People For the American Way

Who Would Be on the Romney Court?

The ABA Journal has an article on how the Supreme Court will essentially be on the ballot in the upcoming presidential election and mentioning some of those thought most likely to be nominated to the nation’s highest court by a re-elected President Obama or by Mitt Romney. Obama has an excellent track record, having nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. But the names mentioned for Romney ominously echo his promise to name justices in the mold Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Roberts. They are also young, which would allow them to reshape our nation’s law for decades.

Topping the list is Paul Clement, a member of the Federalist Society who House Republicans turned to when they wanted to defend the constitutionality of the notorious Defense of Marriage Act. As a member of the Bush Administration, he vigorously defended Bush’s assertions of extraordinary executive authority before the Supreme Court. More recently, he urged the Supreme Court to adopt a severely cramped vision of congressional authority and strike down the Affordable Care Act. The American people’s constitutional right to be free from discrimination, to be free from arbitrary executive power, and to craft national solutions to national problems could be significantly undercut by a Justice Clement.

Some of the other people listed, due to their fealty to right-wing extremism, were nominated to circuit courts by George W. Bush. Those include Brett Kavanaugh (now on the DC Circuit), Jeffrey Sutton (now on the Sixth Circuit), Michael McConnell (resigned from the Tenth Circuit) and Miguel Estrada (failed nominee for the DC Circuit). These nominations were vigorously opposed by PFAW and other groups concerned about protecting the integrity of the federal courts and the basic rights of the American people.

The extremism of the people on the list is the reason the right-wing is so eager to see them elevated to the Supreme Court, turning it into the Romney Court. That would solidify the arch-conservative majority that has already done so much damage to the rights of Americans.


Brett Kavanaugh, Election 2012, Jeffrey Sutton, Michael McConnell, Miguel Estrada, Mitt Romney, Paul Clement, Romney Court, Supreme Court