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Breyer, Souter are Obama’s Models for Supreme Court Choices, Advisor Says
CNS News ^ | 10/31/08 | Pete Winn

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, he’s interested in people of integrity and competence, that’s a given,” Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec told CNSNews.com. “He’s also indicated that he’s 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, he’s an expert in administrative law.”

Obama, a former law instructor at the University of Chicago, will likely turn to people he’s 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 nation’s foremost scholars of the Constitution,” Kmiec said.

Sunstein’s approach to the Constitution is “not unlike” the approach of Breyer and Souter.

“He’s 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 what’s 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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; 2008election; 2008elections; barackobama; breyer; democrats; electionpresident; elections; kmiec; nobama; nobama08; obama; scotus; souter; supremecourt

1 posted on 10/31/2008 10:43:54 AM PDT by truthandlife
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To: truthandlife

Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer are as Far Left as Marx.


2 posted on 10/31/2008 10:44:46 AM PDT by wac3rd (Conservatives are not always Republicans...and vice-versa.)
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To: truthandlife

LOL.. Obama: “I’m going to nominate 2nd Amendment Stomping Gun-Grabbers to the Supreme Court”.


3 posted on 10/31/2008 10:45:20 AM PDT by Onerom99
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To: truthandlife
OK scholar's to work on these two libs voting record...Spread the news
4 posted on 10/31/2008 10:45:21 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: truthandlife

David Souter...Gosh. Thanks Bush Sr!


5 posted on 10/31/2008 10:45:24 AM PDT by Fast Ed97
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To: truthandlife

B.S. He’s shooting for Ginsburg and beyond.


6 posted on 10/31/2008 10:45:46 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: wac3rd

I don’t see Ginsberg mentioned.


7 posted on 10/31/2008 10:45:52 AM PDT by King of Florida (A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.)
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To: truthandlife

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.


8 posted on 10/31/2008 10:47:47 AM PDT by Winged Hussar (http://moveonpleasemoveon.blogspot.com/)
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To: 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.

Too bad. They're every bit as left as Stevens.

9 posted on 10/31/2008 10:49:41 AM PDT by careyb
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
He's hoping we believe he'll select a Souter & Breyer.

He's tacked way right so far, so we should expect he'll actually do far worse.

10 posted on 10/31/2008 10:50:38 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: truthandlife
If he admits to a tax increase for those making more than 300K...I mean 250K...I mean 200K...I mean 150K, then we can use this past reasoning to assume that if he claims Breyer is model that it is actually Ginsberg...I mean Ayers...I mean Wright...I mean Lenin...I mean Marx.
11 posted on 10/31/2008 10:54:50 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (If Hillary is elected, her legacy will be telling the American people: Better put some ice on that.)
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To: truthandlife

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.


12 posted on 10/31/2008 10:55:18 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: Winged Hussar
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.

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.

13 posted on 10/31/2008 10:57:22 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: King of Florida

Ginsberg is his model for Chief Justice and also personal concubine.


14 posted on 10/31/2008 10:59:53 AM PDT by According2RecentPollsAirIsGood
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To: King of Florida

It was my addition.


15 posted on 10/31/2008 11:02:08 AM PDT by wac3rd (Conservatives are not always Republicans...and vice-versa.)
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To: wac3rd
FYI, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the case that struck the District's gun ban as unconstitutional - and a case that the ZERO has said he supported - was a 5-4 decision with the ZERO's "model" justices dissenting
16 posted on 10/31/2008 11:04:39 AM PDT by Smedley (It's a sad day for American capitalism when a man can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park)
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To: truthandlife

this is the reason why obama has to be stopped

we cannot afford two judges like these idiots on the bench
1st amendment
2nd amendment are at danger under obama


17 posted on 10/31/2008 11:04:46 AM PDT by manc (Marriage is between a man and a woman no sick MA,CT sham marriage end racism end affirmative action)
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To: truthandlife

And of course his pals like Khalidi can help him make the choice along with Ayers, Odinga, Farrakhan, and White hater Rev. Wright!


18 posted on 10/31/2008 11:05:13 AM PDT by OPS4 (Ops4 God Bless America!Jesus is Lord!)
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To: truthandlife

I suspect we’d be more likely to get Lani Guinier — the Quota Queen.


19 posted on 10/31/2008 11:12:28 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Nepolean fries the idea powder)
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To: All

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.


20 posted on 10/31/2008 11:12:58 AM PDT by NinoFan
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To: truthandlife

Souter? Look for more government property-grabbing decisions ala Kelo. Obama should be asked whether he supports Kelo.


21 posted on 10/31/2008 11:16:33 AM PDT by Califelephant
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To: NinoFan

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!


22 posted on 10/31/2008 11:32:18 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: pepsi_junkie

Do you think liberals can ever see the truth in anything? It’s almost like they are possessed.


23 posted on 10/31/2008 11:42:34 AM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: Fast Ed97

How the heck did Bush one give us that communist?


24 posted on 10/31/2008 11:43:25 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: Luke21

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.


25 posted on 11/01/2008 12:19:31 AM PDT by DiogenesLaertius
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To: DiogenesLaertius

Let’s hope for another Souter.. Seriously, it would be about time a democrat turns when he gets nominated. Sort of like Justice White?


26 posted on 11/05/2008 7:04:10 PM PST by GreaterSwiss
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To: truthandlife

I expected he would nominate Bernadene Dohrn.

Can a felon be nominated to the court?

Oh, I forgot, Clinton pardoned her.


27 posted on 11/05/2008 7:09:45 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: demoskowitz

Yes, Byron White was a great justice and so were Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson, who were appointed by FDR.


28 posted on 11/07/2008 11:25:58 AM PST by Revenge of Sith
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