There is unhinged.

And then there is NY Times Editorial Board unhinged.

The Editorial Board issued a call for Democrats to go all Godfather in fighting whomever Trump picks to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy:

With Republicans controlling the Senate and the judicial filibuster dead, the Democrats’ odds of denying President Trump a second Supreme Court appointment are slim. Barring some unforeseen development, the president will lock in a 5-to-4 conservative majority, shifting the court solidly to the right for a generation.

This is all the more reason for Democrats and progressives to take a page from “The Godfather” and go to the mattresses on this issue. Because this battle is about more than a single seat on the nation’s highest court. With public attention focused on all that is at stake with this alignment, this is the moment for Democrats to drive home to voters the crucial role that the judiciary plays in shaping this nation, and why the courts should be a key voting concern in Every. Single. Election.

This call to arms may sound overly dramatic. It’s not….

The Godfather reference of “going to the mattresses” refers to a total war between the crime families.

This certainly sounds like eliminationist rhetoric.

It’s a sign of just how insane the reaction is going to be regardless of who Trump picks among the likely contenders. There will be a vicious smear campaign, and in the current climate, we can expect attempts at intimidation.

The pick comes Monday night. Get ready.

I don’t have a personal favorite on the merits. It seems that all of the names near the top of the list would be okay, and the differences are nuances.

I received the compendium of columns below from an email list I’m on, and it seemed like a good summary and links to the case for each of the top contenders:

The Case for Brett Kavanaugh – by J.D. Vance
James David “J. D.” Vance is an American author and venture capitalist known for his memoir Hillbilly Elegy.

From the start of his career, he’s applied the Constitution faithfully, even when that made him a lonely voice. … The through line in Judge Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence is his capable and committed defense of the Constitution and other laws—as written. His 12-year record is one of consistent textualist and originalist jurisprudence. … Judge Kavanaugh’s record shows him to be a jurist who adheres to his principles and can influence his future colleagues on the bench.


Here’s who Trump should pick for the Supreme Court – by Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt is an American radio talk show host with the Salem Radio Network and a lawyer, academic, and author.

So the first question is: Has the nominee ruled steadily in a fashion consistent with the original intent of the Constitution and its amendments and faithful to the statutes passed by the executive and legislative branches? Kethledge’s record shows that in his case, the answer is a resounding “yes.” He has stood strongly with free exercise rights, siding for example with a church and its volunteers against the Labor Department’s bureaucrats, writing a separate concurrence to emphasize “The Department should tend to what is Caesar’s, and leave the rest alone.” He has an exemplary record on Second Amendment rights, concurring with his colleague Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s declaration of the right to bear arms as “fundamental” in a crucial en banc case on the amendment. … In these and many more cases, Kethledge has been faithful for more than a decade to the originalist approach.


Trump should nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court – by Richard Garnett
Professor Richard W. Garnett teaches and writes about the freedoms of speech, association, and religion and constitutional law more generally.

Crucially, Barrett was already confirmed by the Senate eight months ago by a 55-43 vote for her seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She secured the votes of a few critical Democratic senators from moderate states, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Winning the support of a few Democrats could be the key to winning Senate confirmation for Barrett if she is President Trump’s pick to replace Kennedy. Senators Manchin, Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are three Democrats facing tough difficult re-election races who could find it difficult to oppose Barrett. All three have already met with President Trump to discuss his upcoming Supreme Court nominee. … Barrett is careful, conscientious, civil, and charitable, and blessed with an unusual combination of decency, grace under pressure, kindness, rigor, and judgment. If nominated and confirmed, she would be an outstanding justice, committed to the rule of law and to the faithful performance of her judicial duty.


Trump should take a serious look at Amul Thapar for the Supreme Court – by Ilya Shapiro
Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review.

Thapar’s background suggests he shares the values of ordinary citizens, including a deep appreciation for America’s opportunity. Thapar was on a plane on 9/11. After learning of the attacks mid-air, he vowed that if his plane landed safely, he would dedicate his career to serving the country he loved. Thapar promptly left his elite law firm and began what has now been 12 years of his public service. … Over the last decade, Thapar has issued over 600 opinions, being reversed only 11 times. He even wrote 36 opinions (and joined 84 others) as an appellate judge “sitting by designation” while he was still on the trial bench — meaning that he sought out and was asked to undertake far more work and greater responsibility than was required. Choose one of his writings at random and the same principle always shines through: a judge holding himself to the judiciary’s proper role by hewing closely to the text of the law.


Judge Kethledge Faithfully Applies Immigration Laws — by Roger Meyers
Roger Meyers clerked for Judge Kethledge from 2009 to 2010, and now practices law in Troy, Mich., at Bush Seyferth & Paige, PLLC, a firm in which Judge Kethledge was a founding partner in 2003.

According to former clerk to Judge Kethledge, Roger Meyers, “Judge Kethledge approaches immigration cases the same way he approaches every case: by focusing on the ordinary meaning of the laws that were enacted by the politically accountable branches, without fear or favor.”


With Brett Kavanaugh, America will have a bold, brilliant Supreme Court Justice – by Matt Schlapp
Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union and CPAC

Over his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh has consistently, boldly, and fearlessly applied textualism and originalism to a striking range of legal issues. Even more impressive is that, during the past decade, the Supreme Court has adopted Kavanaugh’s position an astonishing 11 times. He literally wrote the book on judicial precedent, with Justice Gorsuch as one of his co-authors. … Judge Kavanaugh’s demonstrated record of bold constitutional conservatism means we don’t have to be told or to take on faith how he will make determinations. His more than 300 written opinions reveal his trust in the words of the Constitution and its application to government actions.

Mark Levin adds Mike Lee to the mix:

My Supreme Court recommendations in order: I’ve endorsed Mike Lee, who would be the gold standard. My 2nd choice would…

Posted by Mark Levin on Saturday, July 7, 2018


One thing this compendium shows is that conservatives have a deep judicial bench from which to fill this vacancy, and the additional vacancies that very easily could happen in the near future given the ages of the Justices.

That’s what really scares the NY Times Editors. To them, the barbarians already are inside the gates.


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