Law prof: Hey, maybe Obama should appoint himself to the Supreme Court

posted at 7:19 pm on February 18, 2010 by Allahpundit

Well, okay, but only if we can carve out a special separation-of-powers loophole that would let him stay on as president. It’d be a shame to waste that much pure personal awesomeness on a bench job, no? In fact, there’s a Senate election coming up in Illinois. Might as well widen the loophole and let him go for the trifecta.

Is the left’s disappointment in The One so profound that they’re now looking for ways to lateral him out of the Oval Office?

Think about it. Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, especially at a time when a narrow conservative majority seems increasingly intent on challenging progressive economic reforms for the first time since the New Deal. Obama is clearly eager to take on the four truly conservative justices — Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — as his State of the Union smackdown suggests. But as president, he’s constrained by that pesky separation of powers. So what better way to engage the fight than to join the bench?

It would be unusual, but not difficult, for Obama to get himself on the Supreme Court. He could nominate himself to replace John Paul Stevens, for example, or he could gamble and promise Hillary Rodham Clinton that he won’t run for reelection in 2012 in exchange for a pledge of appointment to the next vacancy…

It’s surprising but true that the least successful presidents are often the most judicious, while the most successful justices are the most pragmatic. Obama’s willingness to compromise and listen to opposing points of view, in other words, may hamper him in overhauling health care — public option, anyone? — but would make him an unusually effective leader on the Supreme Court. As Obama recognized on the campaign trail when he cited former chief justice and three-time California governor Earl Warren as his judicial hero, the most effective judicial leaders have been former politicians…

Warren’s success as chief justice came not so much from his ability to empathize with the downtrodden as from his ability to empathize with his colleagues. Because of his political skills, Warren achieved the kind of success that has eluded Roberts: He persuaded a fractious court to reach a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case striking down school segregation, by visiting the wavering justices one by one and persuading them to set aside their doubts. A majority of the justices on the court that decided Brown had a background in electoral politics; no justices on the Roberts court do. In a group of former law professors, prosecutors and trial judges, Obama would look like a political wizard.

If there’s one thing Obama’s proved in his first year, it’s his skill at consensus-building. Unless Jeffrey Rosen, the author, is anticipating imminent retirements among the more conservative justices, I don’t know how else to take this piece except as an argument that The One could totally charm Anthony Kennedy into voting liberal — which, in fairness, might well be true, but surely doesn’t take as much charisma as Obama has to accomplish. Given Kennedy’s leanings, Hillary could probably charm him into doing that. Hillary.

A question for my elders here: Has there ever been a Democratic president whom the left hasn’t wanted to see elevated to the Court? These fantasies of liberal political heartthrobs taking up the Brennan mantle and engaging in bloodsport with Scalia have been ever present during my adulthood, most often vis-a-vis Hillary but occasionally too with Billy Jeff (when they’re not dreaming of him being appointed UN Secretary-General). Did Jimmy Carter get this treatment too?


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Photochop time.

Obama the Court Jester

justltl on February 18, 2010 at 9:15 PM

We need a different venue for his first sworn testimony.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 18, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Think about it. Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, especially at a time when a narrow conservative majority seems increasingly intent on challenging progressive economic reforms for the first time since the New Deal.

I thot about it…

Hmmm, as community organizer? Fail. As “constitutional law professor”? Fail. As legislator? Present. As POTUS? Fail. As Student? based on the foregoing, probable fail. As a marxist? Not reality-based=fail. As societal-political moocher? Pass.

Now you’re asking me to consider him as SCOTUS Justice? Are you insane?

AH_C on February 18, 2010 at 9:51 PM

“It’s surprising but true that the least successful presidents are often the most judicious, while the most successful justices are the most pragmatic. Obama’s willingness to compromise and listen to opposing points of view, in other words, may hamper him in overhauling health care — public option, anyone? — but would make him an unusually effective leader on the Supreme Court.”

This has to be the biggest crap sandwich I have read concerning Obama. Please enlighten me as to The Chosen One’s willingness to compromise since he was sworn in, please. And, how in the world is he going to justify having Bill Ayers on his court staff to write his opinions. GOOD GRIEF! I swear I have entered a parallel universe. Scottie, beam me up. ASAP!

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on February 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Please enlighten me as to The Chosen One’s willingness to compromise since he was sworn in, please.
devolvingtowardsidiocracy on February 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Let me be clear: When there’s no Dijon he’ll compromise with spicy brown. When there’s no arugula he’ll compromise with mesclun.

Buy Danish on February 18, 2010 at 10:20 PM

When there’s no arugula he’ll compromise with mesclun.

Buy Danish on February 18, 2010 at 10:20 PM

The last thing this nation needs is The Precedent on mescaline.

neurosculptor on February 18, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Will Bill Ayers be writing his opinions for him?

Left Coast Right Mind on February 18, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Who is this fool of a law prof who wrote: “his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court.” Obama has never led anything in his life! He’s never been a leader! He’s never done anything. Even in the WH, he’s had the Senate and House doing his homework for him. He keeps on having these breakout session (the guy thinks he’s in a frickin’ college or something!) in which he sends other people to come up with solutions to problems he’s creating. Obama doesn’t lead. He just exists!

SilentWatcher on February 18, 2010 at 10:55 PM

President “Solid B+” would miss the tv interviews and all the big spending…

TN Mom on February 18, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Obama’s willingness to compromise and listen to opposing points of view

Since when? Oh I get it. April fools came early. Ha Ha. Good one.

Guardian on February 18, 2010 at 11:03 PM

. Did Jimmy Carter get this treatment too?

No. His handling of the Iranian hostage crisis and trashing of the economy pretty much made him a pariah. This lasted for a number of years until he spoke at one of the Dhims National Conventions.

Don’t I remember that Taft was on SCOTUS after his presidency, or is that just me misremembering history?

Chewy the Lab on February 18, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after he served as President.

ya2daup on February 18, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Or ObaMao could just go to Hollywood and play lots of roles in the movies.

onlineanalyst on February 18, 2010 at 11:07 PM

[H]is education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court.

Given the modern meaning of the term “liberal” it is unConstitutional – and hence illegal for there even to be a “liberal wing of the court.”

The purpose of the SCOTUS is to apply the principles of the Constitution to cases that come before it. Not to override the legislature to further a Progressive agenda.

This country won’t be safe until idiots like this one are panhandling for nickles in the street again.

JDPerren on February 18, 2010 at 11:16 PM

as his State of the Union smackdown suggests

…Obama lacks the maturity to be POTUS. What amount of Koolaid must be consumed to actually think he could make any positive contribution as a member of SCOTUS?

There are school boards on remote islands in US territories in the Pacific where every member is more qualified than the One to serve on SCOTUS.

The only logical conclusion is the criteria for Law Professors may require reconsideration.

Unquiet on February 18, 2010 at 11:24 PM

Bah—he should appoint himself Climate Chief of the World instead….

Dick Turpin on February 18, 2010 at 11:25 PM

Hey, Professor. Tell me one thing that Uhhhhhbama has ever compromised on. Just one.

He wouldn’t know a compromise if one bit him on the ass.

darwin-t on February 18, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Maybe he should concentrate on going home (wherever the hell that is) and organizing a bake sale or something…

hillbillyjim on February 18, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Obama’s willingness to compromise and listen to opposing points of view, in other words, may hamper him in overhauling health care…

And we all know if there’s one thing Obama has in spades, it’s….aww hell, I can’t even dignify this crap with sarcasm.

What the f!@# planet is this guy on?

Hawkins1701 on February 18, 2010 at 11:44 PM

Actually wait, I think I’ve got it now.

….I mean, what better “compromise” is there than “I won”?

…..Gotta give him that.

Hawkins1701 on February 18, 2010 at 11:45 PM

Even after a year of incompetence and hyper-partisan Alinskyism, Teh Won still has the power to generate bizarre devotion and Magical Negro fantasies among liberal elitists. Amazing. And they say Scientology is a strange cult.

Also, Jimmy Carter did not get this treatment. The dominant media-generated theme during Carter’s time was that the U.S. was becoming “ungovernable”, and that the Burger Court was hopelessly swamped with cases. There was even talk of setting up an intermediate court above the Federal circuit courts of appeal, sort of a junior Supreme Court, to “help” the SCOTUS with its caseload. You’ll notice that post-Scott Brown, various liberal mouthpieces have revived the “ungovernable” talking point. As ever with the left, plus ça change….

Travis Bickle on February 19, 2010 at 1:13 AM

Just when you think the left can’t get any more insane, it happens. WAPO publishes Rosen’s lunatic scribbling with a straight face and without embarrassment.

Isn’t Oprah retiring? Perhaps she would consider a new career as one of Justice Wonderful’s clerks. Law degree? You kid, we’re talkin’ Oprah.

Apparently Barry got the Nobel for his totally awesome potential…or something. So I guess a place on our nation’s highest court, next to Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts is about due for an affirmative action confirmation.

If Sotomayor’s campaign slogan was: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” then Barry might go with: “I would hope that an arrogant African American man would reach better conclusions than a white male who has never been a black President.”

PC14 on February 19, 2010 at 2:17 AM

Your tax dollars at work…

shorebird on February 19, 2010 at 2:47 AM

Like I said, two years and he’s out for another job.

- The Cat

MirCat on February 19, 2010 at 6:41 AM

Dude, don’t kid. You know he’ll show up there the next time a dem is in office and there is an opening. (Actually they’ll need two chairs one for Obama and one for the guy from Chicago telling him what to say, but I digress.)

We’ve had enough of the “experiment” called Obama. Let him wander around stepping on the daisies like a imbelice for the next three years and then get back to picking up the pieces of what was once a world power.

archer52 on February 19, 2010 at 7:11 AM

AP, as your elder, I can’t think of another President, Dem or Rep, in the last 100 years that anyone would have wanted to appoint to the Supreme Court or even would have suggested unless it might have been Woodrow Wilson (I don’t agree with this thinking, but he was the College President, thinker, etc.).

Obviously, William Howard Taft went from President to the Supreme Court but I’m not even sure there has ever been another President who rose to that position. Please correct me if there was — I’d be interested to know.

I’ve heard Hillary mentioned but never Bill (and I guess since his license to practice law was revoked, that might be an impediment?? Although you don’t have to be a lawyer to be on the Supreme Court if I remember correctly?).

Certainly, by temperament, one could rule out Truman and Johnson. In 1980, most of us just wanted Jimmy “I have lust in my heart” Carter to go back to Plains and it took years before the Dems re-embraced him. FDR & Kennedy died in office and I never heard my parents talk of anyone suggesting either as a good Justice.

And Obama would be a disaster.

Greyledge Gal on February 19, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Obama’s willingness to compromise and listen to opposing points of view

No matter how many times you say this, it doesn’t make it true. I’m so sick of this BS.

roopster217 on February 18, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Of course it’s true. He talks to Pelosi and Reid almost daily.

MarkTheGreat on February 19, 2010 at 8:26 AM

As emperor, I will appoint him to court jester.
At some remote outpost.
Maybe Venezuela.

justltl on February 18, 2010 at 8:01 PM

They’ve already got one.

MarkTheGreat on February 19, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Great.

He’d have two jobs he can’t do.

N. O'Brain on February 19, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Just what we need. . . . somebody who sees the Constitution as a document of “negatives”. Hell, if he can’t transform America, then lets transform the Constitution.

kens on February 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Maybe he could get a job with the county?

Akzed on February 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

He wouldn’t take the job. Judges are never on tv, don’t have a cool plane or big house to live in and don’t get to make a lot of speeches about how wonderful they are.

Kissmygrits on February 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I have been saying this forEVAH! that he would appoint himself to a lifetime job where he can sermonize and lecture, perfect for his image of himself….

ginaswo on February 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Why not nominate someone who actually makes sense, like say Alcee Hastings?? Did I wake up in the mirror universe this morning, or has this Rosen guy gotten some really good “black tar”. Excuse me while I go throw up.

Mini-14 on February 19, 2010 at 11:17 AM

He was never a professor. He was just considered to be one by the institution. He was a “Senior Lecturer”. Nonetheless, he is an empty suit in all regards and I’m still not sure he is legally in office.

LarryG on February 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

He was a “Senior Lecturer”.

LarryG on February 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

i.e. an adjunct.

neurosculptor on February 19, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, …
(from the quoted article)

Approximate translation:

Although we have completely misjudged Mr Obama’s ability up-until-now and foolishly elected this inept, narcissistic Marxist to be the most powerful man in the world — a task at which he has failed so badly that even infantile liberal imbeciles of the me-me-me generation are forced to concede that they didn’t make a great choice — please believe that now we really understand the situation and you should trust our judgement when we say he’d make a contribution via the Supreme Court.

If there’s one thing Obama’s proved in his first year, it’s his skill at consensus-building.
(from the article)

True, there is a growing consensus that he isn’t very good at the job.

YiZhangZhe on February 19, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Or ObaMao could just go to Hollywood and play lots of roles in the movies.

onlineanalyst on February 18, 2010 at 11:07 PM

He began as black and white and he has developed some out-of-focus grey areas in which a lot of detail is missing, but silent movies stopped being fashionable long ago.

Probably better that he apply for a job for which he has shown some aptitude, like tennis umpire.

YiZhangZhe on February 19, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Didn’t have time reading through all the comments, but just in case nobody said it:

How’s voting ‘present’ all the time is going to cut it?

Sir Napsalot on February 19, 2010 at 3:41 PM

How can someone actually publicly say this…thinking it is bad enough, but…?

Absolutely no shame. Incredible.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 19, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Is this one of the many trial balloons we were told were going to be floated this week?

RD on February 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Obama compromises and listens to others????

Who knew???

BD57 on August 24, 2010 at 8:13 AM

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