Friday, February 26, 2016

Sandoval withdraws from SCOTUS consideration

From Matthew Yglesias at Vox.com:

Brian Sandoval, Nevada's moderate Republican governor who conveniently also happens to be a former federal judge, is not going to be Barack Obama's choice for the Supreme Court vacancy after all.

His exit from consideration was all but inevitable in light of the political dynamics prevailing in the current political climate. But leaking the news that he was under consideration only to have Senate Republican leaders stand by the proposition that no Obama nominee is acceptable has already accomplished everything the White House could hope to in terms of demonstrating the Republicans' hostility to compromise.

I saw that one coming. I did.

Here's another take from Greg Sargent (Washington Post/Plum Line).

So Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican, has pulled his name from consideration to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. The floating of Sandoval was probably never more than an elaborate trolling exercise aimed at Republicans, but it served as a reminder that, before long, there actually will be a nominee, which will shift the political dynamic. Senate Republicans, of course, continue to vow that this nominee won’t get any hearing, no matter who it is.

But here’s one scenario in which it might be hard for Republicans to sustain that posture.

... in three weeks, though this is anything but assured, Trump could be the presumed nominee. If so, all heck will be breaking loose in the GOP asylum, which will be looking more out of control than ever. And Obama will have picked his choice for the Court. Are Republicans really going to continue to refuse to give any hearings to, or even meet with, a moderate Supreme Court nominee at that point?

... the point is that not considering Obama’s nominee at all could become a lot harder to sustain, if and when maximum Trump crazy breaks out.

You can fill in some of the details of Sargent's thinking by reading his Plum Line.

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