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February 25, 2016

Obama Eying GOP Gov. Sandoval as SCOTUS Pick

He knows just where to hit Republicans to score political points.

You have to give Obama credit: He knows just where to hit Republicans to score his political points. In a guest post on SCOTUSblog, the chief executive laid out some of the factors he will consider when nominating a replacement for the Supreme Court, against the advice of the Senate. “[T]he person I appoint will be someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law,” Obama trolled. But Obama is doing just the opposite as he is considering Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to be the top court’s ninth justice.

NBC News describes Sandoval a centrist (implying that he’s a compromise between left and right ideologies), but he approaches the Constitution with a whiff of liberalism. He supports abortion and he agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision to unilaterally redefine marriage in the country. Asked what Supreme Court justices he admired, Sandoval said he looks up to Sandra Day O'Connor, the Reagan nominee who later came out in support for abortion and proved, shall we say, an unreliable constitutionalist.

There is a difference between a nominee with a “R” before his or her name and a nominee who interprets the Constitution as a strict originalist, the way Antonin Scalia did. If Sandoval eventually becomes Obama’s pick, then the Left will have political ammunition to direct at the Senate. They’ll argue that the opposition to Obama and the gridlock is so hardened that the lawmakers won’t consider someone from their own party. Really, though, Senate Republicans are following a constitutional precedent going back decades and reinforced by this administrations’ own words.

> Update: Or never mind. Sandoval just took himself out of the running.

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