Rahm Emanuel Predicts Big Battle Over Supreme Court Pick

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Bring it on. Fracking R's have a knuckle buster coming to them. Via Taegan-

The other news from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's fascinating interview with Charlie Rose last night -- other than he wants to be Chicago's mayor -- was his prediction that there will be a big battle over President Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nomination.

Said Emanuel: "I think that there'll be a huge, huge battle... I think the President will obviously appoint a person that he thinks is appropriate and right for the Supreme Court, as he laid out the kind of criteria in the Justice Stevens model. I think if people took a fresh look at that, I don't think it has to be that type of battle. But we may be at a system and a time in which we have that type of battle."

First Read is a bit skeptical noting "we haven't had a real SCOTUS battle since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the current vacancy is swapping one liberal (John Paul Stevens) for probably another liberal (whomever Obama picks)."

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  • Clancy

    I remember back in the day when Stevens was considered a moderate. I'm not sure what happened to make him liberal. I think there are several factors, the most prominent among them is that 1) the Court skewed rightward, so Stevens became a moderate by comparison, and 2) Stevens seemed to embrace a more liberal perspective after Bush v. Gore. For some reason, that decision seemed to reinvigorate the Associate Justice and put him on a course of permanent confrontation with the conservative justices.

    I hear a lot from our side about needing a fire-breathing liberal to replace Stevens, but I have a hard time with that justification since Stevens never seemed that liberal to me . . . especially if one takes into account the totality of his career. In the 1970s and 1908s, Stevens supported the resumption of the death penalty, opposed affirmative action, and consistently ruled with conservatives on First Amendment issues concerning "obscenity" and against liberals/libertarians on flag burning. While he's been consistently "liberal" elsewhere, especially when it comes to the establishment clause or granting Congress wide berth to expand federal authority, because of his early career, I still find it difficult to call him a progressive. If anything, he has a classically conservative outlook on the law, as opposed to the socially- and ideologically-driven "conservatives" such as Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts who hide behind the originalist label but who rarely utilize intent when deciding issues of law.