phrase “woke Constitution”; Stuart Kyle Duncan, notorious for shrieking at student protesters during a talk at Stanford Law School; and Lawrence VanDyke, whose peers have described him, according to the American Bar Association, as “arrogant, lazy, an ideologue and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice.” (In 2019, the association deemed him “not qualified” for judicial confirmation.)

From there, the list gets only more unhinged. It includes Kristen Waggoner, the president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group; Morse Tan, the Liberty University law school dean who once opined that abortion since Roe v. Wade “makes the Holocaust look small by comparison”; and Mark Martin, a former state supreme court justice who is now the dean of a law school in North Carolina that has not yet been approved by the American Bar Association. (Mr. Martin, probably the most obscure name on the list, served as an informal adviser to Mr. Trump during his fight to overturn the results of the 2020 election.)

One thing that drives me bananas is the idea that it “doesn’t matter” whether the right wing controls the SCOTUS by one vote or four, or exactly how far right those votes are. Whether Amy Coney Barrett or Sam Alito is the median vote makes an enormous difference. Whether it’s going to take seven years or seventy for the SCOTUS to have a non-reactionary majority again actually matters.

It’s been eight days since the end of the catastrophic 2023-24 term, and it’s now almost certain that neither Sotomayor or Kagan is going to announce their impending retirement, contingent on the confirmation of a successor. The success of such a nomination is far from assured, especially under present circumstances, but it could potentially give the Biden campaign a much-needed boost (A poll this morning found Tammy Baldwin running ten points ahead of Joe Biden in Wisconsin, with Baldwin +5 and Biden -5).

It’s hard to overstate what a disaster a second Trump term would be in so many ways. This could be one of the most significant. (Even if Trump doesn’t get any SCOTUS appointments his Court of Appeals and District Court picks are going to be lit, as I believe the kids say or at least were saying).

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