Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Highlight the differences

Sometime after Justice Scalia died I wrote about a comment that a way to save time is to not read all the articles speculating who Obama will nominate to replace him. I'm staying faithful to that. This post is a bit different. Ian Millhiser of Think Progress says there are four types of candidates Obama could nominate. Of course, in each category there are lots of possibilities, which I won't get into.

There is the Olive Branch candidate. This is the moderate that is usually nominated when one party controls the Senate and the other is in the White House. But if the Senate is already declaring they will take no action, why bother? Even so, a rejected olive branch nominee would highlight the Senate's recalcitrance.

Obama could go the route of the Superqualified Nominee, someone legally brilliant and indisputably qualified. With this nominee it would be hard to denounce the person as unsuited. If the Senate didn't act it would be obvious why.

On to the Non-Traditional Resume. Most candidates to the Supremes are from big law firms or from a prosecutor's office. How about someone who made a career of representing unions or the ACLU? Yeah, that's like waving a cape in front of a bull. So perhaps someone who had been a public defender. This might work in a time when many in the GOP are rethinking criminal justice.

And then there is a Declaration of War nominee. This would be a twin to Ginsberg, someone who would highlight the differences between the parties. Why not, if the GOP is going to stonewall anyway.

I agree with a few other progressive voices who urge Obama to nominate the Declaration of War candidate. Let's highlight those differences.

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