In this context, President Obama does not need judges who will advance a progressive agenda. He simply needs judges who will uphold validly enacted laws and reasonable regulations. This is reflected in his nominees, two of whom served in the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush and all of whom have been given the American Bar Association's highest possible ranking. President Obama has done his job. It's time for the Senate to do theirs.
You are here
Articles & Commentary
Rather than accounting for this history, the conservative arguments in Fisher depend on running from it. The Constitution’s text and history are supposed to matter to the court’s conservatives — particularly originalists like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most committed foes of affirmative action on the bench — but for nearly 40 years, conservatives have yet to grapple with, let alone answer, the clear import of the 14th Amendment’s text and history. The fundamental question in Fisher is whether the court’s conservatives will finally honor the text and history of the 14th Amendment or continue to disregard it.
Each of these cases will be huge; together, they offer the justices the opportunity to put their stamp on the law of equality for decades to come. The precedents set in these cases will reverberate for years, shaping the meaning of the Constitution’s promise of equality for all persons.
Your editorial "Packing the D.C. Circuit" (May 20) accuses President Obama of preparing to "pack" the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit with three judges it "doesn't need." "Packing" is an odd description of the president's constitutional duty to nominate people to fill vacant seats on the federal bench. Congress has authorized this important federal appellate court to have a total of 11 judges, and it currently has only seven.
While the Roberts vs. Scalia face-off is mainly about style and tactics, not ideology—they both agree on the goal of reducing the size of the federal government—it’s real and likely to last. For sure they will put aside their differences in many cases, starting in all likelihood with the upcoming ruling in an Alabama county’s challenge to a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Still, the court’s right flank is divided, and that is producing some surprising and important legal victories for the Obama Administration.
The good news about increased turnout among African-Americans is worthy of celebration, but it is no reason to scrap the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act, which for the last 48 years has played a critical role in realizing the Constitution’s command of voting equality and preventing state-sponsored voting discrimination.
On March 2, 2009, all 41 Senate Republicans, including Cornyn, sent a letter to the newly elected President Obama, basically threatening to block judicial nominees from their own states unless they were consulted about and approved those nominees. In his blame-shifting remarks last week and his defense of those remarks since then, Cornyn ignored this letter.
Why has partisan obstructionism continued to trump what would ordinarily seem good politics and policy? A major reason is that ACA bitter-enders have insisted that they have an ace in the hole: right-wing federal judges sympathetic to their avid distaste for Obamacare.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s stunning decision this week to strike down a National Labor Relations Board rule requiring employers to post signs reminding workers of their right to organize, is a clear indication of why this D.C. court has become an ideological battleground.
On any given day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has the power to throw the environmental movement into complete disarray.