Welcome to the Advice & Consent Podcast: news views and insight on the future of the supreme court. Shownotes and more are available at scotuscast.com. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org…. Check us out on Twitter and Facebook too. I’m Tim Mooney, joined by the ragtag gang of the usual suspects… Adam Shah and Lena Zwarensteyn!
We’re baaaaaack! Six months into our hiatus, we return just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner conversation! How about an update on the Trump administration, the GOP Congress and how overturning the norms of the judicial selection process is impacting everything.
Lower court nominees that are unqualified and appointed based on youth and ideology
Lena: First, a quick reminder of how we got here. Senate Majority not only held open and stole the Supreme Court seat that Chief Judge Merrick Garland (D.C. Cir.) was nominated for, but also more than 100 lower court vacancies. Indeed, 54 of President Obama’s nominations expired. Only a few were re-nominated by President Trump.
Right now, there are 155 current and known future vacancies (138 current, 17 future) and 63 judicial emergencies.
For a quick review/comparison of how the Trump Administration compares with this point in President Obama’s first year:
Article III Supreme, Circuit, and District Court Confirmations and Nominees Pending
as of November 17 in the First Year of Trump & Obama Administrations
Thapar (6th Cir., Ky.)
Bush (6th Cir., Ky.)
Newsom (11th Cir., Ala.)
Erikson (8th Cir., N.D.)
Barrett (7th Cir., Ind.)
Larsen (6th Cir., Mich.)
Eid (10th Cir., Colo.)
Bibas (3d Cir., Pa.)
Nye (D. Idaho)
Palk (W.D. Okla.)
Lynch (2d Cir., N.Y.)
Davis (4th Cir., Md.)
Honeywell (M.D. Fla.)
Trends in Types of Nominees:
Constitutional Norms Destroyed to Pave Way for Speedy Nominations and Confirmations
Ending blue slips to get more judges through quickly
Bork got minority Not Qualified rating: http://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/10/us/aba-panel-gives-bork-a-top-rating-but-vote-is-split.html?pagewanted=all
New SCOTUS shortlist
A quick review of where are the SCOTUS shortlisters now?
Note: Trump’s 2016 Campaign & November 27, 2017 (green = Nov. 27 additions; red = not on Nov. 27 list)
Moving On Up: Confirmed
Nominated & Pending
Still Where They Were
Justice Asterisk is everything we thought he’d be
Given our new (and welcome) shift in attitude toward sexual harassment in the workplace, should Justice Thomas’ treatment of Anita Hill be revisited?
Lena: Yes. We should have all believed Anita Hill. The legal profession, like all professions, has some unique characteristics that entrench power dynamics in a way that often makes it incredibly difficult to speak out. Can look at this with nominations in that people worry that if someone becomes a judge, especially for life, that person will likely impact their profession and potential outcomes for clients. The incentive to be quiet is really strong, and to layer on top of that overarching disbelief can be crushing for women in the profession. We need more women, more people of color on the bench, so communities are represented but also so there can be better employment and mentorship opportunities especially for younger lawyers and students.
If Alabama decides to choose a Democrat for Senate over… other alternatives... do the Dems have a shot at the Senate in 18?