May 26, 2009
Disputations: The Real Threat of EMP
To The Editor: I was shocked to read Michael Crowley’s “The Newt Bomb” (June 3). It is a disservice to TNR readers and unworthy of its reputation for political commentary based upon solid journalism. TNR readers should wonder as I do why Mr. Crowley failed to report that “The United States is highly vulnerable to attack with weapons designed to produce electromagnetic pulse [EMP] effects” according to a key finding in the final report, “America’s Strategic Posture,” by the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States chaired by William J.
The Battle Ahead
The White House has just announced Sonia Sotomayor as its Supreme Court nominee. The Senate Judiciary Committee will likely hold hearings in the third week of July, permitting written committee questions the following week and a floor vote before Congress leaves for its summer recess on the weekend of August 8.
Diversity On The High Court
Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, grew up near Ebbets Field, lives near Fenway Park, and has always hated the Yankees. President Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor to serve as a justice marks an important step toward a more diverse and representative Supreme Court. We have had a Justice from Brooklyn (Ginsburg) and one from Queens (Scalia). Now, finally, we have one from the Bronx!
Randall Kennedy is a regular TNR contributor and the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. I admire Judge Sotomayor and applaud President Obama for nominating her. She has built a distinguished career as a prosecutor, a private attorney, a trial court judge, and an appellate judge.
Who's Next In North Korea?
While we don't ultimately know what prompted North Korea's nuclear test, we do know that Kim Jong-Il was hospitalized last fall, and that he is maneuvering to appoint a successor. Last September, TNR reviewed Kim's options: Of Mr. Kim's four children from three mothers, his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, is thought to be his favorite, but being only 24 and third in line, it would seem very difficult to jump two sons in the succession.
Why Sotomayor Is Such A Good Pick
Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean and a distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law President Obama's choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is brilliant politically, but even more importantly, terrific for the Supreme Court and the future of constitutional law. Everything that is known about her indicates that she will be an easy confirmation and an outstanding justice. From a political perspective, a Supreme Court nomination can be treacherous, as presidents need to please their political base without risking undue political capital over a confirmation fight.
The Sotomayor Nomination
Of course, Judge Sotomayor should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. She obviously wasn't my first choice, for reasons I reported three weeks ago, having mostly to do with concerns about her temperament reported to me by former clerks and New York prosecutors.
The "harriet Miers" Meme
Both Curt Levey and Ramesh Ponnuru are arguing that Sotomayor is to Obama as Harriet Miers was to George W. Bush. The obvious insinuation here is that, like Miers, Sotomayor is an intellectual lightweight. But despite what's been written and said about Sotomayor on that score, I think it's going to be much tougher to make that case against her than it was against Miers.
How Geithner Restored Confidence...
...in the Treasury Department. Mike Allen and Eamon Javers have some details in a Politico story today: They [Geithner's advisers] decided to “let Tim be Tim” and accepted the fact that his strength wasn’t giving a speech in front of a bunch of flags. Rather, they let reporters see him in off-camera, pen-and-pad settings, where he fielded questions with the confidence that his staff saw behind the scenes. He aced an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, thriving in a relaxed setting where he could explain issues at length.
The Battle Ahead
Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. He is the founder of SCOTUSblog. The White House has just announced Sonia Sotomayor as its Supreme Court nominee.