Trump should nominate Merrick Garland first

 

So here is an idea that could fit exactly the definition of “too clever by half.” Suppose that Donald Trump – in cementing his well-deserved reputation as the master uniter – says to the American people that President Obama nominated Merrick Garland before he, Trump, had a chance to nominate Neil Gorsuch. As a consequence and with an excess of deference to precedence and democracy, he was instructing the Senate to give Merrick Garland a hearing and, if reported favorably out of committee, a vote on the Senate floor.

What would happen? I would have to guess that the Democrats would run themselves ragged and, after it was all over, Garland would be turned down on a strict majority vote. After that, Trump nominates Gorsuch and, voila, he either gets a strict majority vote or else he gets filibustered, in which case McConnell goes nuclear and the American people say:

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Speaking of outrage…the left was played by Lyft in a viral marketing ploy against Uber. $1 million over 4 years will go to the ACLU. If the company still exists in 4 years and keeps its promise. How big do you suppose Lyft’s marketing and advertising budget is? I’m sure it far exceeds $250K per […]

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Donald Trump, Neil Gorsuch, and Delicious Humble Pie

 

The day after the election, I wrote about how wrong I’d been about it. The first week-and-a-half of the Trump Administration has been a real mixed bag for a conservative of the libertarian persuasion. Like the esteemed Richard Epstein, I was aghast at the policies espoused in many of the executive orders issued so far. To be clear, I’m still very much against much of the agenda pushed through these executive orders, and I’m not walking that back. Yet, I once again find myself in the wrong. Time to face the music.

One of my chief arguments against Trump from the beginning has been his scant allegiance to conservative principle and his capriciousness when it comes to decisions. Sure, he published a list of the judges that he would nominate if elected, but, I said, we can’t trust him to actually stick to it. Well, I was wrong: Trump kept his promise.

My knowledge of Judge Gorsuch isn’t very deep but, if this piece by Ramesh Ponuuru is anything to go by, his nomination is a home run for Originalism:

Breaking: Trump Chooses Gorsuch for SCOTUS

 

President Donald Trump has selected Neil M. Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. He made the announcement in a live, televised event from the White House that began at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Gorsuch prevailed over the other finalists, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, and William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, and was easily confirmed by the Senate 10 years ago to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Colorado.

In the announcement, Trump said, “Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support…. I only hope that both Democrats and Republicans can come together for once, for the good of the country.”

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Breathless allegations of plagiarism  .http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/betsy-devos-plagiarism-obama-official/index.html  Apparently this: “Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment where they can learn, thrive, and grow” is supposed to be a rip-off of this: “Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment that allows them to thrive and grow”. Preview Open

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In Choosing a Justice, Trump Should Focus on Philosophy, not the Confirmation Fight

 

With Trump planning to announce his Supreme Court nominee at 8 pm ET Tuesday, I thought I’d post an excerpt of an LA Times piece. In it, law professor Saikrishna Prakash and I recommend that the President keep the Constitution front and center when choosing:

Pryor is probably the most conservative. He famously called Roe vs. Wade an “abomination” because it discovered a right to abortion in the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. A former Bush administration Department of Justice official, Gorsuch held that the free exercise clause in the 1st Amendment meant that the government couldn’t force Catholic nuns and religious companies to include birth control in their insurance plans. Hardiman, a less prominent conservative, voted against New Jersey’s tight limits on the open carry of firearms.

How should the president make his choice?  It should have nothing to do with how a nominee fits in to Trump’s coterie of friends, family or admirers. A Supreme Court seat is not a bauble to hand out to chums or aides in the manner of a monarch granting titles to faithful servants. Nor should the president care if he hits it off with a candidate. Presidents spend no time with members of the court. George W. Bush reportedly asked one of his potential nominees, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, about his exercise routine. That is simply irrelevant.

Health Care and Insurance Reform: A Blueprint (part 2 of a 3 part series)

 

The major disagreement on health care in America comes down to a single issue: is every citizen entitled to care? A cascade of issues follow any answer to that question. Ones answer to that question, I would argue, is a state matter, though the recent SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) proves, at least for now, otherwise. However, the ACA does not provide an answer to that fundamental question; rather, it begs the question and requires, under penalty or fine (or tax if you are John Roberts) that all Americans have health insurance.

With the ACA, the Democrat Congress tried to stop the wildfire in health care cost by smothering it with more wood.

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The conventional wisdom seems to be that Senate Republicans will have to expand the Reid Rule to include Supreme Court picks, because Chuck Schumer’s Democrats will oppose any nominee and cannot be picked off. I’m not sure how I feel about this reasoning. It sounds an awful lot like Harry Reid’s original reasoning, that Republicans […]

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Ramesh Ponnuru is reporting in NRO that Neil Gorsuch will be Trump’s nominee tonight.  From what I have heard, he would be a worthy successor to Justice Scalia, one textualist replacing another.  He’s 49, so he likely would be on the bench for a very long time. Those who know more about the judge, please enlighten us […]

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When Jimmy Carter blocked all visas for Iranian nationals in 1979, he included a “humanitarian exemption”: “invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest […]

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Nancy “Bella” Lugosi Searches for Real People

 

My longtime auto mechanic and drone designer, Milo Fields, and I testified last night at a hearing in DC on the new President’s proposal to adapt the auto industry’s driverless vehicle technology to the US House and Senate to make them operable without human Senators and Congressman. Passing the US Supreme Court steps, we encountered a group of disheveled, wild-eyed people screaming and holding up microscopic glowing things, yelling about the President’s immigration order.

“Those are candles,” Milo said as we grew closer. “I know size is not supposed to matter, but that’s ridiculous.”

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This one is for you @jlocked given your recent job issues. My friend somehow met the three guys doing this. Two Seals and a Marine sniper. They came in to town with holes in their boots and left with new boots, pants, shirts, jackets, hats and saddles. My friend is the most blind Trump fan […]

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I hope no one needs a drug approved by the FDA, a grazing permit from the BLM or a private letter ruling from the IRS. Because the Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs will prevent this until the agencies can find two offsetting regulations to rescind. You see, the Order defines a “regulation or […]

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Brief tirade about my work and the worthless, inexcuably shiftless MSW interns I scare, or if I’m lucky, make cry. Today, a young White, Pretty, Hipster, Dingbat, Liberal MSW intern comes in to work on Veteran outreach with our population. She was late, checking facebook, and wearing some Captain Lou Albano get-up. Open-minded, I sent […]

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Two Unrelated, Related Items

 

Vanity Fair: “Why Hollywood As We Know It Is Over“.

Hollywood, in its over-reliance on franchises, has ceded the vast majority of the more stimulating content to premium networks and over-the-top services such as HBO and Showtime, and, increasingly, digital-native platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. These companies also have access to analytics tools that Hollywood could never fathom, and an allergy to its inefficiency.

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The Trump administration is reportedly “building suspense”  for its SCOTUS announcement at 8:00 pm this evening.  Are the finalists Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, as is being suggested?  Or is this a big head fake? There’s been a boomlet for Hardiman recently, suggesting a trial balloon on his selection to replace the great Antonin Scalia.  […]

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I’m writing a new story today, in honor of the Boy Scouts’ announcement. It’s a twist on an old children’s classic. I’m calling it “The King’s New Gender.”  In this version, the King, a bit sensitive and frail by nature and always starved for approval, begins wearing fancy dresses to please the popular opinion of him […]

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