Advice & Consent 21: The SCOTUS shortlist

Regarding Episode 20? Yeah, as we predicted, “never mind.”

Since then… Dan met Dahlia Lithwick! Lena met Khizr Khan! And Adam and Tim watched hockey, bemoaning the future of our judiciary.

Advice & Consent 21: The SCOTUS shortlist

Direct download: Advice & Consent 21: The SCOTUS shortlist (mp3)

The SCOTUS Shortlist

PEOTUS Trump inherits a SCOTUS vacancy (stolen, mind you… listen to our prior 20 episodes for more on that). There’s a relatively public shortlist. On this episode, we chat a little more in depth about the people on that list, what their ascendancy to the high court would mean and our best guess at whom the new President will nominate.

(Commentary by CNN)
William Pryor: Roe v. Wade = a bomination
Diane Sykes: Contraceptive Mandate
Raymond Kethledge: Kennedy clerk
Joan Larsen: Scalia clerk
Steve Colloton: DC insider
Neil Gorsuch: another Ivy Leaguer
Amul Thapar: District Court Judge
Sen. Mike Lee: Tea party favorite
Don Willett: The tweeting judge
David Stras: Thomas clerk
Thomas Hardiman: Cited Scalia on gun control
Raymond Gruender: Contraception ruling
Margaret Ryan: military record
Sen. Ted Cruz: Wild card

America’s Newest Favorite Gameshow: From Anonymity to Famous for DC!

Who’s it going to be? Someone from the list or a wild card?

Lena: All have been vetted by very conservative legal folks even though the most conservative of them still make some small groups of conservatives mad that they may not have twisted the law to always favor the outcome they seek. So, my criteria for guessing:
1) some sense of loyalty/flattery; 2) looks; 3) age. I’m still guessing Judge William Pryor. Judge Diane Sykes, my normal second guess, is demoted because she’s 58 years old. My new second guess is probably Judge Steven Colloton.

Pryor: not Ivy educated (Tulane), no SCOTUS clerk, allegiance to Sen. Sessions
Colloton: Ivy educated (Princeton BA, Yale JD), clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist, allegience to more established conservatives (George HW Bush, then W Bush

Adam: if he can get away with it he’ll go off the board (to use a Jokers Wild term) and pick a Trump flunkie who will rule in his favor on his personal lawsuits. So, based on my sense of Trump’s loyalty to the base of his party (taking into account his desire for reelection) and his loyalty to self, I say 55% chance of Pryor, based on his picking Sessions as AG, 5% one of these other people, 40% chance of an unknown Trump flunkie

Dan:
Lena has sold me on Steven Colloton. Solid conservative, no massive red culture war red flags like Pryor, looks the part. Trump won’t want to waste political capital on the Supreme Court with a battle over Pryor.

Tim: Reports of William Pryor meeting with The Donald aside, a former colleague said it best before the holidays… if Don Willett gets a meeting with Trump, it’s all over. He’s the nominee. Check out his Twitter feed and you’ll immediately see why. He’s young, charismatic, fiercely conservative, and strikes me as packaged perfectly for this President-to-be. His marginally anti-Trump tweets will be easily brushed aside.

Wrapping up… Any last thoughts before we enter the Trump era?

Lena: Lower courts

Dan:Rev. Dr. William Barber – critical voice for the Trump era
Adam: SCOTUSBlog: Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successor.
Very interesting. If confirmation happens on the Sotomayor/Kagan timeline, the nominee will get on the Court just in time for the last argument session of the 2016-17 term, meaning that the Court could rehear arguments in cases in which they are tied 4-4 and have a decision before they leave in June. That said, Democrats have some leverage since Republicans have to trigger the nuclear option to push a nominee through over a Democratic filibuster.
Only 3 Ds remain on the Judiciary Committee from the last time the Senate considered a Republican nominee, Feinstein (ranking member), Leahy (ranking member last time), and Durbin (Minority Whip then and now). So, it will be a new experience for the Committee. Four Republicans remain from the Roberts/Alito hearings

Tim: We know the PEOTUS will likely make a nomination within the next two weeks, so our next show will come out shortly afterwards and focus on the nominee and the circus to be named later. Sen. Schumer has intimated that there may be some shenanigans.

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