Obama's Outlash May Stymie Court Packing
During his state of the union address in February, Obama took a political cheap-shot at the jurists, who were not required to attend the event, were guests of Congress, and who do not participate in partisan applause lines, because he disagreed with their Citizens United decision which once again evened the playing field between corporations and unions. While the un-Presidential outburst might have earned him the adoration of the fringe-Left base, it may have cost him the most important Supreme Court nomination.
From Sotomayor to Kagan, Obama has nominated the most unqualified, far-Left justices in my lifetime. Even worse, Senate Republicans have hardly feigned a struggle to prevent their confirmation. Like our current President, Obama's justices disdain the Constitution, and will accept any argument to subvert its clear meaning and intent. Fortunately, Obama has only had the opportunity to refresh the liberals on the 4 side of recent 5-4 decisions. And if the New York Post is correct, Obama may never get the chance to crack the 5. According to the paper:
Justice Kennedy, who turns 74 this month, has told relatives and friends he plans to stay on the high court for at least three more years - through the end of Obama's first term, sources said.
That means Kennedy will be around to provide a fifth vote for the court's conservative bloc through the 2012 presidential election. If Obama loses, Kennedy could retire and expect a Republican President to choose a conservative justice.
Kennedy is the swing vote on the Court. Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and—until recently—Stevens are a rubber stamp for Obama's statist agenda. Stevens retired so that Obama could replace him with a far-left justice—in his words, "what is best for the Court." Obama must be denied any opportunity to replace Kennedy with another liberal justice. Apparently, Kennedy is well aware of the implications of his retirement, and is quietly reminding Obama that he likes his odds in the waiting game. If Obama is defeated in 2012, Kennedy can retire in the summer of 2013 knowing that the President will—as the Post noted—likely nominate a Conservative justice who rejects the Left's notion of a "living Constitution" that "needs to be refreshed."
Even if Obama manages to get reelected in 2012, Kennedy can wait out the second term and still retire at 80, a full decade before Stevens stepped down from the bench. Hopefully, he will continue to do what is best for our Constitution and our nation.