I don't recall another Supreme Court justice announcing that the timing of her or his retirement hinged on who was president, even though we all know this is the undercurrent, barring mitigating circumstances.
But Justice Anthony Kennedy has said it out loud, telling his inner circle he doesn't want President Barack Obama to be The One....
Thanks surely in part to Obama's big mouth, as explained below, Kennedy's replacement will loom large as a rallying cry for both parties in the 2012 presidential election.
It appears the next president will choose the next SC vote that could either overturn or continue to uphold Roe v. Wade.
Notwithstanding the 2008 election, it is the Republican Party that usually gathers more steam/$$ from such a prospect/threat.
As an aside, Senate Republicans should take this development into consideration and show themselves worthy of voter support for what will be the mother of all SC nomination battles. It is not too late to pick themselves up off the floor, where they have been laying down and dying over the nomination of radical and corrupt Elena Kagan.
But I digress. From the New York Daily News, July 6...
... Kennedy, who turns 74 this month, has told relatives and friends he plans to stay on the high court for at least 3 more years - through the end of Obama's 1st term, sources said.
That means Kennedy will be around to provide a 5th vote for the court's conservative bloc through the 2012 presidential election. If Obama loses, Kennedy could retire and expect a Republican President to choose a conservative justice.
Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, has been on the court 22 years. He has become a bit of a political nemesis at the White House for his increasing tendency to side with the court's 4 rock-ribbed conservative justices.
Without naming Kennedy, Obama was unusually critical of his majority opinion in the Citizens United case, handed down last January. That 5-4 decision struck down limits on contributions to political campaigns as an abridgement of free speech.
Obama... was so angry that he took the unusual step of blasting the decision in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address, with Kennedy and five other justices looking on....
With the retirement of fellow Stanford graduate Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006, Kennedy has inherited O'Connor's mantle as the court's swing vote.
His voting pattern suggests he's actually become a far more reliable vote for the conservatives.
In a piece entitled, "The fury of an idiot scorned," Red State Insider at RedState.com goes into more depth:
... [I]it would appear that President Obama's classless low blow at the SC in this year's State of the Union address may end up being significant for more than Alito's silently mouthed rebuttal, after all...
In retrospect, it would appear that Obama's decision to blast the SC in their presence may yet well constitute, in the words of Happy Gilmore, one of "your all-time backfires." Under normal circumstances, it would be preposterous to suggest that a SC Justice would either change their vote or their decision about when to retire based on an insult (perceived or real) delivered by the man who would name their successor. In fact, the very suggestion is insulting to both the intelligence and integrity of the Justice in question, almost all of whom take a great deal of pride in being immune from allowing their personal prejudices and feelings to influence their decisions on the bench.
However, in Kennedy's case, the suggestion is more than plausible; it is totally believable....
More and more I begin to think that Obama is genuinely angry he can't force everyone to do everything he tells them to. I feel like he's missed a few key classes in school about the nature of a republic. At least he's getting an education on it now.Posted by: Keli Hu at July 7, 2010 10:54 AM
Obama is getting increasingly snarky. I bet his temper is boiling within him. Obama is like the all time narcissistic bad guy without any shred of conscience. Scary!Posted by: Sydney M. at July 7, 2010 11:49 AM
"I don't recall another Supreme Court justice announcing that the timing of her or his retirement hinged on who was president, even though we all know this is the undercurrent, barring mitigating circumstances."
Actually, the recently retired Justice John Paul Stevens said during the first George W. Bush term that he would not retire from the bench because he "did not want to politicize" the process to replace him -- thereby politicizing the process to replace him.Posted by: Paul Tuns at July 7, 2010 1:08 PM
Paul, it can be speculated Stevens was being coy. Nor did Stevens know at the time who would win in 2008. But no Supreme Court justice to my knowledge has announced his/her intention to retire based on who is president.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 7, 2010 2:19 PM
I think that this is the sign of the country. Obama has shown no respect for the law already and if he has a third appointment, this country will be doomed.......wake up americaPosted by: karen at July 7, 2010 3:07 PM
Obama may well be a blessing in disguise. We have been in a long slow slide, with liberalism consistently advancing by increments. Now the electorate has had the liberal lion in the White House for 18 months and sees the direction and destination taken by the incrementalism.
It's been a wake-up call.
In his ideologically motivated hatred for this country's philosophical underpinnings, he never escaped the Ivy-League confines, or community-activist confines to travel the country and learn who we truly are. He's getting quite the education now.
He will go down in history as more inept than Carter, more reviled than Nixon, more economically out of touch than Hoover.
That takes hard work to pull off, but that's Obama.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 7, 2010 4:16 PM
I love how the right likes to complain about Obama and Biden when it was the BUSH administrations that got us into 3 un-necessary wars which killed thousands of us troops and Iraq/Afghani citizens for no good reason... It’s funny I didn’t hear any right-wingers say ANYTHING about the national debt when Bush Jr. passed his tax cuts to the rich? It cracks me up to hear republicans call the gulf crisis Obama's fault when it was bush administrations that deregulated the oil industry in the first place. Oh and let’s not forget it was Dick Cheney's company whose work was so shoddy that it not only caused this oil spill and killed those oil rig workers but also electrocuted American G.I's in the buildings they built for the military. Everyone wants to put this oil spill all on Obama and BP but all the oil companies are regulated the same and no one company is any better or worse than any other BP just got caught... Thank you Dick Cheney, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. for you years of greedy service. Obama has spent his ENTIRE term so far running around the globe cleaning up the Bush administrations messes and trying to mend the fences broken by the Bush Foreign Policy…but by all means keep spinning the truth to fit your own political agenda and keep your head stuck in the FOX news fish bowl…Posted by: Biggz at July 7, 2010 7:37 PM
For those interested in the Kagan drama, here's a great look at her evasion of the Constitution's "commerce clause," and what it means for Congress at large.Posted by: Andrew Haines at July 8, 2010 8:24 AM
little off topic tho i like gerald to see this. i thought it was funny this woman would dedicate a whole article for him
Posted by: Biggz at July 7, 2010 7:37 PM
One, "the rich" 5% of Americans pay 95% of the total revenue the government takes in in taxes. Did you know that? That means that when you're talking about tax cuts or hikes, you're always talking about that 5% of people. Because fiddling with the other 95% of the country only changes about 5% of the total revenue. You can do whatever you like to the middle-class taxes and it makes no difference!
Basic maths. Learn some.
Two, Obama's been president for two years. The guy is a failure on his own terms now. Blaming Bush for anything anymore makes you look lost, confused, and stupid. Stop.
Three, nothing in your post has anything to do with any of the critiques leveled at Obama in this thread. And even if I were to concede all of your points (which, by the way, I don't), defending Obama on a bunch of issues we're not talking about does not amount to a defense of Obama on the issues we are talking about. Read the thread again and make sure you understand what we're discussing before your next attempt, 'kay?Posted by: Keli Hu at July 8, 2010 9:43 AM
If Colorado or Mississippi passes one of these personhood ballot measures in the next couple of years it would reach the court soon after Kennedy has pledged to retire. Lord willing, it will reach the court before Justices Scalia or Thomas end their service. Time to move on a an amendment that challenges the underpinnings of Roe. Focus like a laser beam. Personhood Now!Posted by: Keith at July 8, 2010 12:20 PM
Just a reminder, not everyone thinks President Obama is doing a poor job. He's disappointed some on the left, who thought he'd be more liberal, and hasn't pleased everyone on the right, who just won't give him a chance. Everyone else is pretty satisfied. I don't see any Republican who can beat him in 2012.Posted by: Hal at July 8, 2010 2:08 PM
Hal, you may be right. Unfortunately the Republicans are a bunch of whiny, yellow-bellied COWARDS with no guts and no patriotism. Which is why I am not one. They disgust me also. So they will probably spend their entire time bickering only to come up with some lame candidate with no hope of winning cause thats what they did last time.
But I doubt Obama will get another term. I think Hillary Clinton has been sharpening her claws. Her poll numbers have risen since she became secretary of state. More people view her favorably. Watch for a massive exodus from Obama's camp to Hillary's. Thats what I predict.Posted by: Sydney M. at July 8, 2010 3:11 PM
Sydney, It would be very unusual for a member of Obama's cabinet to file against him. Therefore, I would be surprised if Hillary challenged Obama. Strange things sometimes happen, so you may be right. Time will tell.Posted by: Hal at July 8, 2010 3:14 PM
oh don't make me sick i hope we don't have another obama term we don't need hillary. we need a pro life presidentPosted by: chris at July 8, 2010 4:30 PM
Hal @ 2:08,
"..won't give him a chance."
US on the edge of chaos? Grim opening for Aspen Ideas Festival (HUFFPO 7-6-10))Posted by: Janet at July 8, 2010 5:05 PM
Link to story @ 5:05:
Posted by: Janet
at July 8, 2010 5:08 PM
I wonder if he can make it until 2016 when Obama's second term expires...Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at July 8, 2010 6:18 PM
hopefully president of death won't get a second term. i'll be praying we can get him out in 2012Posted by: chris at July 8, 2010 6:31 PM
oh don't make me sick i hope we don't have another obama term we don't need hillary. we need a pro life president
Posted by: chris at July 8, 2010 4:30 PM
How do those "pro life presidents" work out for you?Posted by: Hal at July 9, 2010 11:24 AM
they worked out alot better than obama did. the don't suppport infanticide like Obam.a they help put a ban on partial birth abortion which Obama supportsPosted by: chris at July 9, 2010 11:48 AM
Infanticide. That's a term that hasn't been tossed around since 2008. Thanks for the laugh of the day.
LOL yea he is failing on his own LOL he stepped into office with 4 terms of Bush doctrine mess to clean up but yea he is failing on his own... LOL
Yea Obama is some kind of killer... how may wars has he started? So how many soldier and civilian deaths is he responsible for? THE LONGEST WAR IN THE HISTORY OF THE USA is just one of 3 major wars started by the Bush doctrine, but that’s Obama's fault too... lol
I'm sorry the Bush family has had 4 terms to rape this and other countries and when junior left office he left this country laying unconscious on the ground, with no underwear on, in the worst part of town. Good thing Obama brought us a blanket just in the nick of time…
The very DAY Obama stepped into office he had to stop this country from going into a second GREAT DEPRESSION!!! On day one! Oh and gee sorry I couldn’t clean up my unnecessary and pointless wars before you got here but um.... could you take care of that for me... I need to go home and clear some brush... lol and in the middle of all that he gets healthcare reform passed. Of course somewhere in the middle of juggling all of that I guess he should have found time to go take the keys to the hen house back from the oil companies "which was given to them by their buddies the bush boys" whoops too late you failure!
How nice it must be to only see life though a predetermined narrative written for you by Rupert Murdoch……
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will still get abortions, through RU486 or whatever method.
You guys can jerk off to fetuses all you want--morons.Posted by: Phil at July 10, 2010 9:39 PM
Phil, did you actually mean "If Roe v Wade is overturned I will continue to use women as sexual meat. If they get pregnant I will dump them in an alley to consume RU486 poison to kill my child or whatever method. If they die I don't care because I will still be a jerk jerking off."
You're a classy man. Real winner.Posted by: Sydney M. at July 10, 2010 11:56 PM
Sydney M., quit projecting.Posted by: Phil at July 11, 2010 10:06 AM
The thought of one more stepping down while he is president is scary.Posted by: Bill at July 12, 2010 9:31 AM
You don't recall the retirement of a Supreme Court justice hinging on who was President?--Clearly, then, one of two things are true: 1) you choose to ignore past events that do not garner major coverage in the main stream media in order to show false consensus in your ideological views, or 2) you are highly unaware of past events yourself. In either case if you should make a relatively modest effort to be accurate before you blog. John Paul Stevens stated in no uncertain terms that he would die on the bench before retiring when George W Bush was in office. Generally liberal leaning Justices retire when liberals are in office and vice versa. The court had been a liberal majority until the 1980s when the retirement of Thurgood Marshall shifted the 5-4 liberal majority to the opposite when Clarance Thomas took his place. As a side note Kennedy supports Roe v Wade.Posted by: Mike at July 30, 2010 5:45 AM