SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration? Forum

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SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:13 pm

I've been wondering about who the next Republican president might appoint to the Supreme Court (both for career reasons and interesting speculation). There are three potential vacancies - Breyer, Alito, and Thomas.

The president will probably want to appoint a former Thomas clerk if either Breyer or Alito retire before Thomas. Alito's clerks tend to be too young to be viable SCOTUS candidates, and Thomas will be more likely to retire from the bench if he knows that the president is looking at the sort of nominees he's comfortable with (as some commentators pointed out, Gorsuch's nomination helped to assure Kennedy that his replacement would be someone he liked).

Some folks that I think are likely:
- Katsas, Rao - have the traditional DC Circuit background
- Stras - is from the Midwest, went to public schools, and would be an inheritor to the "Jewish seat" on SCOTUS
- Rushing - might be a little too young if the next administration starts in 2024

Also feel like Thapar, Grant, and Walker (if McConnell is still majority leader) are quite high up too.

What do you think?

(using Anon because this sort of speculation seems really morbid)

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:13 pm
I've been wondering about who the next Republican president might appoint to the Supreme Court (both for career reasons and interesting speculation). There are three potential vacancies - Breyer, Alito, and Thomas.

The president will probably want to appoint a former Thomas clerk if either Breyer or Alito retire before Thomas. Alito's clerks tend to be too young to be viable SCOTUS candidates, and Thomas will be more likely to retire from the bench if he knows that the president is looking at the sort of nominees he's comfortable with (as some commentators pointed out, Gorsuch's nomination helped to assure Kennedy that his replacement would be someone he liked).

Some folks that I think are likely:
- Katsas, Rao - have the traditional DC Circuit background
- Stras - is from the Midwest, went to public schools, and would be an inheritor to the "Jewish seat" on SCOTUS
- Rushing - might be a little too young if the next administration starts in 2024

Also feel like Thapar, Grant, and Walker (if McConnell is still majority leader) are quite high up too.

What do you think?

(using Anon because this sort of speculation seems really morbid)
Not going to be Katsas (will be 60+ in 2025). Not going to be Rao (unpopular with social conservatives like Hawley and Cruz who raised objections during her confirmation)

Probably going to be Walker if McConnell is still in charge, though I agree that Allison Jones Rushing is in with a shout (young woman, former Thomas clerk) as is Britt Grant who is of similar age. Thapar is on the older side but maybe.

If the GOP wants to go full "trigger the libs" mode with a genuinely extreme pick (even for Republicans), I'd expect Kyle Duncan, Jim Ho or Lawrence VanDyke to be in the mix there.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:13 pm
I've been wondering about who the next Republican president might appoint to the Supreme Court (both for career reasons and interesting speculation). There are three potential vacancies - Breyer, Alito, and Thomas.

The president will probably want to appoint a former Thomas clerk if either Breyer or Alito retire before Thomas. Alito's clerks tend to be too young to be viable SCOTUS candidates, and Thomas will be more likely to retire from the bench if he knows that the president is looking at the sort of nominees he's comfortable with (as some commentators pointed out, Gorsuch's nomination helped to assure Kennedy that his replacement would be someone he liked).

Some folks that I think are likely:
- Katsas, Rao - have the traditional DC Circuit background
- Stras - is from the Midwest, went to public schools, and would be an inheritor to the "Jewish seat" on SCOTUS
- Rushing - might be a little too young if the next administration starts in 2024

Also feel like Thapar, Grant, and Walker (if McConnell is still majority leader) are quite high up too.

What do you think?

(using Anon because this sort of speculation seems really morbid)
Impossible to tell, though anyone over 60 is probably a non-starter. Daniel Cameron could get a shout if you want to go into wild speculation. But in any case, if I were to put money on anyone, it would be Thapar.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Saami » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:06 pm

They should nominate Kyle Rittenhouse and fulfill their destiny.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:17 pm

There are three categories a nominee could fall in: a woman, a non-white man, and a white guy.

Of the first, Grant is probably the likeliest. Rushing may be too young, Larsen and Lagoa may be too old, and social conservatives oppose Rao (I don’t really get why). Maybe an outside shot for Pacold.

Of the second, maybe Park or Thapar, though he may be too old. Ho is probably too hot, Bumatay wasn’t a SCOTUS clerk and doesn’t feed.

Of the third, based on age and background Bress, Duncan, Luck, Oldham, Menashi, Murphy, Newsom, Richardson, Stras, and Walker look possible. Of those I think it’s easier to see cases for Oldham (super-originalist), Richardson (work history), and Stras (region, law school) than the rest, but who knows. I don’t get the sense that Walker is well-respected in the conservative legal movement.

Probably some on SSCs too, and of course the president will matter a ton—eg you’d think DeSantis would increase Luck’s odds. Really hard to tell obviously, versus a far shorter list for liberals.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:57 pm

If I had the ear of Cocaine Mitch, I would be pushing Rushing and Grant. Both have conservative bonafides and the ACB hearings (arguably) showed that it's easier to confirm women than men. Democrats could rip Rushing for working at ADF, but I suspect the concerns would fall on deaf ears.

Thapar has been the presumptive nominee in conservative circles for a while, but he is dangerously close to aging out. Amongst the younger conservative men, I think Oldham has the edge.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:03 pm

Saami wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:06 pm
They should nominate Kyle Rittenhouse and fulfill their destiny.
Rittenhouse, DT Jr, and that guy who said "lets go brandon" to biden on the phone

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:32 pm

I think a lot of this depends on who the next Republican president is and when, and what happens between now and then (particularly on SCOTUS but elsewhere in the world too).

Looking back at the Trump judicial selections, the first White House Counsel had a deregulatory focus and got two judges with proven deregulatory bona fides elevated to SCOTUS and put others on the bench to fill their place (including Rao). In the aftermath of Bostock and Hawley's (and Cruz's, etc.) pushback on the Rao nomination (and with a new White House Counsel in place), there seemed to be an increased emphasis on judicial nominees with social conservative bona fides, so the final vacancy went to Barrett and the final Trump shortlist included many judges and others with social conservative bona fides (Cotton, Cruz, Duncan, Ho, Pacold, Pitlyk, Rushing, VanDyke, etc.).

Depending on the type of Republican president we get next and his/her priorities, we could see the calculus change significantly. If deregulation is the priority, Rao might have a great shot after all. If social conservative issues are a priority--and especially if the Court fails to overrule Roe--folks in the latter camp might see their stock rise considerably. (And those are just two examples: if rising crime rates are still an issue and Tom Cotton is president you might see more of an emphasis on a law-and-order nominee than on nominees who have shown interest in criminal justice reform, etc., etc.)

The when question matters too. If we have seven more years before our next Republican president instead of just three, many of the folks currently well positioned will be too old, and the youngest Trump nominees who have proven themselves in the meantime may be the best positioned. If I had to guess, Oldham and Murphy and Bress and Rushing will be toward the top of the list (more or less in that order), with a bunch of others probably being strong contenders if the White House is fine with a "5" starting the age instead of a "4."

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:46 pm

If they want a social conservative, they could always hit up Josh Hammer!! But actually, I do think they will pick someone who has socially conservative credentials. However, I doubt that precludes someone who has a "conservative" view on the separation of powers/admin state.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 pm

They're certainly not mutually exclusive, but I think nominees don't always have records on each issue that the judge pickers in the White House care about. Neither Gorsuch nor Kavanaugh had much of a record on social issues despite having strong records on administrative law issues (Rao similarly is perceived by some as being great on administrative law issues but questionable on social issues). Barrett, on the other hand, was perceived as being great on social issues but didn't have much of a record on administrative law. So it's less about them being mutually exclusive and more about having incomplete records, and having to prioritize which issues you're require a record for and which you're willing to take a chance about.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:46 pm
If they want a social conservative, they could always hit up Josh Hammer!! But actually, I do think they will pick someone who has socially conservative credentials. However, I doubt that precludes someone who has a "conservative" view on the separation of powers/admin state.
It's....actually not unlikely that he will eventually be at least a COA judge. He's only 5 years out of law school, so I'd expect him to first season his resume with a couple of years in the WH/DOJ first.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:46 pm
If they want a social conservative, they could always hit up Josh Hammer!! But actually, I do think they will pick someone who has socially conservative credentials. However, I doubt that precludes someone who has a "conservative" view on the separation of powers/admin state.
It's....actually not unlikely that he will eventually be at least a COA judge. He's only 5 years out of law school, so I'd expect him to first season his resume with a couple of years in the WH/DOJ first.
What a depressing notion.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am

If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
There are like 0 judges meeting that description though, for all of their flaws elite Fed Soc types are generally never-Trumpers privately

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
I don't think Dems have any qualms about voting against a FedSoc judge that happens to be a minority (see: Lee, Bumatay, Rao, Lagoa, Thapar, Ho, Park - and I'm sure there are a few others I've missed)

And why should they?

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:26 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
I don't think Dems have any qualms about voting against a FedSoc judge that happens to be a minority (see: Lee, Bumatay, Rao, Lagoa, Thapar, Ho, Park - and I'm sure there are a few others I've missed)

And why should they?
Not the above anon but just because Ds won't think that way doesn't mean that DT won't think they will think that way, also it's a way to score perceived political points (you claim to be for minorities yet won't vote to confirm them, how curious, etc). Tbc I'm not taking any political position here, just think it's a likely prediction.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:55 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:26 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
I don't think Dems have any qualms about voting against a FedSoc judge that happens to be a minority (see: Lee, Bumatay, Rao, Lagoa, Thapar, Ho, Park - and I'm sure there are a few others I've missed)

And why should they?
Not the above anon but just because Ds won't think that way doesn't mean that DT won't think they will think that way, also it's a way to score perceived political points (you claim to be for minorities yet won't vote to confirm them, how curious, etc). Tbc I'm not taking any political position here, just think it's a likely prediction.
I am the quoted anon and yes, the fact that it makes no sense unfortunately doesn't mean that's not how Trump thinks.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:55 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:26 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
I don't think Dems have any qualms about voting against a FedSoc judge that happens to be a minority (see: Lee, Bumatay, Rao, Lagoa, Thapar, Ho, Park - and I'm sure there are a few others I've missed)

And why should they?
Not the above anon but just because Ds won't think that way doesn't mean that DT won't think they will think that way, also it's a way to score perceived political points (you claim to be for minorities yet won't vote to confirm them, how curious, etc). Tbc I'm not taking any political position here, just think it's a likely prediction.
I am the quoted anon and yes, the fact that it makes no sense unfortunately doesn't mean that's not how Trump thinks.
What doesn't make sense? By nominating conservative women/minorities, a Republican president can undermine the idea that Democrats are the ones interested in increasing female/minority representation by forcing them to vote against a minority nominee, and simultaneously avoid the attacks by those same senators that a non-woman/minority nominee would receive for being "just another white male"

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:01 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:55 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:26 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:40 am
If it's Trump again, my guess is the ideal person (to him) would be a diverse/minority judge who is vocally pro-Trump (or in lieu of that has written some particularly spicy opinions about controversial issues). Pro-Trump for obvious reasons, minority/diverse because I think he perceives it as giving Democratic senators a choice: vote for Trump's candidate or vote against a minority. Probably not a woman, given that he just appointed Barrett and he seems to think categorically like that.
I don't think Dems have any qualms about voting against a FedSoc judge that happens to be a minority (see: Lee, Bumatay, Rao, Lagoa, Thapar, Ho, Park - and I'm sure there are a few others I've missed)

And why should they?
Not the above anon but just because Ds won't think that way doesn't mean that DT won't think they will think that way, also it's a way to score perceived political points (you claim to be for minorities yet won't vote to confirm them, how curious, etc). Tbc I'm not taking any political position here, just think it's a likely prediction.
I am the quoted anon and yes, the fact that it makes no sense unfortunately doesn't mean that's not how Trump thinks.
What doesn't make sense? By nominating conservative women/minorities, a Republican president can undermine the idea that Democrats are the ones interested in increasing female/minority representation by forcing them to vote against a minority nominee, and simultaneously avoid the attacks by those same senators that a non-woman/minority nominee would receive for being "just another white male"
Ok, anon breakdown here. I was the FIRST quoted anon. I'm agreeing with you and saying that even if Trump doesn't actually understand how Democratic senators think, that doesn't change the fact that HE thinks they'll act a certain way.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by nixy » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:01 pm
What doesn't make sense? By nominating conservative women/minorities, a Republican president can undermine the idea that Democrats are the ones interested in increasing female/minority representation by forcing them to vote against a minority nominee, and simultaneously avoid the attacks by those same senators that a non-woman/minority nominee would receive for being "just another white male"
It doesn’t make sense because everyone understands that Dems (like any other political group) want to increase representation of women/minorities *from their own party*. Maybe Fox News would make hay of Dems voting against Bumatay because he’s gay and Filipino, but it’s not going to be at all convincing.

I mean, I agree that it would allow a Republican president to say, “look, Dems aren’t the *only* party interested in diversifying the judiciary!”, but I don’t think the subsequent “and the Dems are hypocrites for not supporting a gay minority candidate!” goes anywhere. No one really succeeded making a stink about Dems objecting to Barrett because she was a woman, because her politics were so clearly antithetical to central Democratic ideals.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:43 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:55 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:01 pm
What doesn't make sense? By nominating conservative women/minorities, a Republican president can undermine the idea that Democrats are the ones interested in increasing female/minority representation by forcing them to vote against a minority nominee, and simultaneously avoid the attacks by those same senators that a non-woman/minority nominee would receive for being "just another white male"
It doesn’t make sense because everyone understands that Dems (like any other political group) want to increase representation of women/minorities *from their own party*. Maybe Fox News would make hay of Dems voting against Bumatay because he’s gay and Filipino, but it’s not going to be at all convincing.

I mean, I agree that it would allow a Republican president to say, “look, Dems aren’t the *only* party interested in diversifying the judiciary!”, but I don’t think the subsequent “and the Dems are hypocrites for not supporting a gay minority candidate!” goes anywhere. No one really succeeded making a stink about Dems objecting to Barrett because she was a woman, because her politics were so clearly antithetical to central Democratic ideals.
Yeah, I don't think anyone under 60 is surprised at the notion that politicians are first and foremost professional hypocrites. But, again, Trump is still from the generation that thinks political hypocrisy is a viable issue, so maybe he thinks it matters.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by pribarra » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:16 pm

If the Senate is controlled by Democrats with a Republican President, I highly doubt any of the names mentioned upthread are going to be confirmed, especially if it's Breyer's seat that is being filled. Judicial moderates appointed by Trump might stand a chance, maybe some of the folks he appointed to the 7th or 3rd CCs. Other than that, I don't think the firebrands would even come up for a vote (i.e., the Mitch McConnell precedent of not holding hearings for Garland).

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:57 pm

pribarra wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:16 pm
If the Senate is controlled by Democrats with a Republican President, I highly doubt any of the names mentioned upthread are going to be confirmed, especially if it's Breyer's seat that is being filled. Judicial moderates appointed by Trump might stand a chance, maybe some of the folks he appointed to the 7th or 3rd CCs. Other than that, I don't think the firebrands would even come up for a vote (i.e., the Mitch McConnell precedent of not holding hearings for Garland).
Is this situation (R President with D Senate) likely at any point in the near future though? Republicans have natural advantages in the Senate with there being so many more rural states, and with a midterm backlash against Biden and the number of red-state Democrats up in 2024, I can't imagine Dems getting to even 48 seats any time in the next decade, let alone a majority. Barring some sudden political realignment or the Dems becoming much more conservative on social issues in a way that gets them a bunch of Senate seats, I don't see how a moderate like Scudder or St. Eve would be nominated to SCOTUS.

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:15 am

pribarra wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:16 pm
If the Senate is controlled by Democrats with a Republican President, I highly doubt any of the names mentioned upthread are going to be confirmed, especially if it's Breyer's seat that is being filled. Judicial moderates appointed by Trump might stand a chance, maybe some of the folks he appointed to the 7th or 3rd CCs. Other than that, I don't think the firebrands would even come up for a vote (i.e., the Mitch McConnell precedent of not holding hearings for Garland).
The odds of a Democratic Senate and Republican President are basically 0, but in that eventuality, I wouldn't be shocked if Manchin was willing to vote for e.g. Grant or Stras (or even Thapar, who's kind-of-sort-of from his neck of the woods)

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Re: SCOTUS Nominees Under a Future Republican Administration?

Post by pribarra » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:33 pm

Senate elections can be quite idiosyncratic, however, and result in red senators from blue states and vice versa. The purple states can also be a toss-up. Plus, the incumbent disadvantage may apply to Dems now, but it will apply to Reps in 2024 if they take the Senate in 2022. I wouldn't say the chances of the Dems taking the Senate under a GOP Pres are zero. Dems took the Senate in 2006 under GWB, and they took the Senate in 2020, on the heels of a GOP admin.

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