AFJAC SAYS GOP MUST ALLOW VOTE ON JUSTICES: “A cynical, post-election, partisan power grab must not be allowed to engender a further hobbled Supreme Court,” Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice Action Campaign president, wrote in a letter to the editor published by The Washington Post.
“GOP lawmakers are threatening to extend the scorched-earth campaign tactics of 2016 after Inauguration Day,” Aron wrote, referring to recent remarks by Sens. Ted Cruz and John McCain. “Tellingly, their remarks expose the lie behind GOP senators’ stonewalling of the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, despite Republican leaders’ talk of filling the vacancy after the presidential election. Once the president nominates, the Senate must take seriously its constitutional obligation to give that nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote.” Aron was commenting on a Washington Post editorial (see Gavel Grab).
Meanwhile law professor Charles G. Geyh of the University of Indiana told Talking Points Memo about what TPM called conservative strategizing to block any Supreme Court nominee of Hillary Clinton’s, “I don’t think there is precedent for it. It really does reveal just how politically charged and polarized our judicial politics have become.” He added, “We are at risk of losing legitimacy as a nation in terms of being able to govern effectively.”
With the Supreme Court shorthanded at eight justices, commentary came from all over the philosophical map about what may, or should, happen next. It included The Houston Press, citing judicial confirmation data from our sister organization, Alliance for Justice, “Ted Cruz Knows Better Than to Suggest Shrinking the Supreme Court”; Huffington Post, “Tim Kaine: Democrats Will Nuke Filibuster For Supreme Court Nominees If GOP Won’t Cooperate”; Thomas Berry at The Hill, “Supreme Court compromise: the case for a temporary justice”; Adam Feldman at EmpiricalSCOTUS.com, “We Need Nine (Or Do We): A Slice of Supreme Court History”; Newsweek, “Why Clinton Should Appoint Garland to the Court”; and NPR, “The Case for Republicans to Consider Merrick Garland’s Nomination.”
SUPREME COURT TAKES UP TRANSGENDER ACCESS CASE: The Supreme Court has “entered the national debate over transgender rights, announcing that it would decide whether a transgender boy may use the boys’ bathroom in a Virginia high school,” The New York Times reported. In other coverage about the high court, a separate New York Times piece was headlined, “Justice Thomas, Reticent on the Bench, Is Effusive About His Time There.” The Chicago Tribune reported, “Judge Posner says quality of Supreme Court is ‘awful.'”