Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Axios's Sophia Cai gives us a glimpse into the future:
A number of young and prominent Trump-appointed judges are writing their opinions with provocative language, diving into the culture wars in ways offering an audition for a future Supreme Court opening.

Why it matters: Most judges who are would-be justices try to avoid controversy, preserving themselves for a confirmation hearing. But with the specter of former President Trump mounting another run for office, their opinions may not only create opportunity but curry favor with the person who could fulfill their ambitions.
The person who could fulfill their ambitions might also be President Ron DeSantis. But go on.
... 35-year-old Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, recently — and single-handedly — struck down the federal mask mandate on public transportation.

... James Ho, 45, sitting on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has called abortion a "moral tragedy."

... More recently, Ho, in a public speech, defended a law professor who came under fire for criticizing Biden's choice to only consider black women for the Supreme Court.

“If Ilya Shapiro is deserving of cancellation, then you should go ahead and cancel me, too" — a statement dropped into the middle of what at the time was a highly sensitive, political issue.

... Judge Kyle Duncan, 47, also serving on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, willfully misgendered a trans woman.
Even Amy Coney Barrett pretended to be a moderate, reasonable individual who could be welcomed onto the Court by Americans across the political spectrum, but the next wave of right-wing judges might believe, with good reason, that that won't be necessary. Republicans are likely to win control of the Senate in November and retain control for quite a while. Mitch McConnell or his successor will ram through any Supreme Court nominee a Republican president appoints, public opinion be damned.

The author of this piece can't resist a moment of bothsidesing:
But, but, but: Judges appointed by Democrats aren't immune to rhetorical flourishes.

Newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson did so in a U.S. District Court ruling that Trump's former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with the congressional subpoena.

"Presidents," she wrote, "are not kings."
Didn't we all learn in school that in America "presidents are not kings" is a foundational principle? Why is this treated as a controversial statement? Why was it treated as such during Jackson's confirmation hearings?

In any event, I'm sure the gist of this story is correct: If you want to be appointed to the Supreme Court by a future Republican president, you should brazenly own the libs. It won't hurt your chances. What will hurt your chances is not even trying.

No comments: