‘I've done enough Presidentin'’: Should Obama make trollish nominations to the bench?

So Mitch McConnell says he won’t let any Obama nominees to the Supreme Court be confirmed this Congress. This is bluster, of course. He’ll say this to the media, Washington can be scandalized for a week, and later Congress will back down.

But imagine him actually trying to block any nominee. What’s Obama’s play?

  1. First, of course, Obama should nominate some perfectly reasonable candidate. I’m not going to get into the merits of different federal judges. Whoever. Pick one.

Let’s say Grassley and McConnell decide just to filibuster the perfectly reasonable candidate. What should Obama do then?

  1. A modest proposal: Nominate the frontrunner in the GOP Presidential nomination contest. :smiley: Which will probably still be Donald John Trump. “But wait!” you say, “Trump wouldn’t take the job!” Well, maybe not, in which case jump to step 3. But what if he does? The GOP then can confirm him, which would be the silliest thing ever, or point out that Donald Trump is not remotely a sensible choice for the Supreme Court. Probably the second. So then either Trump is on the bench, or more likely his name is withdrawn, possibly with some shouts of, “Loser clown!” It’s not clear his candidacy would survive.

  2. Once Trump’s name is withdrawn, nominate Ted Cruz. This has got to be attractive to Cruz. He could be on the high court for life, and maybe try to bring back a Lochner-era ethos or whatever. But during the confirmation vote, the GOP has to figure out what to do with him. Do they confirm the head of the Freedom Caucus in the hope that he’ll leave Congress go away? Or do they refuse to nominate him on the grounds that the bench is too good a deal for Shutdown Boy? Again, the GOP are going to be arguing about Ted Cruz, and disrupting his campaign.

If one of these two nuts is confirmed, then they’re probably out of the Presidential race. (Although Cruz might try to run for President while serving on the court.) If–as seems more likely–neither is, then the GOP will have been reduced to arguing against a justiceship for someone who wants to able to nominate justices.

This is incredibly silly, and probably abysmally stupid. But then, so is what McConnell’s saying. :wink:

you’re right, it’s infantile.

I’ve already seen plenty of stupid suggestions in the numerous discussions, haven’t you? Bernie, Hillary, himself, his wife, Orin fucking Hatch, Biden, his Attorney General Lynch. Yes a joke nomination would be stupid and suck all the political capital that could be gained from showing the Republicans as thoughtless obstructing bastards.

Going with the intent of the OP (and not in any way being serious), I’d suggest Mitch McConnell.


Also, ‘Congress’ won’t back down. The Senate GOP Caucus either will or won’t back down. Let’s properly identify the locus of responsibility here.

What’s this ‘filibuster’ stuff? You’ve said to assume he’s blocking any nominee. He does that by refusing to do so much as send Obama’s nomination to the Judiciary Committee.

Obama wouldn’t descend to the GOP’s level, nor should he. He’s been a class act throughout his Presidency. He’s not going to spoil that now. And there’s really nothing to gain in the court of public opinion (or anywhere else, fwiw) by such foolishness.

Which one doesn’t be-loooong…

Yeah she shouldn’t have been on that list, though it is a horrible idea.

I don’t like her as a nominee because I think she would be bad on criminal justice issues.

But I’m not convinced it is a bad idea politically. Presumably the goal is to extract the maximum political price, and you could do worse than picking a black female prosecutor to accomplish that.

Do I hear Judge Wapner, Judge Judy, Judge Rienhold?

Someone currently in his cabinet with no judicial experience? I think it would look bad.

Obama should do what he should have done long ago: turn Republican obstructionism into a public issue. He should go out there and say “Do you really want one party to shut down the country for eight years because they don’t like the President you elected?”

Kagan was also in his administration and had no judicial experience. I don’t think either factor matters that much to the public debate.

Silly idea.

Obama wins this thing by maintaining the dignity of both his office and of the supreme court. To do otherwise is to throw away his moral authority. And that’s really the only weapon he has to push through his nominee.

In fairness isn’t Obama a bit of a hypocrite after filibustering Samuel Alito’s appointment?

That was aimed at one particular nominee. It’s not the same as saying that you won’t consider any nominee whatsoever.

Yes, but as others have pointed out, refusing to even consider a nominee would be a serious escalation in the partisan wars. Assuming they actually go through with it.

The President will make a mature choice. I think there’s a chance he might troll by nominating someone like Loretta Lynch, but that would just give the Republicans a justification.

Of course, this could also just be a game of bluff. McConnell started this whole thing and McConnell is no Tea Party fool. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the President names someone almost conservative and McConnell gets him confirmed and then cackles madly and declares victory.

I think it would give the Republicans two nice not-racist things to hang their hat on. Kagan is a modern exception, all Justices since Nixon have had judicial experience if I’m not mistaken.

Kagan did have the requisite legal experience though. She’d argued before the Supreme Court.

She also clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Except what the Republicans are doing here doesn’t amount to “shutting down the government”, so it would be silly for Obama to make that claim.