Obama's SCOTUS Picks: Can you say 'Nightmare?'

Orin Kerr over at Volokh Conspiracy, the fine legal blog, has been pondering what kind of Supreme Court judges Barack Obama might pick if he became president.

Here are a couple of statements made by Obama that outline his deep thoughts on the matter:

I taught constitutional law for 10 years, and . . . when you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it's not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it's their conception of the Court. And part of the role of the Court is that it is going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout. . . .

[S]ometimes we're only looking at academics or people who've been in the [lower] court. If we can find people who have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them, that's the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.
Part of the role of the court is to "protect people" who may be vulnerable in the "political process? Well, if you're looking to change things, that's one way to go about it. It certainly is novel criteria for picking a justice.

But what should really send chills down your spine is that he would be willing to entertain non judicial even non-legal candidates for the High Court. Might we see community activists or other unqualified candidates up for consideration?

I'm beginning to think that Barack Obama will either be the easiest candidate to beat in American political history or the toughest. That's because in this statement, he gets even more specific about naming someone from outside the legal profession:
We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges.
Our Editor Tom Lifson defines the parameters of this "nightmare:"
This is frightening. A concept of the judiciary as philosopher kings who protect selected victims with decisions based on thin air.
"Thin air," indeed. One would think that a nominee should have a passing familiarity with the Constitution. But for Obama, that's not as important as picking a gay black senior citizen in a wheelchair.

Let's hope he's just blowing smoke and not being serious about this.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
 
Orin Kerr over at Volokh Conspiracy, the fine legal blog, has been pondering what kind of Supreme Court judges Barack Obama might pick if he became president.

Here are a couple of statements made by Obama that outline his deep thoughts on the matter:

I taught constitutional law for 10 years, and . . . when you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it's not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it's their conception of the Court. And part of the role of the Court is that it is going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout. . . .

[S]ometimes we're only looking at academics or people who've been in the [lower] court. If we can find people who have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them, that's the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.
Part of the role of the court is to "protect people" who may be vulnerable in the "political process? Well, if you're looking to change things, that's one way to go about it. It certainly is novel criteria for picking a justice.

But what should really send chills down your spine is that he would be willing to entertain non judicial even non-legal candidates for the High Court. Might we see community activists or other unqualified candidates up for consideration?

I'm beginning to think that Barack Obama will either be the easiest candidate to beat in American political history or the toughest. That's because in this statement, he gets even more specific about naming someone from outside the legal profession:
We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges.
Our Editor Tom Lifson defines the parameters of this "nightmare:"
This is frightening. A concept of the judiciary as philosopher kings who protect selected victims with decisions based on thin air.
"Thin air," indeed. One would think that a nominee should have a passing familiarity with the Constitution. But for Obama, that's not as important as picking a gay black senior citizen in a wheelchair.

Let's hope he's just blowing smoke and not being serious about this.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky