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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:48 pm 
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia dead: Texas governor
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, has died, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

In a statement, Abbott extended his "deepest condolences" to Scalia's family.

The San Antonio News-Express said Scalia had apparently died of natural causes while visiting a luxury resort in West Texas.

Scalia, appointed to the top U.S. court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, was known for his strident conservative views and theatrical flair in the courtroom.

His death comes as the court is set to hear its first major abortion case in nearly 10 years, and ahead of key cases on voting rights, affirmative action and immigration.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:33 pm 
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My condolences to his family.

I am very curious to see what happens next in this rather 'West Wing'-like situation. V, do you know if it is possible for the senate to hold off on confirming someone for approximately a year? I expect John Dickerson will bring this up in tonight's Republican debate.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:00 am 
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i just saw this on the news. I, too, am curious how this will turn out. And my condolences to his family.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:32 am 
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Mitch McConnell has already said that the appointment should be made by the next President.

And I am sorry to hear this, of course. It must have been completely unexpected—that's very sad.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:35 am 
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Can it wait till the next president? What's the protocol on that?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:39 am 
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It can be obstructed indefinitely, I believe. And of course the Republicans will do it if they can; then there's a chance that the replacement will be nominated by a Republican president.

I wonder what the law is regarding a tied Supreme Court? Many upcoming decisions that were expected to be 5-4 for the conservatives will now likely be 4-4.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:43 am 
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Holy shit!

Pardon my French.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:53 am 
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Clearly it should not wait for the next president, with almost a full year left in Obama's term. Just as clearly, the GOP is not going to confirm anyone that Obama appoints.

I mourn the man, and his giant intellect, and my sympathy goes out to those who loved him, including his colleagues, particularly (incongruently) Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I do not mourn the decisions that he no longer will be contributing to (though it remains to be seen how much of a difference it will make in upcoming decisions; for instance the immigration case is an appeal of a conservative decision, so a 4-4 decision would be the same as a 5-4 decision; only cases involving appeals of a decisions that Justice Scalia would have been likely to have overturned will be affected in the short term, other than the influence he may have had on Kennedy or Roberts). I'm afraid of the turmoil that this will cause moving forward. And it likely makes the importance of the presidential election all the more urgent.

ETA: Just to be clear, although I think the rambling sentence above answers Primula's question, in a 4-4 decision the ruling of the lower court being reviewed stands unchanged.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:57 am 
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I was very curious on what your reaction would be, Voronwë.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:59 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Mitch McConnell has already said that the appointment should be made by the next President.

And I am sorry to hear this, of course. It must have been completely unexpected—that's very sad.


Apparently, he died in his sleep after a day of hunting. It's not a bad way to go, considering, and I hope his loved ones find some comfort in that.

It would serve McConnell right if the appointment ends up made by President Sanders. I doubt it will, but it would serve him right.

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‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:05 am 
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Lalaith wrote:
I was very curious on what your reaction would be, Voronwë.


I found out by opening this thread after returning from a rather longish bike ride. Hence my rather raw reaction.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:37 am 
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Like we needed this election season to get more contentious.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:38 am 
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Or more important.

Voronwë, your reaction is the same as mine was, when Tom read me out the news from Twitter. It's a stunning development—a real "What next?" moment.

Some of the decisions in the hopper for this year are significant ones.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:36 am 
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This article gives a pretty good summary of the potential short-term consequences.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/0 ... ias-death/

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:58 am 
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That was interesting. I didn't realize that an even split would cause a default to the lower court rulings. While I was thinking that Scalia's death is bad news for conservatives if Obama appoints a liberal (speaking in broad terms here), I can see now how Scalia's death and any subsequent ties on the Supreme Court in the interim of appointing a new justice can work in favor of either "side."

Wow. That's big.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:26 am 
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https://plus.google.com/+AndreasSchou/posts/GLrzn2mE52V

Andreas Schou, my other Google+ source, suggested that nominating Richard Posner would be a good move.

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‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:17 am 
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Things continue to get more and more interesting on the political front in the US.

Yes...interesting, indeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:42 am 
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SCOTUSblog has addressed the question of whether a recess appointment would be possible here: http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/is-a-recess-appointment-to-the-court-an-option/

I thought it was distasteful for so many republicans to immediately state that there was no possible way they would confirm of a supreme court justice of Obama's approval even before any names were floated. I am not very optimistic that this seat will be filled any time soon...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:56 pm 
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I'm not either, S'wiz (did I mention that I was happy to see you here?), but I also think that blocking a nominee could (maybe) become an electoral albatross around the collective necks of the GOP that might result in them losing not only the presidency but perhaps the Senate as well. In which case they might end up with a more liberal justice than Sri Srinivasan, who has been rumored to be Obama's first choice if he had a nomination, and who was approved by the Senate unanimously (97-0, with 3 absent) when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2013 (those voting in favor of him were Cruz and Rubio).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Tom Goldstein of the SCOTUSBLOG now thinks that Obama will nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch and that she will get a vote and be defeated on a party vote.

I doubt he is right, much as I respected him as probably the preeminent Court watcher.

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