Presidential administrations tend to attract attention for what commentators think they should have done better rather than for they think they have done well. That is unfortunate, and we should not hesitate to compliment presidents for their achievements as well as their oversights.
Liberals fret that there'd be a backlash if the Supreme Court established a right to same-sex marriage. Here's why they shouldn't worry too much.
It might be time not just to rely on law schools to change themselves, but to encourage or even require them to change.
When I was 18, I met ESPN announcer Dick Vitale on a flight to Charlottesville, Virginia. The photo I had taken with him that day is still, years later, proudly displayed in my apartment. The reason is simple: I absolutely, unapologetically love Dick Vitale. It’s safe to say that many, maybe even most, sports fans would deem this opinion crazy.
In late 2010, before the midterm elections, a few thousand people across the United States went online to learn some surprising news. The Supreme Court, they were informed, had recently issued a decision guaranteeing a constitutional right to gay marriage.
If there is one thing everyone can agree on after last week's midterm elections, it is that we are entering a new age of politics. But that new age might be defined less by whether our government is led by Democrats or Republicans than by the fact that an increasing number of seats in Congress—and the House in particular—are more competitive than in recent times.
Last month, the Senate voted to confirm Judge David Hamilton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Getting a judge confirmed is always a good thing for a president. But it's hard to view what happened to Hamilton as a victory for Obama. In fact, if anything, the episode suggests that the president's approach to nominating federal appellate judges is seriously misguided. Back in September, The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin reported that the administration nominated Hamilton in order to show that it was taking a new, post-partisan approach to judicial appointments.
Attention was understandably focused on Sonia Sotomayor this week, as her confirmation hearings unfolded. But what about Obama's other judicial nominees? The president has so far nominated five judges to federal circuit courts. On average, these nominees are 55 years old, more than a decade older than Sotomayor was when she was nominated to the Second Circuit. (She was 43.) For years, Republicans have been nominating sharp young conservatives to the lower federal courts.