March 13, 2013

Scalia’s B-day Brings Warren Court Worries

In an op-ed at, CFJ president Curt Levey writes that Justice Scalia’s 77th birthday this week is “a reminder of the all too likely prospect that President Obama will pick a successor for Scalia or his colleague Anthony Kennedy, who turns 77 in July.” Levey explains that
“Conservatives can hope that Scalia and his four center-right colleagues will all outlast President Obama, but a probabilistic analysis suggests otherwise. Obama will likely replace at least one of the five, with the resulting liberal majority wrenching the Court to the left on issues ranging from gay marriage and religious liberty to immigration, racial preferences, voter ID laws, and the death penalty.”
In other words, we’ll see a Warren Court redux (literally if Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a liberal darling and ex-Harvard Law professor, were to be President Obama’s pick).  The op-ed warns that
“[A]ll that stands in the way of this legal Armageddon for conservatives is fortune and the 45 Republicans in the Senate. … [C]onservatives should demand a level of opposition from GOP senators, in the face of a predictably liberal nominee, that is commensurate with the threat of a reborn Warren Court. … [A] filibuster – or Republican resolve to use one if necessary – may be the only viable way for the party to ensure that a center-right vacancy is filled by a moderate.”
Levey concludes that “Educating and unifying GOP senators around the likely prospect of a new Warren Court is a long-term project. … Conservatives need to wake up now if the project is to be successful.”