Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk > Religion, Politics and World Events
Reload this Page >

SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated (update: confirmed!)

Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated (update: confirmed!)

Old 04-09-10, 10:37 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,539
SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated (update: confirmed!)

Breaking news: MSNBC is reporting that John Paul Stevens has officially announced his retirement.


<i>Mod note: I split this out to its own thread so we can follow-up w/ the nomination/replacement process here and leave the current SC thread to be just about the decisions...

nemein</i>

Last edited by nemein; 04-09-10 at 01:07 PM.
JasonF is online now  
Old 04-09-10, 10:40 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
Re: Supreme Court 2009-2010 Term

D.C. Politics is going to get unbearable by this summer
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 10:44 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
Re: Supreme Court 2009-2010 Term

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Breaking news: MSNBC is reporting that John Paul Stevens has officially announced his retirement.
Shocker.

Now we'll see if Obama has balls or plays it safe. I'm guessing the latter - say hello to Justice Kagan.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 11:54 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Re: Supreme Court 2009-2010 Term

I hope Obama nominates the most crazed liberal he knows. Health care happened too early in the year, and we need some more classic Obama going into November.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 01:24 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

97% of America says 'who?'
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 01:34 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

This should give some more power to Justice Kennedy (already holding the most power as the swing justice), so far as when he swings with the liberal wing of the Court on traditional splits....he'll get more authorship assignment responsibilities as the senior associate on that side.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 01:50 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,731
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

I can't wait to see the Republican pundits' heads explode over the next few months.
CRM114 is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:08 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
I can't wait to see the Republican pundits' heads explode over the next few months.
The balance of the Court won't change, just like it didn't with Soto replacing Souter. Heads didn't explode then. Well, I guess maybe a few of the wackos' did, but they are always wackos.

It will give Republican SJC members a free chance to hit the key GOP talking points (that have wider appeal) in advance of the mid-terms.

Hell, if Kagan is the nominee, she probably won't be any more liberal than Stevens. The only real changes you'll have on the Court is more estrogen and less bow ties.

Overall, I'm betting that the GOP is quite pleased that he announced his vacancy now.

Last edited by Red Dog; 04-09-10 at 02:11 PM.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:15 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,731
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Their heads will explode because our socialist, Muslim, Kenyan-born "president" will obviously be nominating a radical, fellow-socialist former hippy to the court. Duh.

CRM114 is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:17 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Their heads will explode because our socialist, Muslim, Kenyan-born "president" will obviously be nominating a radical, fellow-socialist former hippy to the court. Duh.

The real entertainment has always been when the Democrats are foaming at the mouth when there is a GOP SCt nominee.

Breyer, Ginsberg, Soto nominations - I've been to funerals that are more exciting.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:17 PM
  #11  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,141
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

NPR pointed out the other day Stevens is the last protestant on the court as well.
nemein is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:19 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,731
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
The real entertainment has always been when the Democrats are foaming at the mouth when there is a GOP SCt nominee.

Breyer, Ginsberg, Soto nominations - I've been to funerals that are more exciting.
That's because the GOP nominees are always so nutty. They look nutty too.
CRM114 is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:21 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
That's because the GOP nominees are always so nutty. They look nutty too.
Anybody would be nutty from where you're positioned. No, the issue isn't the nominees. It's the people asking the questions and their behavior toward opposite party nominees.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:48 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,731
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Anybody would be nutty from where you're positioned. No, the issue isn't the nominees. It's the people asking the questions and their behavior toward opposite party nominees.
Of course that is the case coming from where YOU are positioned.
CRM114 is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 02:53 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Of course that is the case coming from where YOU are positioned.
Quite the contrary. I don't think Justice Brennan, probably the most liberal justice of the last century, is a nut. In fact, he's one of my favorites. If anything, the least polarizing Justices I often find to be the worst. But nice try though.

But more specifically, were I to compare, say Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer, vs. any Justice on the SCt on a scale of nuttiness, there's no comparison.

Last edited by Red Dog; 04-09-10 at 02:56 PM.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 03:05 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,731
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

No, you just prefer the ideologues who want to use originalist views in modern society.

(BTW, Scalia is far nuttier than either of those two. Talk about ridiculous and pompous individuals. Furthermore, those two were ELECTED not appointed.)
CRM114 is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 03:31 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

I'd prefer ideologues on either side than 8 of the current Justices on the Court.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 04:00 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: North Cacalaca
Posts: 8,444
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

What's the over/uder on Obama nominating a conservative, old white guy?
clappj is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 05:17 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Decadance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 1,781
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

As someone whose dissertation is on the Office of the Solicitor General, and has a standing appointment to interview Kagan when I am in DC this summer, I really hope she does not get nominated...if only for my amazingly selfish reasons.

Thank being said, my money is on Kagan.
Decadance is offline  
Old 04-09-10, 05:22 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Th0r S1mpson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 36,443
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

He will nominate someone that doesn't require a public spanking full of deference to separation of powers.
Th0r S1mpson is offline  
Old 04-10-10, 11:52 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
This should give some more power to Justice Kennedy (already holding the most power as the swing justice), so far as when he swings with the liberal wing of the Court on traditional splits....he'll get more authorship assignment responsibilities as the senior associate on that side.
More on this, and what the loss of Stevens might do to Kennedy, from SCOTUSBLOG:
http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/04/th...-only-more-so/

The “Kennedy Court,” only more so
The changing internal dynamic
Lyle Denniston | Friday, April 9th, 2010 6:49 pm

Analysis

If it has been so that the Supreme Court could properly be called the “Kennedy Court,” because of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s grip on a tie-breaking vote much of the time, that may well be even more so when the Justices open a new Term next October. Without Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced Friday that he is retiring soon, Justice Kennedy moves into position to become a frequent “assigning Justice.” That is a role not well known beyond Court-watchers, but it is quite important, and can make a difference in how ambitious, or cautious, the Court is in ruling on major, hard-fought cases.

But Kennedy also will no longer be an object of Justice Stevens’ efforts to marshal a majority of the Court for results that are — more often than not — liberal rather than conservative. There is, at present, no other member of the Court’s liberal bloc likely to match Stevens’ ability to persuade a sometimes-reluctant Kennedy to join with that bloc in a closely divided case. If Kennedy is to vote for liberal outcomes, it may well have to be more of a personal choice than it has seemed to be up to now.

These two changes in the Court’s internal dynamic, as Kennedy moves up a notch in the Court’s seniority rank, might well pull him in opposite directions — but still winding up holding the decisive vote. An explanation is in order.

First, take the issue of Kennedy’s soon-to-emerge role as an “assigning” Justice. When the Court is divided on any case being decided on the merits, the senior Justice in the majority gets to select a colleague (or take on personally) the task of writing the opinion for the majority. Depending upon who gets the assignment, that can shape the actual outcome of the case, and also influence its breadth or narrowness. Also, a colleague whose support may be somewhat shaky can be handed an assignment in order to nail down that colleague’s vote and preserve a narrow majority.

If the Chief Justice is in the majority when the Court divides, the Chief always has the assigning function, because, however long in the job of Chief Justice, that member of the Court always has top seniority. Only if the Chief Justice is not in the majority does the assigning task then fall to the Justice next highest in seniority. That has been Justice Stevens, for 16 years of his 34 years on the Court.

But Kennedy is moving up only a single notch in seniority. He is still outranked in seniority by Justice Antonin Scalia. So, if the Court’s eight other Justices were to split along conservative and liberal lines, and the four most likely conservative Justices attracted Kennedy’s vote, the assigning task would fall to the Chief Justice. In any divided Court with Kennedy and Scalia on the same side, Scalia would always be the assigning Justice should the Chief Justice not be on that side.

But, if Kennedy were to line up, in a divided case, with the Court’s four moderate-to-liberal Justices (assuming Stevens’ replacement sides with that bloc), Kennedy would always have the assigning task, inheriting it from Stevens. He would outrank, in seniority, all of the Justices in that bloc. He thus will be able to shape even the Court’s more liberally inclined outcomes, by the way he chooses the opinion authors. And, if he thought any of the other four might use an assignment to write an opinion more sweeping than he would want, he could assign the task to himself, and keep it within whatever bounds he chose so long as it did not drive off one of the four other votes he would need to keep a majority.

Would Kennedy be inclined to line up more often in coalitions with that bloc, just to get the assigning task? It might have that effect on him, at least some of the time. It is not just a ceremonial task, and can, indeed, be an opportunity leading to a more significant leadership role. Stevens surely used it that way.

But now turn to the question of the departure of Stevens, and what that means to colleagues’ attempts to influence Kennedy to join the moderate-to-liberal Justices. It is widely assumed that Stevens has become a highly influential “play-maker,” or “majority-massing” Justice, with a capacity to lead the Court toward outcomes that he would prefer. And it is assumed just as widely that his influence has worked, at least on some important cases, with Kennedy.

Perhaps the best example of that assumed influence came two years ago, in what was the Court’s most important decision yet in a “war on terrorism” case — the 2008 ruling in Boumediene v. Bush. The Court initially refused to hear the detainees’ appeal in that case, and the reason very likely was that the Court’s more liberal Justices could not be assured of Kennedy’s vote on the merits if those four voted (as they were entitled to do) to grant review. But the common belief is that Stevens kept working on Kennedy, privately, and the Court ultimately switched, granted review, and wound up deciding in favor of a new constitutional right for detainees — in a sweeping opinion written by Kennedy (and assigned to him by Stevens).

But Stevens will no longer be on the Court to reach out to Kennedy in situations like that, and that role is just not likely to be filled by any other Justice. Kennedy, then, perhaps would be more on his own. Would his own philosophical instincts, which in general seem to run more to the conservative than to the liberal, lead him toward liberal outcomes? That is, at a minimum, doubtful. He might well become more comfortable voting those instincts in the future.

Although the Court so far has not done very much to shape the docket that it will confront when it returns in October, without Stevens, there is sure to be abundant controversy that will divide the Court. And then the “new” Kennedy Court may begin to materialize.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-10-10, 01:13 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Decadance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 1,781
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Hate to say it Red Dog, but I disagree with both the analysis of you and SCOTUSblog. If we think in terms of spacial modeling, even when Stevens assigned himself the opinion in a 5-4 cases, he still had to make sure the reasoning in the opinion, as well as the holding, was "conservative" enough to keep Kennedy within the 5-4 voting bloc. If Stevens wrote too liberal of a decision, Kennedy could defect from the 5-4 majority following the conference vote, and make a new 5-4 majority by writing an opinion at his ideal point which would also include the conservative members.

Basically, if the opinion was too liberal, Kennedy would not join it. Why would we expect this to change even if Kennedy is now the opinion assigner when he is in a majority which does not contain the CJ? It logically does not follow. Kennedy will have more "power" as the opinion assigner, but the outcome of the opinions with Stevens assigning the opinions or with Kennedy assigning the opinions still hinge on compromising to Kennedy's preferences, which are likely not to change, therefore the outcome of the policy positions of the decisions are not likely to change.


Check out http://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Beha...mm_pap_title_0
Mainly Chapters 6 & 7, but the entire book is a good read.
Decadance is offline  
Old 04-10-10, 01:34 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Yes, Stevens would have to write a less 'liberal' opinion to keep Kennedy on board, but I would say that Kennedy can shade such an opinion even more to the center (less 'liberal' than a Stevens-accomodating-Kennedy opinion) now by giving it to himself.

Basically, if the opinion was too liberal, Kennedy would not join it. Why would we expect this to change even if Kennedy is now the opinion assigner when he is in a majority which does not contain the CJ? It logically does not follow.
I never suggested that. Of course, it won't make a difference in vote breakdowns (see my post #8). Simply that it gives Kennedy more control and can shade holdings by the liberal wing rightward to the center, at least on the cases most important to Kennedy.

When was the last time you had the senior associate resign that was in the opposing block of the Chief? Was there a centrist that then assumed the senior role? I'd be curious to see if there is a historical parallel to this and what happened in the aftermath. That scenario really didn't take place when Blackmun resigned (White became senior associate but only briefly....it quickly moved to Stevens, squarely on the opposite side as the Chief).

Last edited by Red Dog; 04-10-10 at 01:48 PM.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-10-10, 02:28 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Decadance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 1,781
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I never suggested that. Of course, it won't make a difference in vote breakdowns (see my post #8). Simply that it gives Kennedy more control and can shade holdings by the liberal wing rightward to the center, at least on the cases most important to Kennedy.
That is about the only thing I would claim will change, is the type of opinions Kennedy assigns himself, though remember there are workload considerations in this calculation. If Kennedy is a true power monger (as some rumors would lead me to believe), I would also expect more 5-4 opinions in the "liberal" direction, so that he can exercise this new found power.

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
When was the last time you had the senior associate resign that was in the opposing block of the Chief? Was there a centrist that then assumed the senior role? I'd be curious to see if there is a historical parallel to this and what happened in the aftermath. That scenario really didn't take place when Blackmun resigned (White became senior associate but only briefly....it quickly moved to Stevens, squarely on the opposite side as the Chief)
Simply put, it has not occurred in the modern era. Following the Judges Bill of 1925(discretionary jurisdiction and the rise of the rule of 4), we have not witness it.
Decadance is offline  
Old 04-10-10, 02:32 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,951
re: SC Justice Stevens retiring -- Elena Kagan nominated

Originally Posted by Decadance View Post
That is about the only thing I would claim will change, is the type of opinions Kennedy assigns himself, though remember there are workload considerations in this calculation. If Kennedy is a true power monger (as some rumors would lead me to believe), I would also expect more 5-4 opinions in the "liberal" direction, so that he can exercise this new found power.
I've heard he has a big ego, bigger than the others at least, which would lend credence to his positioning on the Court.
Red Dog is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.