Handicapping the Favorites

At RealClearPolitics Sean Trende analyzes the chances of the presumed leading contenders to be appointed to the Supreme Court:

All of the potential justices I cite below would likely be more conservative than Kennedy. It is almost pointless to write about their ideological orientations, as doing so would run something like: “Makes Clarence Thomas look moderate,” “very conservative,” “very, very conservative” and so forth.

Instead, I am simply going to rank them from the point of view of what they bring to the table for Trump and for judicial conservatives (liberals, of course, can read this in reverse order). Again, the main takeaway is that these prospective justices would all mark a shift to the right in the court’s jurisprudence, and will at the very least put the brakes on the few advances liberals were able to make under Kennedy.

I only have three things to add. First, don’t underestimate how much Trump likes a good fight. IMO he’s as likely to appoint someone because of the uproar it would create as to try to avoid controversy.

Second, while Mr. Trende’s point about the Court lacking an intellectual linchpin since Scalia’s death, I doubt that will figure in President Trump’s reckoning at all.

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the eventual appointee isn’t in Mr. Trende’s list at all.

6 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw

    For political advise, I would recommend a woman off of that Federalist list. I agree with Dave that a lot of the stuff in Trende’s piece is unlikely to be more than coincidental to Trump’s thinking. IIRC, Trump has at least implied that looks matter and I think he is more likely to consider how the person appears when awful things are said about him/her during the nomination process. Sounds superficial, but that the process.

  • steve

    Age may be the most important factor, as well as looks. Agree he loves a fight, but only those he knows he can win. The GOP controls the Senate, so he can’t really lose. If he could find a young woman, especially a minority, who is incredibly conservative, complete with flirting with the neo-Nazis, he would love it. How could the liberals turn down a woman?

    Steve

  • Guarneri

    “IMO, he’s as likely to appoint someone because of the uproar it would create as to try to avoid controversy.”

    I doubt that. He’s too practical.

    “…….since Scalia’s death, I doubt that will figure in President Trump’s reckoning at all.”

    That’s probably true.

    I see steve is approaching unhinged status. What next, Trump is really a Nazi?

  • steve

    You just don’t get it do you? I have not called Trump a Nazi and don’t expect I ever will. The point here is that it actually helps Trump, and anyone he might nominate, to play footsie just a bit with the neo-Nazi types. He did it with Charlottesvile, and other times, and it only helps him. It proves to his base that he willing to do stuff to piss off liberals. That he isn’t afraid of what they think. This will be portrayed as liberals being so hypocritical about supporting women, that they over reacted to an event that was being overblown, and the person is clearly not a Nazi. Mind you i am not saying that he will find this, just that it would be a plus.

    “I doubt that. He’s too practical.”

    And you call me unhinged. LOL

    Steve

  • PD Shaw

    @steve, next time do me a favor and don’t use my comments as a springboard for your inane Neo-NAZI twaddle. I am trying to be a good guest.

  • steve

    Next time don’t elect a POTUS who does exactly what I describe. To be fair, there was a small minority of Republicans who spoke up about what Trump did with Chralottesville, but what he did got strong support from his base.

    Steve

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