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The GOP Must Take Charge on Stevens Replacement
Townhall.com ^ | April 10 2010 | Ken Klukowski

Posted on 04/10/2010 4:59:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

Justice Stevens’ retirement from the Supreme Court creates a potential game-changer for the midterm elections. If Republicans respond correctly to this, they can recapture the House, make big gains in the Senate, and bring most of the Tea Party crowd back into the GOP fold.

On April 9, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court this summer. This move has been anticipated since late 2009, when Stevens didn’t hire his full allotment of law clerks for the Court’s next term. But making the announcement now completely changes the national dialogue, with widespread implications.

Many justices announce their retirement from the Supreme Court around the last day of the Court’s term. (Supreme Court terms begin on the first Monday of October, and end in the last week or so of June.) Many legal analysts (including me) expected Justice Stevens’ announcement in late June.

By announcing in April his intent to retire, Justice Stevens has completely changed the White House’s prospects for the year. The president was shifting focus to taking over the banking industry, then was going to move on several other liberal priorities, including granting amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants.

Justice Stevens changed that with his announcement. The Supreme Court is a coequal branch of government, every bit as powerful as the president or Congress. Given that the Court only has nine justices, changing one of them is a major shift in national power.

This is highlighted by the big issues the Court is deciding this term. The Court has already decided a major free-speech case in Citizens United, and we will shortly receive the Court’s decisions in the Mojave cross case, whether the feds can permanently detain “dangerous” people who have completed their prison time, whether they can convict people for not providing “honest services” (a dangerously vague term), whether state universities can expel Christian clubs for requiring club officers to adhere to the group’s beliefs, and whether people can sign petitions to protect traditional marriage without their addresses being posted on the Internet to intimidate them.

Of all these issues, none is bigger than gun rights. This June the Court will decide McDonald v. Chicago, asking whether the Second Amendment extends the right to keep and bear arms against state and local gun-control laws. That case—in which the National Rifle Association is a party—will come down right before Justice Stevens retires.

One thing that is absolutely essential is that Republicans cannot allow a final floor vote on this nomination until September, nor should they do so. These cases demonstrate how vitally-important the Supreme Court is, and every American should be deeply engaged and speak out about what kind of jurist this country needs.

Of all the possible reactions, the one trap that Republicans must avoid is to take a pass on this fight (as many moderates will argue) by concluding that any of the replacements on Obama’s short list will simply mean replacing one liberal justice with another.

First of all, that’s the wrong way to think of the issue. This is about replacing an 89-year old with someone in their fifties, who will shape the meaning of the U.S. Constitution for decades. Federal judges hold lifetime appointments, and this appointee will be one of President Obama’s longest-lasting legacies.

Second, this issue is a winning issue for conservatives. This is not a 50-50 issue. Independents largely join conservatives in supporting judicial restraint: that judges should interpret the Constitution as it is written, not according to what that judge thinks is right. Liberals support activist judges, who declare the Constitution to mean whatever they want it to mean, according to their own liberal concepts of how society should operate.

The GOP’s decision about how to respond to Justice Stevens’ retirement will be profoundly important. It could even shape the remainder of Obama’s presidency.

President Obama’s short list includes Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Diane Wood, Judge Merrick Garland, and Governor Jennifer Granholm, who are all on the left. He’s is going to nominate a staunchly-liberal nominee, and to the extent that Senate Republicans can force a long, open conversation with the American people through a full-length confirmation process that doesn’t allow for a floor vote before the August recess, this nomination will suck all the oxygen out of the room for Obama’s other election-year priorities.

This will put the brakes on President Obama’s far-left agenda regarding banks, cap and trade, card check, and amnesty, and it will force every Senate candidate (and some House candidates) to weigh in on what sort of judges this country needs. It will also help keep Tea Party folks—many of whom are as fed up with the Republicans as they are with the Democrats—into the GOP fold, as Republicans prove that they are regard the Supreme Court as a top priority for America’s future.

The tenor of the 2010 elections may turn on how Republican leaders and candidates choose to respond to Justice Stevens stepping down from the Supreme Court. Conservatives need to make clear to moderates within the party that this is no time to abandon conservative principles. The Supreme Court is as important as it gets.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 111th; bhojudicialnominees; bhoscotus; elenakagan; gop; stevens

1 posted on 04/10/2010 4:59:03 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I wouldn’t trust the gop any farther than I can throw them.

They will fold on this scotus justice like they fold on everything. The McCain 7 are alive and well and willing to “compromise” on anything, AND they are on record opposing the blocking of justices.


2 posted on 04/10/2010 5:11:17 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Kaslin
Republicans cannot allow a final floor vote on this nomination until September, nor should they do so.

The Republicans must repeat over and over again that there is no rush and that the dems are trying to push someone through without long reading of his/her record, just as they did the healthcare bill.

People are annoyed at the process the dems used with healthcare, and should be reminded of it constantly.

3 posted on 04/10/2010 5:16:40 AM PDT by Darkwolf377 (Conservative Bostonian, atheist pro-lifer, mocker of those who haven't a clue)
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To: Kaslin

Take charge?

Their usual mantra is that the president has the right to make his own choice. Then they roll over and vote the person onto the court.

I don’t see that changing. Especially not with Graham and a few others who will form a gang of 10 or 15 or some such.

McCain may play conservative, at least until after the AZ primary determines his future.


4 posted on 04/10/2010 5:24:33 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Kaslin

The article is spot on....but there are too many Liberal RINOs in the senate....many are the same ones who were Gang Of 14....many who did not oppose the election of Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg.....and the same GOP who gave some votes to Hispano-Racist Sonia Sotomayor.

Leading all this is John Hussein McCain....he has been responsible for helping liberals get selected for the federal judgeships. Judidical appointments are a huge reason why McCain must be eliminated....and people like Sarah Palin are nothing but Liberal RINOs for supporting McCain....


5 posted on 04/10/2010 5:26:00 AM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (JD Hayworth for Senate ..... jdforsenate.com)
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To: Kaslin

Watch RINOs like Lindsey Graham whimper and whine if any member of the GOP challenges O’s nomination.

Delay? Watch the GOP go right along with O’s agenda and give speedy approval.


6 posted on 04/10/2010 5:26:53 AM PDT by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: Kaslin
creates a potential game-changer

I'm getting tired of hearing that phrase over and over.

7 posted on 04/10/2010 5:28:47 AM PDT by Poison Pill
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To: Kaslin

This is funny! Not ha-ha funny, but funny.

When was the GOP ever in charge? Even when they controlled both Houses of Congress and the Whitehouse.

Each time they tried to accomplish something they had John {”he is one of us, by none other than Sarah Palin]Mc Cain and Lindsey Graham to derail and stop the effort.


8 posted on 04/10/2010 5:33:40 AM PDT by sport
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To: Poison Pill

“I’m getting tired of hearing that phrase over and over”

Really! Loose a lib justice and he gets replaced by another. How is this a game changer. It’s only a missed opportunity.


9 posted on 04/10/2010 5:34:36 AM PDT by diverteach (D.C. has become Jonestown)
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To: Kaslin

He will pick someone who has familiarity with Sharia law......


10 posted on 04/10/2010 5:37:44 AM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

Tell me when did John McCain ever vote with the left? A Bipartisan vote of 98 does not count


11 posted on 04/10/2010 6:20:36 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
The GOP will make noise and then rubber stamp whomever 0bama throws up there.

Elections have consequences. Replacing Stevens with another (or further) liberal is not status quo. It blocks progress for another 20-30 years.

12 posted on 04/10/2010 7:01:17 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Is the difference between "anticipating" and "just waiting" the same as between "when" and "if"?)
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To: Kaslin

Block any appointee from The Won.

A Lib for a Lib seat is NOT how one should look at this SCOTUS appointment. A Constitutionalist should be put on the court. That is where the winning arguments and power of persuasion lie.

The Won has stated the constitution is an impediment to his desires for transforming America. With the country against Obamacare, 2nd Amndt visibility and 10th Amndt challenges in the minds of Americans, we can get the seat back in the hands of a strict constructionist. Make the case, offer alternatives and convince your fellow citizens. That is how it is supposed to work.


13 posted on 04/10/2010 7:34:02 AM PDT by Macoozie (Go Sarah! Palin/Bolton 2012)
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To: Kaslin

We just have too many Ford Republicans waiting without challenge for Stevens II.


14 posted on 04/10/2010 8:43:44 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: broken_arrow1

Absolutely, and the people of SC and AZ will still “think” (they don’t) that Little Smiling Lindsey and McPain are “conservatives”. And it SC and AZ can’t be saved, how can the nation?


15 posted on 04/10/2010 8:46:15 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

Also the PA candidate Toomey “endorsed” Sotomayor.


16 posted on 04/10/2010 8:47:29 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Kaslin

The Repubs should make a BIG EFFING DEAL out of the fact that Stevens was appointed by a Republican, and DEMAND that Obama appoint somebody who is either Republican, or very, very old. Of course, Stevens himself doesn’t care—his party is The Abortion Party, so he waited for an abortionist in the White House before retiring.


17 posted on 04/10/2010 9:34:04 AM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: Kaslin

Right. Don’t hold your breath relying on the GOP.


18 posted on 04/10/2010 9:42:54 AM PDT by 38special (I mean come on.)
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To: Kaslin

The author of this piece has obviously never heard of Senator Graham. The little weasel is surely in discussion with Obama on how to quickly usher whatever radical nut case he comes up with through confirmation before Graham loses his 60th vote.


19 posted on 04/10/2010 9:43:23 AM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: Kaslin
Tell me when did John McCain ever vote with the left?

Ever hear of McCain Feingold? Gang of 14? Do you think he wouldn't have voted left if amnesty ever made it to a vote? Can you tell us, when did John McCain ever miss an opportunity to preen for the MSM while sticking a thumb in this own party's eye?

20 posted on 04/10/2010 9:50:06 AM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: Kaslin

It is a good thing the defeatists at this post weren’t around in 1776.


21 posted on 04/10/2010 9:55:45 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Don't let it happen here.)
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To: Kaslin
President Obama’s short list includes Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Diane Wood, Judge Merrick Garland, and Governor Jennifer Granholm, who are all on the left.

Ex-Houstonian on short list again for high court


By STEWART M. POWELL and KATIE BRANDENBURG WASHINGTON BUREAU
April 9, 2010, 11:28PM

WASHINGTON — She was the new kid in class at Houston's Westchester High School in the mid-1960s, a brainy teenager from northern New Jersey who quickly made her mark as a distinguished twirler and class valedictorian.

Now Judge Diane Wood, 59, a distinguished graduate of the University of Texas and University of Texas law school on the federal appeals court in Chicago, is on President Barack Obama's short list for a second time to fill a Supreme Court vacancy — this time to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Wood gets high marks from her professors. ....

Wood arrived at the high court as a clerk a year after Stevens had taken his seat.

Wood subsequently worked for the State Department and the blue-blood Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling before joining the law faculty at the University of Chicago for 14 years, which included stints at the Justice Department.

President Bill Clinton named Wood to the federal bench in 1995 but it was crossing paths with a young constitutional law professor at University of Chicago — Barack Obama — that may help Wood's chances.

Obama interviewed Wood last year before nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill his first high court vacancy. .....

Some conservatives have labeled Wood a judicial liberal and activist, especially on the hot-button issue of abortion. Wood wrote the opinion ruling that racketeering laws could be used against abortion protest groups, a ruling subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court in an 8-1 ruling.

Wood also dissented from her appeals court's conservative majority on banning a controversial late-term abortion procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.

If nominated by Obama, Wood could expect Senate Republicans to go after her “evolutionary” interpretation of the Constitution, a document featuring “enough flexibility that later generations would be able to adapt it to their own needs and uses.”

end snips


22 posted on 04/10/2010 9:58:41 AM PDT by deport ( Texas Primary Run-Off Early Voting ---- April 5, -- April 9, 2010)
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To: sport; xzins
Each time they tried to accomplish something they had John {”he is one of us, by none other than Sarah Palin]Mc Cain and Lindsey Graham to derail and stop the effort.

>>>>I wouldn’t trust the gop any farther than I can throw them.

>>>>They will fold on this scotus justice like they fold on everything. The McCain 7 are alive and well and willing to “compromise” on anything, AND they are on record opposing the blocking of justices.<<<<

First of all let me tell you that I am not a fan of John McCain and the only way I voted for him was because 2 of my choices dropped out.

Now did you two ever bother to check how John McCain voted on President George W. Bush's nominations? It might surprise you but he voted Yes to everyone of President Bush's nominees except one which was Richard R. Clifton, of Hawaii, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit

He voted no with everyone, or most of his fellow Republicans to 0bama's nominees: Geithner, David F, Hamilton, Christopher R Hill (Ambassador to Iraq), Elena Kagan, Koh, Thomas E Perez (Assistant Attorney General, Kathleen Sebelius and Sonia Sotomayor. The only two he voted for with the demoCrats are Holder and David Ogden.

Just because he has some friends in the Senate from the other side does not make him a RINO, just as you are not a RINOs when some of your friends are democrats

23 posted on 04/10/2010 10:37:16 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
If I was Senate Minority Leader, ... I would request a meeting with Obama ASAP, and lay it right on the table.

ALL RIGHT DICK HEAD, YOU ARE LOSING BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE THIS NOVEMBER -- YOU KNOW IT AND I KNOW IT !

IF YOU WANT ANOTHER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CONFIRMED BEFORE NEXT JANUARY, YOU WILL IMMEDIATELY HALT PLANS TO PUSH:
1) CAP AND TRADE
2) ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE TO AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS,
AND
3) CARD CHECK

IF YOU AGREE TO THOSE THREE CONDITIONS, WE WILL STOP OUR FILIBUSTER ON THE LAST WORKING DAY OF THE SENATE BEFORE THE NEW CONGRESS IS SWORN IN, AND VOTE ON THAT DAY TO CONFIRM YOUR NOMINEE.

IF YOU DON'T AGREE TO THOSE CONDITIONS, THEN WE WILL FILIBUSTER THIS NOMINEE UNTIL THE NEXT CONGRESS IS SWORN IN, AND THEN YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT ANY NOMINEES BEING CONFIRMED FOR ANYTHING DURING THE LAST TWO YEARS OF YOUR TERM , BECAUSE YOU WILL BE TOO BUSY DEFENDING YOURSELF AGAINST IMPEACHMENT ANYWAY!

24 posted on 04/10/2010 11:09:42 AM PDT by Dawebman (IF I WAS SENATE MINORITY LEADER ...)
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To: deport
Did you know that John McCain was one of 31 Republicans who voted no when 0bama nominated Kagan for Solicitor General?
Those Republicans voting yes were Coburn, Collins, Hatch, Lugar, and Snowe.
Republicans not voting were Cochran, Ensign, and Graham
25 posted on 04/10/2010 11:31:28 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I agree with ALL the naysayers to the last one. The GOP is going to cave in and RUIN any chance of even a takeover in the fall. They are going to capitulate like the French Army and run away like base cowards. They will not drag this out for so much as 30 days. By June, it will already be over and some 40 year old communist god hating homosexual will be on the court.


26 posted on 04/10/2010 1:43:42 PM PDT by RachelFaith (2010 is going to be a 100 seat Tsunami - Unless the GOP Senate ruins it all...)
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To: RachelFaith
I agree with ALL the naysayers to the last one. The GOP is going to cave in and RUIN any chance of even a takeover in the fall. They are going to capitulate like the French Army and run away like base cowards. They will not drag this out for so much as 30 days. By June, it will already be over and some 40 year old communist god hating homosexual will be on the court.

I bookmarked the article. We'll see when the time comes, also it depends on who he nominates. But if he nominates someone like you think he will and the majority of the Republicans vote no, I want you to admit that you were wrong. I myself will wait and see what will happen

27 posted on 04/10/2010 2:51:18 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Obama will get any candidate he wants. He has the Senate and the media. The GOP is powerless at this time and Obama will appoint a solid communist to the SCOTUS. The GOP can’t even squeek.


28 posted on 04/10/2010 4:24:50 PM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Bye bye Miss American Freedom. When did we vote for Communism?)
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