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Home / US / The next candidate of the Supreme Court comes with a lot of drama – but not in the Senate

The next candidate of the Supreme Court comes with a lot of drama – but not in the Senate



The emerging confirmation battle of the Supreme Court presents itself as a pivotal point for the nation, possibly shifting the direction of decisions towards conservative outcomes for decades.

However, the recent past is political prologue, the least dramatic moment of the process will be the chapter that should be the most revealing: the confirmation hearings.

At least, President Trump's advisers will set their schedule on a path taken by their predecessors in Barack's administration. Obama and George W. Bush

The modern Supreme Court candidate has drawn the lessons of Robert H. Bork, who 31

years ago on Sunday in circumstances similar to today's vacancy caused by the upcoming retirement of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy [19659005] At that time, President Ronald Reagan appointed Bork, then a judge at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to replace Lewis F. Powell Jr., the highest court of the Supreme Court, important swing vote. Bork was extravagant in his writing as a professor at Yale Law School before joining the Justice Department of the Nixon era and receiving the judicial appointment.

At the confirmation hearings of 1987, Bork openly joined the committee chairman, then Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Especially in the case of 1965, where couples were allowed to use contraceptives.

"As I hear you do not believe that there is a general right to privacy," said the future vice president.

"Not derived in this way," Bork replied.

It did not matter much that the candidate was trying to explain that he had nothing against contraception, just as the Warren Supreme Court ruled the case. Bork became a non-contact lawyer who turned against the most basic levels of intimate privacy and was eventually rejected in a large bipartisan opposition vote, 42-58.

Instead nominated Reagan finally Kennedy to fill this place. It was a historic ideological shift after Kennedy had supported the swing vote in support of social-liberal positions on abortion and gay rights over the next 30 years and also gave the critical fifth vote for business-friendly decisions like last week's decision unions have the opportunity To collect posts.

The next generation of Certification Advisors learned to coach Nominees to avoid the landmines Bork had encountered.

"Nowadays, the nominees are smart enough to know that they only have to answer as often as necessary to get through the hearing," said Jamie Brown Hantman, who worked in the Bush White House and the Sherpa. Team headed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. Through her affirmations, Ronald Weich, Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Baltimore, worked the other side of these nominations in 2005 and 2006 as a consultant for Senate Democrats, before moving on to the Justice Department in 2009 and working on the nominations of Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

"They have seen the previous hearings of how Major League Baseball Hitters watched bands of the pitcher see them the next day," said Soft, who also called Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) During four nomination hearings in the 1990s Adviser served.

Weich said that nominee advisers developed the so-called "80-20 Rule" in the hope that senators would pick up 80 percent of the lengthy hearings, while the nominees provided 20 percent with sharp, concise answers would.

Take the two most recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2010 and 2017, including those of a Democratic President and a Republican President, and note how the nominees addressed heated questions from the highest-ranking member of the minority party.

"Well, Senator Sessions, I'm not quite sure how I would characterize my policy, but one thing I know is that my policy needs to be completely separate from my assessment," Kagan told Jeff Sessions (Ala), the supreme Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I agree with you as you say, look, it's about looking at a case that's ahead of you."

Then this exchange came last year between Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) And now Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, with Gorsuch distracting her questions he would rule.

"All I can do is – I can not promise you how I rule in a particular case – that would be profoundly wrong sitting here at a confirmation table and I think we agree would be a violation of independent justice, "said Gorsuch Feinstein.

Increased partisanship has also limited the expectation of 90 votes – or even unanimous support, as Anthony Kennedy received in 1988. Kagan received 63 votes, with only five Republicans supporting them.

Last April, Gorsuch won 55 votes, with only three Democrats backing him, and that was after Senate Republicans unilaterally changed the rules to eliminate the 60-vote hurdle, a filibuster on nominations from the Supreme Clarify Court

So Trump's candidate enters this confirmation contest, knowing that the goal is to recruit those few potential swing republicans, notably Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) To address how trial lawyers would appear before the Supreme Court would focus their games on Kennedy as a key voice.

"Without a phenomenal mistake, you can expect every Republican to vote for the Republican candidate. Most Democrats are likely to vote against it, so there's not much tension," said Brown Hantman.

A few hours after Bork's nomination, Senator Kennedy gave a three-minute speech, based largely on Bork's writings in Yale, which shaped the conditions of the debate. "Robert Borks America is a country where women are being forced into backyard abortions, blacks are sitting on separate dining tables, rogue police could tear down the doors of citizens during midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution," he said

Candidates for this moment often prepared their adult lives, knowing that if they go too far in their writings, like Bork, their hearings will be far more disturbing. Kagan, a former dean of Harvard Law, did not leave much of a paper trail behind, and because the Republicans had blocked her 1999 nomination at the Bundesbank, she had no judicial opinions to read.

After her nomination, Sessions did not sound like Kennedy on Bork and complained about how little he knew about her legal philosophy. "Since there are no legal opinions to consider, it will be particularly important that other aspects of their records have these characteristics," he said.

This is exactly the kind of complaint Trump officials hope to hear when they roll out the candidate] Read more from Paul Kanes Archive, Follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates Facebook.


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