Re: Benched

1

Yeah, yeah, Supreme Court, whatever, are you guys watching this Bulls-Celtics game?! Ridiculous. 3rd OT right now, 28 seconds left, Celtics down by 1.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:45 PM
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OK, I thought he was dead.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:49 PM
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My guess for where this random year would go did not involve a lumbering 7-foot center making a key 3-pointer.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:50 PM
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Woo Bulls! Go fuck yourselves, Boston.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:53 PM
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Sorry, I'm feeling feisty tonight.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:54 PM
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OK, I thought he was dead.

He is. And that's why he's retiring.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:55 PM
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Matt F: So you won't be getting this tattoo?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 8:59 PM
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6: Well, that's just thoughtful of him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:00 PM
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You're feeling feisty, eh?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:02 PM
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8: Bullshit. If he had any kind of work ethic, he'd soldier on.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:02 PM
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9: eek.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:05 PM
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Sure would be nice if one of the shitty one appeared to be heading out the door, but instead it's Souter (who has been a surprisingly good justice) likely to followed by Stevens and Ginsburg.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:05 PM
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+s


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:05 PM
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10: Well, you know those stolid New Englanders. He doesn't want to make a show of himself.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:06 PM
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So, a nine month confirmation fight that will end with another vote against Roe. Lovely.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:07 PM
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Huh. So Obama may have three SCOTUS appointments in the near future, and it still won't make any difference.

Also: Blazers. Pathetic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:08 PM
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So, a nine month confirmation fight that will end with another vote against Roe. Lovely.

But first we get to see the conciliatory, incrementalist Roberts work to strike down a key pillar of civil rights enforcement.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:09 PM
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Oh no! Not Souter!


Posted by: homer simpson | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:12 PM
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15: Huh? Why another vote against Roe?


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:13 PM
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I'm thinking that David Cole would make a nice replacement.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:15 PM
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Or Ronald Dworkin


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:15 PM
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Or Minneapolitan. Or McManus. or Emerson. I think LB is too conservative.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:19 PM
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Sure would be nice if one of the shitty one appeared to be heading out the door, but instead it's Souter (who has been a surprisingly good justice) likely to followed by Stevens and Ginsburg.

Sadly, yes. But you never know, Thomas could choke to death on a mouthful of shit at any time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:19 PM
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There's a Berkeley professor and a federal judge who don't belong in their current positions. The Bush administration has taught me that the only place to go when you fail is up.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:20 PM
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19:That's just me doing my best attempt at cynical.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:20 PM
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Souter was probably the best justice on the Court. (Stevens is a close second. It's possible they're tied.) There's virtually no chance this will lead to a net improvement.

Scalia and Kennedy are both reasonably old. (Older than Souter.) If Obama makes it to term #2, it's possible he could end up replacing them. Scalia has 9 kids. Surely that must have cut a few years off his life expectancy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:20 PM
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The confirmation hearings might be the best chance we get of investigating torture.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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For some weird reason someone from a very high-end law firm was googling Mrs Gonerill and myself today, so maybe she's in the running.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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that will end with another vote against Roe

This seems the most unlikely scenario of all. The difference this appointment could make is that there are currently *no* liberals on the SCOTUS (four hard right justices, four centrists, and Kennedy, whose judicial philosophy seems mostly ad hoc to me). Obama is popular enough and has enough of a Senate margin to actually put an honest-to-god liberal on the court for the first time since Thurgood Marshall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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I thought Scalia was a chain smoker. Is this correct?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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I second the question in 19, but figured I just hadn't heard enough about this news yet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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27 was following 24, but serious comments intervened.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:21 PM
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28: Quick! Hide from the process servers!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:22 PM
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31 answered by 25. Alright, foolishmortal, just don't freak us out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:23 PM
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More seriously, will Obama have to resort to a stealth candidate, or is the Senate majority large enough to allow him to nominate someone who has actually expressed views out loud and in public?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:24 PM
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Obama is popular enough and has enough of a Senate margin to actually put an honest-to-god liberal on the court for the first time since Thurgood Marshall.

I'm not confident he wants to do that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:24 PM
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22: LB needs to work her way up through the NY Court of Appeals first. It was good enough for Cardozo.

25: Oh, OK, it's not me losing my mind then.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:25 PM
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For some weird reason someone from a very high-end law firm was googling Mrs Gonerill and myself today,

How would you know this? Is there something super obvious that I'm missing?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:25 PM
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I can't wait for the pundits to start in on how Obama must appoint a "moderate" (i.e., a centrist to right-centrist) in order to preserve the court's "balance."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:25 PM
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Expressed views out loud and in public? You mean you want to put someone on the Supreme Court who's over 30 years old? Why would we want to hamstring ourselves like that?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:25 PM
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||
I just bought a shot of Jameson for the captain of the pirated ship! Sometimes living in DC is okay

(although I think his wife was kind of annoyed)
|>


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:26 PM
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is the Senate majority large enough to allow him to nominate someone who has actually expressed views out loud and in public?

He won the election. He earned some political capital. Now's the time to spend some of that capital.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:26 PM
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According to the NYT, Rehnquist smokes cigarettes, Scalia smokes cigarettes and a pipe, and Thomas favors cigars.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:26 PM
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Rehnquist smokes cigarettes

Still?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:27 PM
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43: Rehnquist smokes? Or smoked?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:27 PM
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Uhm, isn't Rehnquist, like, dead already?


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:27 PM
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Rehnquist is smoked in cigarette form by Keith Richards.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:28 PM
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Oops, I see the date on that article is 1992. I have no idea who still smokes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:28 PM
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You mean you want to put someone on the Supreme Court who's over 30 years old?

Nobody under 30 is sufficiently radical. You can't trust anyone under 30 over the long term.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:30 PM
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Unlucky...if only the article had mentioned Byron "Whizzer" White or Harry Blackmun, it would have tipped you off.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:31 PM
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50: if the article mentioning Rehnquist didn't tip him off, I'm not sure this would necessarily be true.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:34 PM
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45: Placidyl-laced spliffs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:34 PM
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Here's the plan. Nominate Bill Ayers. After the republicans rise up and exhaust themselves, withdraw the nomination and go with Cole or Dworkin or Emerson.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:35 PM
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He won the election. He earned some political capital. Now's the time to spend some of that capital.

That's what Bush said after 2004 and before he privatized social security. Anyway, the question is about what Obama can do, not about what he should do.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:35 PM
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I suspect it will be Elena Kagan.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:36 PM
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That's what Bush said after 2004 and before he privatized social security. told the democrats to bend over and use the butter, that when he said he was a uniter and not a divider he was lying. Yes, I was making an allusion. I don't see why Obama can't do the same thing. He's tried bipartisanship. It got him zero (zero!) republican votes. So it's time for the butter.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:39 PM
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Tim Lee is suggesting Justice Feingold, which is intriguing if unlikely.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:40 PM
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Nominate Bill Ayers.

So sexist. Dohrn is much more qualified.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:51 PM
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Justice Feingold

There's already a Jew on the court. Also (and off thread), what's the best way to download books on tape for my iPhone.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:53 PM
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Give Obama a break. Until Obama has 70 votes in the Senate, he really won't be able to do much. Probably he should nominate Newt Gingrich.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:58 PM
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I like Brock, but I wish he would shut up about Obama. It's humliating for him, and irritating for me.

Also, I think Obama should nominate... that law talking guy. Whoever he is. You know, the good one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 9:59 PM
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Lionel Hutz?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:01 PM
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Dr. Nguyen Van Thoc.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:03 PM
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61 to 36??


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:05 PM
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Maybe Sifu and Brock should stop talking. For the good of the blog.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:06 PM
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what's the best way to download books on tape for my iPhone.

Audible.com if you don't mind paying. Emusic has audio books too.

Unless you mean actual tapes, in which case welcome to the future.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:12 PM
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||

My friend says that his Unitarian fellowship had been taken over by Christians.Does the Unitarian Church provide any formal avenue of recourse in the case of such a distressing eventuality?

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:13 PM
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And I suppose the iTunes store also has audiobooks, too.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:18 PM
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OK, this means that the Specter switch might actually be useful, at least in the short term.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:19 PM
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What about those librivox editions? They're free, I think, if not professionally read.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:21 PM
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How would you know this? Is there something super obvious that I'm missing?

Sort of.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:22 PM
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Thanks, eb. That's a good thought. As is Audible. Whereas iTunes is insanely expensive for just about anything.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:23 PM
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71: Thanks, neb. Very helpful.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:27 PM
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38/73: You may find this article enlightening.

Also, I think it's cute nosflow is flirting again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:30 PM
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You know those counters that count your visits to web sites? They often pick up where your computer is located too.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:31 PM
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And even the internet-inept/lazy can get user-friendly trackers that display where one's web pages hits came from; in particular, you can see if people are following links from other sites, or Googling interesting things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:32 PM
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75: You're posting from San Bruno too? What a coincidence!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:32 PM
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Is there something super obvious that I'm missing?

Server log files.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:32 PM
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74: I actually thought that Parenthetical was unaware of something regarding Gonerill specifically that would make it the case that he'd be able to tell when someone was googling for him and his wife, which is why I was nonspecific in 71—I don't know that Gonerill wants the relevant information just blabbed around anywhere. I would be happy to blab it around in other venues, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:33 PM
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Who are the fire-breathing yet strangely persuasive feminist civil liberties hawks with impeccable credentials?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:34 PM
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Is Dahlia Lithwick available?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:35 PM
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I would be happy to blab it around in other venues, though.

Most oblique request for a date ever.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:36 PM
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I want someone like Russ Feingold, but female and really, really cantankerous---yet strangely persuasive, as I said.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:36 PM
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I spend entirely too much time trying to figure out who is Googling me or otherwise visiting my website. Who do I know who might currently be staying in a hotel near O'Hare? Could the hit from Awesome U. be someone who wants to offer me a job? Oh wait, that IP resolves to a residence hall. Now that's just weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:36 PM
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81.--I don't think she's got a JD.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:36 PM
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Who are the fire-breathing yet strangely persuasive feminist civil liberties hawks with impeccable credentials?

Well...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:37 PM
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Is a JD strictly necessary to be on the Supreme Court?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:38 PM
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I don't think you actually need one, but Lithwick went to Stanford, so that's covered.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:38 PM
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Most oblique request threat for a date job ever.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:38 PM
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You don't even need a JD to be a federal judge.

Hear that, Obama? I would be a great judge.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:39 PM
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81.--I don't think she's got a JD.

Pretty sure she does. She clerked for some judge, I think.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:39 PM
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I admit, I don't see how it can be construed as a threat for a job.

In fact I don't think you need a JD to be any kind of judge, though you probably aren't likely to be elected without one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:40 PM
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I admit, I don't see how it can be construed as a threat for a job.

I find everything you do threatening, neb.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:41 PM
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I would certainly be willing to consider any job you might offer me, Lord knows.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:42 PM
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I want someone like Russ Feingold, but female and really, really cantankerous---yet strangely persuasive, as I said.

Here's your gal.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:43 PM
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I admit, I don't see how it can be construed as a threat for a job.

I dunno, seems like it would be more effective than, say, the second paragraph of 90.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:43 PM
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In fact I don't think you need a JD to be any kind of judge, though you probably aren't likely to be elected without one.

Luckily, Supreme Court justices are appointed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:44 PM
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However, some other kinds of judge (such as would be covered by the "any kind") are not appointed but rather elected, teo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:45 PM
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Oh hey, someone's already put together a list.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:45 PM
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85: She even used to practice real live law. I think she's written about being a high-priced divorce attorney.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:45 PM
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Kobe hasn't heard of any of those people.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:45 PM
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Darn it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:46 PM
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74-79:

Thanks. I really hadn't thought about any of that in regards to the phrase "was googling" even though I knew that IP addresses, counters, etc exist (though I should really think about this more often when I'm cyber-stalking people). Extremely naively, I thought perhaps Gonerill was garnering this information directly from Google itself in some way, and was curious as to how one would do this.

I don't have a web page. Maybe I should set one up just so I know who's googling me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:46 PM
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However, some other kinds of judge (such as would be covered by the "any kind") are not appointed but rather elected, teo.

Of course, but the specific vacancy we are (nominally) discussing in this thread is on the Supreme Court.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:49 PM
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103: Gonerill is Peter Norvig. I thought everybody knew?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:50 PM
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Did anybody else see that article on Cass Sunstein in the New Yorker? I was already prejudiced against him, but was very annoyed both by the premise that he was practically a shoo-in on the Court and by the lack of fire-breathing in his constitutional interpretation.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:51 PM
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The time has come for the first lesbian Supreme Court Justice. Having introduced articles of impeachment against both Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez is another good qualification.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:51 PM
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I rather agree, Ned, but I don't know much more about her. Does she have the intellectual derring-do to be an effective Justice?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:52 PM
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106: Once again my penchant for confusing Leon Kass and Cass Sunstein leads me to be far more horrified than I should be for a moment.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 10:52 PM
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if the article mentioning Rehnquist didn't tip him off

Oh dear. He *has* been dead for quite some time now, hasn't he?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:02 PM
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109: I do that too. You cannot imagine my horror when told that Mar/tha Nus/sbaum was dating "Cass."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:03 PM
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Cass Sunstein is a dude?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:04 PM
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I like the idea of him nominating Harold Koh. Not because I know anything about his legal philosophy, but just because so many wingnut heads would explode in unison.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:05 PM
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110: Oh dear. He *has* been dead for quite some time now, hasn't he?

So much sperm wasted.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:05 PM
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Fuck it, Larry Lessig.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:06 PM
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I don't think even upsucking would help at this point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:06 PM
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113: Dawn Johnsen


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:07 PM
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Dawn Johnsen

He was the better one on Miami Vice, but I think I'd go with Philip Michael Thomas instead. Black, dontchaknow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:11 PM
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118: that guy can do no wrong, anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:14 PM
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114 to 112.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:15 PM
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120: homophobe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:16 PM
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Why don't these Wikipedia articles discuss appellate judges' fire-breathing index? As a layperson, I'm having a hard time reading between the lines.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:18 PM
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She plays oboe in a damn chamber orchestra. Look elsewhere for your fire-breathing needs. Look Tammyward.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:22 PM
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Dawn Johnsen looks pretty awesome too.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:28 PM
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Just say no to anyone from Harvard or Yale. Fuck that shit (and I am mostly serious, they make good presidents and Secretaries of State but stay away from my Supreme Court you asswipes; Harvard should be on 20 years probation for Roberts and Scalia, and ditto Yale for Thomas and motherfucking Alito).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:30 PM
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I'm a fan of Outcome-based Education in this regard.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:31 PM
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So, does anyone think that once he's done being president, Obama will angle to be a Justice?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:32 PM
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127: No. Any more questions?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:33 PM
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Can I have a pony?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:34 PM
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Why not?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:37 PM
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Allow me, if you will, to amend 128: the only way I can see such a thing happening is if the court remains bitterly divided, there are major issues on the docket that demand resolution, and Obama has the chance to become Chief. In the event that such a scenario plays out, I can imagine a former president of Obama's (likely) stature forgoing the immense riches and power that the private sector will surely promise.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:40 PM
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131: stature, my ass. The dude's a gentleman's D at best.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:45 PM
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This thread has led to me discovering a photo of a pregnant Dahlia Lithwick dressed as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. I love the Internet.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:45 PM
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Obama will head the UN after his 2 terms. Then he will change the UN helicopter color to black just to make wingnuts' brains drip out their ears.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:51 PM
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133 is useless without a link.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:51 PM
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Worse than useless, really.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:55 PM
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135: Jesus fuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 11:55 PM
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OT: Hey ari, muppets.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:00 AM
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I feel serious about this. What are Obama's priorities for filling this position? And how are they affected by the timing of when it becomes open?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:25 AM
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140

138 to 139.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:28 AM
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139

I feel serious about this. What are Obama's priorities for filling this position?

My guess is his first priority will be avoiding a big confirmation fight as much as possible. Learning from Bush's experience with Miers he will probably try to avoid anyone who could be attacked as unqualified as this makes it too easy for opponents. And of course the nominee will be vetted for tax and/or nanny type problems.

One interesting point will be gun rights. This has not come up much in previous confirmation hearings but probably will in this one. Obama may shy away from someone with a strong anti-gun rights record.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:53 AM
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Obama will never win Pennsylvania. Mark my words.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:55 AM
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My friend says that his Unitarian fellowship had been taken over by Christians.Does the Unitarian Church provide any formal avenue of recourse in the case of such a distressing eventuality?

If they're Trinitarian Christians, the Unitarians are allowed to burn them at the stake for heresy and dance round the bonfire chanting "Arius! Arius! Arius! Oy! Oy! Oy!"

Or they could just go and meet somewhere else.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:57 AM
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Or they could just go and meet somewhere else.

That's what they were doing before, meeting in a tiny, ratchety building with no distinguishing features.* But the Christianity came along with a $500,000 bequest, which required them to buy a proper church and establish a proper bureaucracy.


*There were several tiny ratchety buildings in the area.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:02 AM
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Timeo Christianos et dona ferentes. Why did they feel obliged to accept the bequest on such terms?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:10 AM
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Greed and moral corruption. The temptations of Satan. Radical evil. Same thing that ruined Christianity at the time of Constantine or probably much earlier.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:18 AM
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The bequest did not come with strings attached, formally speaking. But once they had the half-million, they had to elect officers so they could have a bank account. They couldn't just leave the cash in a ratchety bucket on the ratchedy floor. And one thing led to another.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:20 AM
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I understand that bit, but I don't see how it makes them obliged to knuckle under to a bunch of Nicaeans wanting a piece of the action.

They should make them recite the Creed of Ulfilas (preferably in the original Gothic):

"I believe that there is only one God the Father, alone unbegotten and invisible, and in His only-begotten Son, our Lord and God, creator and maker of all things, not having any like unto Him. Therefore there is one God of all, who is also God of our God, And I believe in one Holy Spirit, an enlightening and sanctifying power. As Christ says after the resurrection to his Apostles: "Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) And again: "And ye shall receive power coming upon you by the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1:8) Neither God nor Lord, but the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father."

Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:32 AM
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Obama won't nominate a justice eager to pursue war crimes, nor one willing to consider drastic changes in the financial sector. No liberal need apply.


Posted by: Cericonversion | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:32 AM
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They burned one of our heretics. Turnabout is fair play.

Damnit -- I saw that I'd been pwned long ago by OFE, but he didn't include a link.

And, yes, Servetus was a Christian, but later Unitarians got over it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:36 AM
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JM, does your nominee need to be fire-breathing and cantankerous? Is there any room to negotiate on the derring-do?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:46 AM
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Harold Koh would be pretty good. I heard him talk once, and I was told that he was absolutely amazing, and he seemed quite smart, but I wasn't as blown away as others.

I would really like to see another woman on the Court before Ginsburg goes--especially after the Ledbetter and strip-searching cases.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:49 AM
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Most Spanish cities also include at least a street, square or park named after Servetus. What's up with that?

My story shows that tolerance doesn't work. If you let the Christians in, they take over.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 5:52 AM
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What's up with that?

For practical purposes, Spain ceased to be a Christian country as a passive-aggressive response to Franco. Many places in Andalusia now emphasise their Moorish antecedents, apparently out of sheer bloody mindedness. Cordoba makes a huge deal out of being the birthplace of Maimonides. I'd guess this was similar.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:00 AM
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There's a big Erasmus institute of some sort too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:15 AM
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137 is kind of funny if you read it in a voice similar to "HULK SMASH!".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:24 AM
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Is Dahlia Lithwick available?

She's Canadian.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:55 AM
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re: 154

Yeah, it's interesting how liberal Spain is, for a Catholic country: same-sex marriage, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:59 AM
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157: I think she's married with kid(s) too. Of course that doesn't definitively answer the "available" question, but it's good information to have before you call her up to ask her out.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:01 AM
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For some weird reason someone from a very high-end law firm was googling Mrs Gonerill and myself today, so maybe she's in the running.

How do you know that they googled her?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:15 AM
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||
File under "people who need a punch in the face."
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:16 AM
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The degeneration of America.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:18 AM
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160: RTFT!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:32 AM
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The NRA gave this guy an A- rating in 2008... Unfortunately, Welch is the only option from Vermont. The current governor is a Republican, Pat Leahy is 69 years old, Howard Dean isn't a lawyer, and Bernie Sanders is Polish*.

AFAIK I've never heard of Tammy Baldwin before the link upthread, but I love the idea of her for the office. Too liberal yadda yadda, but we can dream.

* OK, there might be a few other barriers to his nomination.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:43 AM
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Al Franken for the Supreme Court. Because he needs a job, and the Supreme Court needs a comedy writer. Also, he's widely believed to offer usful perspectives on drug cases.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:48 AM
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Just from a demographic perspective, Sonia Sotomayor probably is toward the top of the list.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 7:57 AM
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Dana Goldstein at TAPPED has a good catch - Obama in a 2007 speech to Planned Parenthood. "And then there's another vision of the Court that says that the courts are the refuge of the powerless. Because oftentimes they can lose in the democratic back and forth." He goes on to cite the competence but heartlessness of Scalia, Alito, et al., and says that he would look for someone with "[t]he empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:10 AM
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be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old

Grandpa Elliot it is!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:16 AM
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I was vaguely aware of the story of Servetus, but did not realize that the Catholics and the Reformers were united in their desire to kill him. From a link at Wikipedia, here is an interesting "defense" of Calvin in the affair dating from the early 20th-century. It as much an attack on the Roman Catholic church as it is a defense of Calvin (I shall narrow the inquiry at the outset by saying that all Roman Catholics are "out of court." They burn heretics on principle, avowedly. This is openly taught by them; it is in the margin of their Bible; and it is even their boast that they do so. And, moreover, they condemned Servetus to be burned.), but what really intrigued was the following claim, That Servetus was guilty of blasphemy, of a kind and degree which is still punishable here in England by imprisonment. Were there really laws of that nature still on the books in England as late as the the early 1900s?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:19 AM
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re: 169

Abolished last year. They were still on the books until May 2008. So yes, they were still on the books as late as the early 1900s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_the_United_Kingdom#20th_and_21st_centuries

Looks the situation in Scotland is slightly different.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:23 AM
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I keep reading the post to the tune of that Elton John song.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:41 AM
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Carp has been strangely silent since this Souter thing happened.

Maybe he is off somewhere being secretly vetted.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 8:59 AM
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172: Bob mcmanus too!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:00 AM
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166:

A Yale grad? Would Obama really go with a Yale grad?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:03 AM
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Di, maybe you've talked about this in another thread, but what did you decide about going to your friend's wedding?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:14 AM
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I want a fire-breather because we need someone with sensible radical my values.

I want cantankerous because we need someone who will stand up against prevailing opinion on that court.

I want intellectual derring-do because our appointee is going to have to manoeuvre within those hermetic politics. Roberts is said to be subtle and persuasive; I want someone who can counter that rhetoric. Kennedy is said to be persuadable in his vanity; okay, let's get someone who can bring him over.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:20 AM
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Kennedy is said to be persuadable in his vanity; okay, let's get someone who can bring him over.

Hmm, maybe I was wrong, a heterosexual woman would be better.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:23 AM
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Carp is spending some time in the water today. He says he's going to be snorkeling.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:35 AM
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173:I'm around. Usual blogs, think it is too early.

Firedoglake has a list o probables, confirmed by sources:all women.

Sorry, Sotomayer:too old and diabetes. Sullivan may be too old:under 50 is what I want. At Obsidian Wings, someone said Obama has no advisors to his left, but I think that is not true, but they are not the headline grabbers. He may have legal advisors to his left.

In any case, I would like a 40-something minority woman a little to Souter's left. But I think that may be difficult, especially once Obama is not to Souter's left. Next three appointments will likely be to the right of those they replace, and so we will get a significant right-shift to the court in the near-term.

I really really liked Souter, and like him even more for being able to go fishing. By far the favoritest Justice of my lifetime, after Douglas & Brennan on issues, but above on personality (Marshall seemed ornery, and old). There won't be enough articles about Souter's career.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:41 AM
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There has been some confusion about a "veto point" on thr judiciary committee, and whether Specter put us in bad shape.

Yes, you need one Republican vote to move a nomination to a vote (not the same as a vote for the nominee, closer to a cloture thingee). The most liberal Republican on the Judiciary Committee is now Lindsay Graham.

I don't know if this will be a proble, likely Obama will vet a nominee with Graham, but bullshit sometimes arises unexpectedly in hearings. A "nanny" or crazed college paper, and Graham might get rolled by the Right.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:52 AM
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According to TPM, VP Biden is in charge of Senate jujitsu for the nominee. God I hope he knows what he's doing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 9:57 AM
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175: I've still got a few weeks in which to bail, if I must. But the plan is to spit in the face of the swine flu and hope that when they say true love conquers all that it (a) applies to infectious diseases, and (b) is transferable to those in sufficient proximity to the lovebirds.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 10:00 AM
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I love this Senate jiujitsu crap. Whether the Democrats had 44 Senators or 61, the question would be the same, "How can Obama sneak his agenda through?" If McCain was president and the Democrats had 61 Senators we would be fully expecting Jim DeMint to be nominated for the Supreme Court, and wondering in a hopeless manner whether there was any possible way his nomination could be blocked.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 10:02 AM
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70 votes is the new minimum requirement. God forbid that the Democrats ever reach that number, because they'd look silly trying to raise the number to 80.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 10:06 AM
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Are they proper Christians or Unitarian Christians? Unitarian Christians are annoying, but no more so than, say, Unitarian Wiccans. But it is important that a UU congregation maintain a good balance so that no annoying subset comes to dominate over the other annoying subsets.

Unitarianism being a low church, not a high church, I'd doubt there is much that can be done about it on an institutional level. Its not like there is a Unitarian Archbishop that can kick them out.

Probably best bet is to just keep hosting gay marriages until they up and leave.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 10:06 AM
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Can I repeat 64? And also 55.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 11:33 AM
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Bob alluded to this in 180, but 69 gets it exactly wrong.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:37 PM
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187: "If Obama comes up with a nominee opposed by the right"

If?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:39 PM
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I hadn't realized that a minority committee member's vote was needed to get a nominee out to the floor. Huh.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:45 PM
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On the general topic of the Supreme Court this story is both completely predictable and satisfying.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:51 PM
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I like the idea of him nominating Harold Koh ... just because so many wingnut heads would explode in unison.

Lani!


Posted by: Makko | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:57 PM
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164: Leahy was healthy enough to stand up to the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Apropos of nothing, I wonder how valuable fire-breathing and cantankerousness are, in a Supreme Court justice or anybody else who doesn't spend a lot of time in Hunter S. Thompson cosplay (cough Matt Taibbi cough). Some of my older relatives were and are known for their cantankerousness but are just bitter and unpleasant old people.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 12:59 PM
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192: Yep. Gentle, sweet, softspoken doggedness works just as well as cantankerousness if you're in a position (like Supreme Court Justice) to make your opinion stick.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:02 PM
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193

Yep. Gentle, sweet, softspoken doggedness works just as well as cantankerousness if you're in a position (like Supreme Court Justice) to make your opinion stick.

Either way you are just one of nine. Political skills are important.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:06 PM
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But we're all agreed on the need for derring-do, right?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:07 PM
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Apropos of nothing, I wonder how valuable fire-breathing and cantankerousness are, in a Supreme Court justice or anybody else who doesn't spend a lot of time in Hunter S. Thompson cosplay (cough Matt Taibbi cough).

It's generally considered to be counterproductive. Smooth-talking persuasion has been more effective in the past; that's why Brennan was so effective and Roberts is so dangerous.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:08 PM
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My story shows that tolerance doesn't work. If you let the Christians in, they take over.

So does every other story.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:09 PM
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197: Tell it to the nobles of Outremer.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:11 PM
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Whoever promises to put things in Breyer's underpants in the cloakroom is okay by me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:12 PM
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195: I do want any nominees screened for skills in swordplay, skiing, scuba diving, and swinging from one place to another on ropes. (Other derring-do related skills not starting with the letter 's' are unimportant.)

Ooo, and swashbuckling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:15 PM
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26: Have you not heard of the benefits to your prostate of frequently ejaculating into a fruitful womb?

59: There are two Jews on the Court (Ginsburg, Breyer), and five Catholics (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy). Let's replace both Souter and Stevens (Episcopalian and "Protestant") with Jews, and then it can be an Olde Tyme Religion face-off.

107: I think Kathleen Sullivan is a quasi-closeted lesbian. It would be nice to have her replace Souter, whom everyone assumes is gay.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:15 PM
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(Other derring-do related skills not starting with the letter 's' are unimportant.)

"Today's Supreme Court nominee brought to you by the letter S!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:23 PM
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If Sullivan is closeted, it's the worst kept secret ever. And call me a bigot if you must, but I'd like a moratorium on Catholic SC justices. They've got a majority now and all five of them suck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:23 PM
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200: Salsa dancing is also handy. As is skydiving, of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:24 PM
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Scintillating conversation?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:27 PM
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Sucky fucky?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:28 PM
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Salad shooting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:33 PM
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"Solomon Sorites, Soteriologist, Soothsayer and Sublime Seamstress of Swat, at your service!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:33 PM
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A Swahili-speaking saucier?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:38 PM
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203: Sullivan was raised Catholic herself.

"I did think about being a priest when I was young," she said, "until I realized that was not in the repertoire of the Catholic Church."

If we're going to get another Catholic, s/he needs to be black or of some altogether new ethnicity. Sullivan would be the third Irish Catholic. And there are already two Italian Catholics. It's like they've all gotten their revenge on America.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:39 PM
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"Have it compose a poem -- a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, ful of love, treachery, retributions, quiet heroism in the fact of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!"
...
Seduced, shaggy Samson snored. / She scissored short. Sorely shorn, / Soon shacked slave, Samson sighed, / Silently scheming, / Sightlessly seeking / Some savage, spectacular suicide.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:40 PM
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187: Isn't Specter still technically a member of the minority, because he was elected as a republican, and fills a republican seat on the Judiciary committee? So would his vote be good enough to get the nominee out of committee?

Man, wouldn't that be golden.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 1:46 PM
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207: I have no idea if it's still in use, but in Lusaka ~1980 salad oil* was common slang for semen, usually shortened to just salad. Pumping salad was slang for sex.

Needless to say I find the Salad Shooter intensely amusing, and can't resist cracking up whenever I see a commercial for one. I can still hear the peppy little jingle, and just the thought of it is making me snicker.

* Salad Oil is a common name for generic cooking oil.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:01 PM
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And call me a bigot if you must, but I'd like a moratorium on Catholic SC justices. They've got a majority now and all five of them suck.

Yeah, but I'd be a great Irish-Catholic SCJ. Except for the not knowing anything about the law. And being an atheist.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:06 PM
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213: And of course...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:07 PM
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Except for the not knowing anything about the law.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, mcmc. Start lobbying for that nomination!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:10 PM
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213, 215: And, as proof that children ruin you forever, this discussion now has The Wiggles' rendition of "Fruit Salad"* stuck in my head.

*... yummy, yummy...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:10 PM
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215: And where the hell did that come from? Usually there's some connection between sex act and name, but I simply don't see it in that case.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:12 PM
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Yglesias makes a good case that the next SC Justice should be a wizard.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:12 PM
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218: No idea. First time I heard it used that way was by Chris Rock, but I'm old and not hip to the kids' secret languages any more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:15 PM
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218: In the Chris Rock routine, he says he saw it on an HBO documentary about prison.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:30 PM
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219: The only people who would read Nominee Potter and the Chambers of Justice are the sort of people who would give innocent children socks for Christmas.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:33 PM
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I think the particular variation of which Rock spoke involved jelly or syrup.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:34 PM
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mcmc,

Japan had a Supreme Court justice who hadn't studied law, Kazuko Yokoo. Given the ambiguity of religious preference in Japan (Shinto birth, Christian wedding, Buddhist funeral), she might well be considered an atheist by U.S. standards.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:36 PM
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The only people who would read Nominee Potter and the Chambers of Justice are the sort of people who would give innocent children socks for Christmas.

I'll have you know, Rory really likes socks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:44 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 2:44 PM
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225: "Can I have the key to the liquor cabinet, Dad? I have a science project...."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:02 PM
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222-

I wrote our law school musical, Harry Issue Spotter and the Goblet of Breyer.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:09 PM
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229: Video available?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:11 PM
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Not for retail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ4PQQNhuoU


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:14 PM
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Because actually, I too quite like socks.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:14 PM
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Not for retail.

Um, darn? Yeah.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 3:15 PM
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I like socks, but not darning them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 4:53 PM
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I like finding one dirty dirty sock and one nice clean sock and putting on the God and Satan sockpuppet show.

max
['Now with bitchslapping!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:28 PM
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234: Which is which?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 1-09 6:34 PM
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2345: Why, they change places several times, of course. We ain't entertaining no dualist heresies here, man.

max
['That's the Ahura Mazda show.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 2-09 8:09 PM
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2345:

Oh man. This is gonna be a doozy of a thread...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 2-09 8:15 PM
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We should have a contest to come up with the best version of comment 2345 that still makes sense given the text of 236.

Sad first example, just to get the ball rolling:

2345

When they have sex with each other, as they so frequently do, who's on top, ogged or apostropher?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 2-09 11:16 PM
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