Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Who Will POTUS Choose for SCOTUS?

Already one media report says the eight people smart enough to choose Mine That Bird to win the Kentucky Derby should be found and polled to see who they think President Barack Obama should nominate to the US Supreme Court. One thing is for sure. Speculating about who the nominee will be has become a parlor game, which should surprise no one. It began seconds after Justice David Souter announced he’d be stepping down. There are already lists of possibles, likely picks, and outside chances. 

People shouldn’t underestimate this president’s capacity to surprise, either. He’s talked about a nominee’s need to have empathy with everyday Americans, and that’s a good thing. He’s carefully avoided saying the person he chooses should have particular positions on hot button issues like abortion or privacy rights. That’s just smart politics. One central question is whether he’ll nominate a woman, which is a potential minefield although it shouldn’t be.

After all, Laura Bush was on the record as being disappointed her husband didn’t nominate a woman to replace Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006. Currently the only woman on the high court is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. So nominating a woman shouldn’t be seen as unusual, or even as identity politics, which is how some conservatives have already tried to frame it. There are several names being prominently mentioned, all of which would make great justices.

They include Diane Wood, who knows the president from when they both taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Elena Kagan is currently solicitor general, and a former dean of the Harvard Law School. If nominated, she’d be the first open lesbian on the Supreme Court.

Sonia Sotomayor has been touted as Obama’s most likely choice even before he became president. She’s from the Bronx, and currently sits on the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals. She’d be the first ever Latina to sit on the court . Another possible choice is the current governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. She’s a former attorney general, which gives her the required legal chops for the job.

Others mentioned in media reports include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Kathleen Sullivan, director of Stanford University’s Constitutional Law Center, Leah Ward Sears, the first black woman to serve as a state chief justice, and Cass Sunstein, appointed by the president to be regulatory czar.

President Obama could choose any one of these folks, or none. Republicans in the Senate who will decide the fate of the president’s choice seem resigned to the idea he won’t be picking a conservative, but their friends in media and the conservative echo chamber have reportedly drawn up a laundry list of problems with the most likely nominees. One thing is for sure. The close scrutiny of all things Obama will mean this nomination process will be very much out in the open. The outcome could signify a new awareness among Americans about the importance of the highest court in the land.

Since I didn’t bother handicapping the Derby, I feel comfortable speculating here. Based on what I know about her, and the politics of the moment, I’m going with Sonia Sotomayor. After all, she’s from the Bronx!

What about you? Who do you think President Obama will nominate to the Supreme Court?

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Are you overdosing on Obama's First 100 Days?

Yes, in case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s tomorrow!

Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office…that is.

Is it me, or have we been counting these days since, well, January 20th? Certainly the state of the nation’s economy has contributed to the deep scrutiny of this president’s every move. That, and a cable news netherworld which feeds on little else. We’ve learned so much about Barack Obama and his family it’s a wonder we have time for anything else.

obama-100-days

Barack’s basketball skills, Michelle’s gardening skills, Malia’s fashion sense, Bo the dog, Michele’s clothes, Barack’s smoking habit…we know so much! It’s all been delivered with the same deadly earnest with which news anchors discuss the economy. Maybe we should have expected this, what with the whole first black president thing. Still, shouldn’t we expect more from the media?

One thing is for sure. When it comes to actual policy, Americans and the cable networks might as well be in two different worlds. The faces of hosts like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity are mingled with Republican retreads like Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, and Dick Cheney to create a near seamless anti-Obamathon.

This is doubtless where their bread is buttered, but the problem with their collective analysis of Obama’s first 100 days (coming tomorrow to a tv near you) is the idea they speak for America.

After all, if they didn’t have Obama to bash, what in the world would they talk about? Oh yeah, I forgot. Carrie Prejean , the Craigslist killer, and Susan Boyle. Mike Lupica of the Daily News ran a column the other day that made a whole lot of sense. Why not just let Obama do his job? Why the constant examination of all things Barack?

To be sure, not all the analysis of the president’s first 100 days will be trivial , nor should it be all positive. Is it too much to ask that it be measured? Probably. Thoughtful? Nah, doesn’t sell. Accurate? That only matters if someone gets caught playing fast and loose with the facts.

How will you handle the coverage of Barack Obama’s first 100 days? I may be an aging cynic, but it’s getting to the point where I’m scared to watch for fear of throwing something at the television. My one comfort? Almost nobody covers a presidents second hundred days like they do the first.

You tell me. Will you overdose on Obama’s first 100 days?

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