It's still early in President Obama's first term, but not too soon to conclude that the president's effort to "put the confirmation wars [for judges] behind us" is not going well. Only three of his 22 lower court nominees have been confirmed so far.
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With an angry letter last week accusing Senate Republicans of "unprecedented obstruction" of his judicial nominees, President Obama seems to have realized the futility of his administration's well-intentioned objective of "putting the confirmation wars behind us." Wars end only when both sides agree to put down their arms, and Senate Republicans never had any desire to do that. So, what's the endgame for this session of Congress? And which side will prevail in the longer term?
Last week, the Senate recessed without confirming a single federal judge, a sad reminder that right-wing obstructionism has become so widespread that the World's Most Deliberative Body can no longer complete even the most basic tasks.
With one new member but no likely shift in its ideological balance, the Supreme Court begins its 2009-10 term today with a docket filled with momentous issues, including whether local governments will be allowed to ban guns and whether corporations will be given far greater power to influence election campaigns.
U.S. court term has major gun rights, business cases
October 4, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court will again consider gun rights and decide an important case that could loosen restrictions on corporation spending in political campaigns in its new term beginning on Monday.
Results to be closely watched for Justice Sotomayor's impact
WASHINGTON - Justice David Souter never danced the salsa in public. Justice John Paul Stevens doesn't sing in karaoke bars. And Chief Justice John Roberts hasn't thrown out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium.
Scholars Hope New Take on 14th Amendment Emerges From Chicago Handgun Decision
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it would decide whether state and local gun control laws may be challenged under the Second Amendment.
The court also agreed to hear nine other cases from among those that had piled up over its summer break, including one concerning the constitutionality of an antiterrorism law that is a favorite tool of federal prosecutors.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court begins its new term Monday with high-profile disputes over gun rights, animal cruelty and life in prison for juvenile offenders. New Justice Sonia Sotomayor debuts in her first term, and a looming question is how she might change the dynamics on this ideologically divided court.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday waded back into the contentious debate over the Second Amendment, agreeing to consider a Chicago case that will answer a question it left unanswered last year: whether the individual right to bear arms applies against state and local gun restrictions as well as federal.
Reporting from Washington - The Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to hear a 2nd Amendment challenge to Chicago's handgun ban could open the door to similar lawsuits in cities and states across the nation.