Will Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings Provide Any Useful Information?

Supreme Court nominees’ confirmation hearings involve much dialogue between the nominees and senators.  In two chaotic days of hearings for Judge Kavanaugh, we have seen a full spectrum of behavior from both sides of the aisle.  Showboating aside, this is a genuinely important hearing for a crucial seat on the Court and hence emotions are running…

Without a Swing It’s Game Over for Democrats

The Democrats are in a precarious position in the latest battle for a seat on the Supreme Court. Many Democrats oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination and will not vote to confirm him. Others are requesting that the Senate hold off on voting on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until the National Archives produces the record setting million or so pages…

Get Ready for A Confirmation Battle More Intense Than Most

Even though the Supreme Court is not in session it is far from out of the news. With the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, much of the conversation now surrounds expectations for the a fierce confirmation battle – possibly one of the most fierce we have ever seen.  Some speculate that notwithstanding the drama surrounding the failure…

Expect Kavanaugh To Shift the Court Right. How Far No One Knows.

The discussion over who will fill the Supreme Court vacancy has dominated much of the political conversation since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on June 27.  Last night, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, an obvious choice and the one I predicted in December 2017, was announced as nominee.  When Kennedy’s retirement rumors previously circulated,…

The Five Frontrunners

With less than one week left until President Trump announces his nominee to fill the second SCOTUS vacancy since he took office, not all names are getting equal attention.  President Trump indicated the other day that he narrowed down his initial list to five finalists.  While all members on this whittled down list are not known, a few judges…

Judicial Politics, Roberts’ Dilemma, and One Crazy Term

This Supreme Court term was nerve racking for some conservatives (mainly unwarranted), most liberals (with good reason), and probably for some of the justices too, and yet all for different rationales. Below I’ll go through what may have caused this tension and why members of these three groups might have felt it. Before the Court’s…

A Seismic Shift?

It seems out of a script by the writers of the film Groundhog Day.  At the end of the term each year Court watchers await the impending retirement of a justice.  Stories break in the months before June trying to sort through the imperfect information concerning such retirement plans. In recent years, speculation of an…

A Record Set by the OSG During the Obama Years

The Solicitor General’s Office (OSG) has a special relationship with the Supreme Court.  In the role of adviser the Solicitor General is often referred to as the 10th Justice.  The OSG enjoys much higher than average success in bringing cases to the Court and is even asked to give its opinions on whether the Court should…

A Ban The Court Would Love to Avoid

On June 1, the Trump Administration filed its application to stay the Fourth Circuit’s preliminary injunction against the attempted travel ban and petition for cert in the case.  While this is only the Supreme Court’s first potential entry point into this dispute, it marks an opportunity for the Court to rule on a central item…

Why Justice Kennedy May Not Leave The Court Right Now

The Supreme Court is not an institution with regular turnover.  Since the Justices have life tenure, many stay on well into old age and often for decades.  The Justices are insulated in their positions for life and there is little incentive to move to other jobs.  In fact, the last Justice to leave the Court…

Below the Surface of the Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings

Justice Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court after a relatively quick and seamless confirmation process.  Much went into this process, however, and even though these hearings have become more or less a formality, they are a process that involves much preparation and an extensive time commitment.  Justice Gorsuch’s answers to questions were prototypical of…

What Recent SCOTUS Confirmations Tell Us About the Gorsuch Hearings

Supreme Court confirmation hearings involve much pomp and circumstance.  Recent nominees including Gorsuch (thus far) shy away from directly answering substantive policy questions, generally resorting to the retort that they do not wish to speak on issues that might come before the Court.  For the senators, part of the confirmation game is strategic.  Prior to…