Strategy

Is This The Only Way To Block a Supreme Court Nominee For Being Gay?

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Even though the (latest of many) shortlist on potential Obama picks for Supreme Court nominees no longer includes the names of Kathleen Sullivan and Pam Karlan (who seem to be losing another race, too), it’s not conclusive that these gals are out of the running. In fact, nobody really knows who Obama has his sights set on. But let’s say, for arguments sake, Obama does pick either of these openly gay judges. Could conservative Republicans successfully get them blocked just for being gay?

Slate‘s Emily Bazelon thinks there’s only one real, despicable way: “If the Republicans could point to a looming showdown in the federal courts over a national right to gay marriage and tie the nominee to it, they might have a wedge-issue winner. But same-sex marriage supporters have been taking their fight to fusty states like Iowa and Maine, not the U.S. Supreme Court. And no one on the short list has a public record of jumping up and down for court-ordered gay marriage, as far as we know. When Obama nominated Elena Kagan as solicitor general in January, some Republicans opposed her based on Kagan’s support, as Harvard Law School dean, for a suit that sought to keep military recruiters off campus because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Kagan did say she backed the suit—but her law school didn’t join it. She was confirmed to her current post by a vote of 61-31. How would the Republicans who voted for her to be solicitor general explain a no vote for her now?”

Well doesn’t that sound desperate.