Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

No Election-Year Confirmation

It’s been more than 80 years since a Supreme Court justice was confirmed in an election year to a vacancy that arose that year, and there has never been an election-year confirmation that would so dramatically alter the ideological composition of the Court.

[Update: I’ve encountered some mistaken quibbling on Twitter with the first half of the sentence above. Yes, Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in February 1988, but to a vacancy that arose in June 1987. He was nominated in November 1987 — after the Democrats’ defeat of the Bork nomination. The last justice to be confirmed in an election year to a vacancy that arose that year was Benjamin Cardozo — confirmed in March 1932 to a vacancy that arose in January 1932.]

Senate Republicans would be grossly irresponsible to allow President Obama, in the last months of his presidency, to cement a liberal majority that will wreak havoc on the Constitution. Let the people decide in November who will select the next justice.

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Politics & Policy

Demagoguery Is Not Leadership

The government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand has, with the support of the opposition, decided to enact fundamental changes in the nation’s firearms laws less than a week after the massacre at two Christchurch mosques. This is the opposite of leadership. It is also an example of why ... Read More
U.S.

Political Theatrics

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including all you whippersnappers under the age of 50), I’m writing this from somewhere over the Atlantic. At least I hope that’s ... Read More