Sunday, November 20, 2016

WHO WILL TRUMP PICK TO REPLACE SCALIA? Tim Alberta on National Review indicates the choice is down to Diane Sykes or William “Bill” Pryor:
– Pryor isn’t just regarded as a brilliant legal mind; he is viewed as the most rock-ribbed conservative of any potential Supreme Court appointee. His ideological mooring makes him hugely appealing to elements of the conservative movement who have felt betrayed by Chief Justice John Roberts and are looking for the next Republican nominee to be an absolute slam-dunk. Pryor would certainly be that: He famously once ended a prayer by saying, “Please, God, no more Souters.” But there’s a downside to Pryor’s staunch conservatism: He could prove exceedingly difficult to confirm. There’s a reason Bush used a recess appointment to get Pryor on the appellate court back in 2004: Senate Democrats initially refused to confirm him, horrified that he had once equated same-sex relations with beastiality and had separately called the Roe v. Wade decision “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.” Pryor stood by those comments during his hearings and was eventually confirmed in 2005. That unflinching approach, while attractive to conservatives, could make for an unnecessarily messy confirmation.

– Sykes is considered to be every bit as conservative as Pryor, but is less controversial and would therefore offer a much smoother confirmation process. She also is — quite obviously – a woman, and Republicans have been eager for decades to appoint a female Supreme Court justice. (The Harriet Miers fiasco still haunts many GOP establishment types.) Allies of Sykes say it would prove especially difficult for Democrats to oppose her: She’s a 58-year-old single mother who hails from the heartland. (She attended Marquette Law School, which, for Republicans, would represent a refreshing break from the procession of Ivy League-educated nominees for the high court.) While Sykes is widely viewed as the safer bet for breezy Senate confirmation, there are slight concerns about her divorce from conservative radio personality Charlie Sykes. The two are said to be on very good terms, but any marital difficulty — and the accompanying public records – can invite unwanted gossip and rumor-mongering.

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