Skip to comments.Breyer, Souter are Obama’s Models for Supreme Court Choices, Advisor Says
Posted on 10/31/2008 10:43:51 AM PDT by truthandlife
A top advisor to Barack Obama says, if elected president, the Democratic candidate will look to appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of Justices Stephen Breyer and David Souter.
Of course, hes interested in people of integrity and competence, thats a given, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec told CNSNews.com. Hes also indicated that hes most attracted to the kind of justice represented by Justice Breyer and Justice Souter.
Kmiec, who supports Obama and has been serving as a campaign surrogate for the Illinois Democratic senator, said Obama admires the qualities Souter and Breyer represent.
These justices are individuals who tend to examine closely the consequences of legal decisions in terms of their effects on the larger society, as well as to examine a legal outcome in terms of the specifics of a particular record.
Justice Souter, for example, prides himself on not resolving any case other than the one before him, Kmiec said, whereas Justice Breyer has a little bit more of an academic scope in that he not only decides the case in front of him in a pragmatic way, but also tries to analyze what that practical solution would mean for related areas of the law for example, hes an expert in administrative law.
Obama, a former law instructor at the University of Chicago, will likely turn to people hes familiar with, Kmiec said.
I would think, very high in his estimation, is Professor Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago, who is really one of the nations foremost scholars of the Constitution, Kmiec said.
Sunsteins approach to the Constitution is not unlike the approach of Breyer and Souter.
Hes famous for a theory called minimalism, which is a fancy academic name for deciding the specifics of one case at a time, and indulging a ruling no greater than necessary to resolve that particular issue.
Kmiec said Obama recognizes that there is always an area of discretion in the law that judges have leeway sometimes in how they interpret laws.
Sen. Obama has said that within the context of the language, where that place of discretion always exists, he would want that discretion to be exercised by someone who has empathy with those who are disabled, or those who are old, or those who are at the margins of society, especially where the statute is constructed to give remedy to their concerns.
Other names being mentioned in the Obama camp, he said, are Elena Kagan, the dean of the Harvard Law School and Harold Hongju Koh, dean of Yale Law School.
But Kmiec also said it is entirely possible that Obama may turn to people who have law degrees, but who are not already judges including in that category attorneys for non-profit community and anti-poverty groups like the kind Obama himself represented in the 1980s.
Justices Souter and Breyer, meanwhile, are considered to be two of the most liberal justices on the court who embrace whats known as the Living Constitution theory and have frequently united with other court liberals in 5-4 decisions on controversial issues.
Some of those decisions are Stenberg v. Carhart, a 2003 decision that struck down state laws against partial-birth abortion; Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 decision overturning state laws against sodomy and homosexual practices; the 2000 Santa Fe (Texas) Independent School District case banning prayer before high school football games and the 2005 McCreary County, Ky. v. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky case banning the Ten Commandments from public buildings unless part of historical displays.
Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer are as Far Left as Marx.
LOL.. Obama: “I’m going to nominate 2nd Amendment Stomping Gun-Grabbers to the Supreme Court”.
David Souter...Gosh. Thanks Bush Sr!
B.S. He’s shooting for Ginsburg and beyond.
I don’t see Ginsberg mentioned.
Souter, Breyer, and Ginsberg, all of whom voted to legalize theft by eminent domain for PRIVATE gain, are the dregs of the U.S. judiciary.
Too bad. They're every bit as left as Stevens.
He's tacked way right so far, so we should expect he'll actually do far worse.
Focus group tested pablum. Neither of them is particulaurly distinguished and neither of them is particularly controversial. And one, though liberal, was appointed by a republican. So Obama is floating that he wants reasonable and non-partisan types most people have never really heard of as opposed to flaming libs like Stevens or Ginsberg. Don’t believe a word of it, it’s just spin to make him seem not scary.
I have a colleague who is as lib as they get, I think a closet communist actually. Talks up Castro, stuff like that. But I said I thought the Supreme Court had way over-reached on this and he agreed and then railed against the conservatives on the bench that did this to us! I told him it was the libs and he was taken aback. I'm sure he now thinks it was a great ruling.
Ginsberg is his model for Chief Justice and also personal concubine.
It was my addition.
this is the reason why obama has to be stopped
we cannot afford two judges like these idiots on the bench
2nd amendment are at danger under obama
And of course his pals like Khalidi can help him make the choice along with Ayers, Odinga, Farrakhan, and White hater Rev. Wright!
I suspect we’d be more likely to get Lani Guinier — the Quota Queen.
Note that the guy saying this is that traitor and so-called catholic Douglas Kmiec. I guess lying about what pro-life means wasn’t enough for little Doug.
Souter? Look for more government property-grabbing decisions ala Kelo. Obama should be asked whether he supports Kelo.
What the hell? Kmiec really has drunk the kool-aid, or something. I can sort of conceptually grasp that Kmiec could pretend that Obama was a religious conservative and that is why Kmiec, a conservative, supported him. It is colossally foolish, of course, but I can see how someone like Kmiec pretend in such a way.
But it looks like now Kmiec has come out of the closet as a full-blown liberal. When in his classes at Pepperdine did he EVER express admiration for Souter or Breyer? Anyone know? I beat Ed Meese is pretty stiking mad at Kmiec right now!
Do you think liberals can ever see the truth in anything? It’s almost like they are possessed.
How the heck did Bush one give us that communist?
His chief of staff, John H. Sununu (father of the current New Hampshire senator) pushed hard for fellow New Hampshiran Souter. It’s all detailed in the excellent book, “Supreme Conflict” by Jan Crawford Greenburg. It was a major reason Bush lost his reelection bid IMO.
Let’s hope for another Souter.. Seriously, it would be about time a democrat turns when he gets nominated. Sort of like Justice White?
I expected he would nominate Bernadene Dohrn.
Can a felon be nominated to the court?
Oh, I forgot, Clinton pardoned her.
Yes, Byron White was a great justice and so were Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson, who were appointed by FDR.