Should President Obama nominate a liberal to succeed John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court?
Why is there even a question that the answer is yes? The only question for a Republican President is whether he should nominate a strong conservative or an extreme conservative. He may screw up the choice - Souter - but a Republican's intent is always to get another ideologue onto the court, and preferably a youngish one.
For some obscure reason - couldn't be the self-forgiven hypocrisy of an overweening will to power - the Republican caucus in the Senate never holds itself to its own stated principle of an up-or-down vote if a liberal is shackled in the dock, I mean, giving testimony.
Instead, they shout, "Bork, bork, bork," like a bunch of capons with too much gravel in their gizzards. They claim that the borking of Robert Bork was the original sin of politicizing the court, never mind the Bork's subsequent role as a culture warrior on the extreme right has proven the Democrats were correct to bork him.
Last, take a look at the people CNN asked to comment on the question of a liberal on the court (oh, my, Mildred, such a scary prospect):
- Ed Rollins, a well-known Republican operative
- Douglas Kmiec, a Reagan appointee to the Justice Department (who by the way uses his paragraphs to nominate a friend of Samuel Alito's, someone who defended Alito's dishonest question-dodging to hide his extremism during his confirmation)
- Ilya Shapiro, from the libertarian but mostly conservative Cato Institute
- Ed Whelan, former law clerk to Antonin Scalia, the most open extreme conservative on the court
- Patricia Millett, who practices before the court and is therefore not going to say anything controversial
- Julian Zelizer, who declines to take any advocacy role at all