Sununu’s Supreme Court Pick – Even Worse Than We Feared

I previously posted about Governor Sunna’s nomination of Bobbie Hantz Marconi to the New Hampshire Supreme Court here and here.  In brief, I was of the opinion that Sununu was playing identity-politics along the lines President George W. Bush played when he nominated Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court because Marconi has no experience in or interest in constitutional law.

I truly hate to say I told you so, given how rare and crucial supreme court appointments are, but I told you so

At Marconi’s hearing, per New Hampshire Public Radio:

On guns, Hantz told the Executive Council she believed the Second Amendment was a collective and individual right, but also said she wasn’t familiar with the particulars of the Heller decision.

That ruling struck down a Washington D.C. handgun ban and spelled out an individual’s right to possess a firearm.

Hantz’s view that the Second Amendment is both a “collective” and an individual right sounds like an attempt to please both sides of the debate, rather than something she has given much, if any, thought to or studied.

If the Second Amendment is a “collective right,” that is, a right of the State -that cannot be abridged by the federal government- to maintain its own military force, then the State in the exercise of that right could regulate the ownership and use of guns by its citizens up to and including banning private gun ownership altogether.  In other words, it is one or the other.  The Second Amendment cannot simultaneously be a right of the State to maintain its own independent military force and a right of its citizens to bear arms because the two rights are inconsistent with each other.

More troubling is that Marconi has not read the Heller decision.  In the words of thankfully departed John Boenher, “are you kidding me”?

Heller, in the opinion of many constitutional scholars, was one of the most important United States Supreme Court decisions ever issued.  It remains extremely relevant as the parameters of the decision continue to be defined by lower courts.  To have never read Heller, or to only have read it cursorily, shows a stunning lack of interest in constitutional law.

I am sure that Marconi is a wonderful person and very competent in the areas of law she practices, but she does not belong on New Hampshire’s supreme court.

What is perhaps even more troubling is that Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, who waged a scorched earth campaign to prevent Frank Edelblut from becoming commissioner of the Department of Education because he believed Edelblut would not continue bureaucratic business as usual, voted for Marconi.  Rest assured that if Mr. #VolinskyAgenda believed that Marconi were a judicial conservative (that is a judge who does not rule based on political considerations) who would oppose and expose judicial activism he not only would have voted against her, he would have tried to “Bork” her like he tried to “Bork” Edelblut.

In short, Sununu appears to have wasted a Supreme Court pick in order to avoid a fight with Volinsky and/or appear “bipartisan,” and/or appease the New Hampshire Bar and the GOP establishment.

Questions the GOP Executive Councilors Should Ask Harriet Miers, er Bobbie Hantz Marconi, But Won’t

I previously posted about Governor Sununu’s nomination of Bobbie Hantz Marconi to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, likening it to President George W. Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers.

The Executive Council, which must confirm the nomination, will hold a “public hearing” on the nomination.  Unlike hearings before the United States Senate, where a finite number of witnesses are called by each Party, the “public hearing” held by the Executive Council allows any member of the public to speak.

This makes hearings on judicial nominees before the Executive Council essentially a farce.  Judges should not be nominated based on their popularity with the public, but based upon criteria I discussed in a prior post: (1) Judicial Philosophy (2) Intellectual capacity (3) Experience (4) Integrity and (5) Demeanor.

Here are two questions the GOP Executive Councilors should ask the nominee, but probably won’t. Continue reading

Chris Sununu Has His Harriet Miers Moment

Remember Harriet Miers?  She was President George W. Bush’s choice to fill the United States Supreme Court vacancy left by Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement.  Here’s what the late Judge Robert Bork had to say about Miers back in 2005:

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Are you impressed by the president’s choice of Harriet Miers?

JUDGE ROBERT BORK, FORMER SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Not a bit.  I think it’s a disaster on every level.

CARLSON: Why?  Explain the levels on which it’s a disaster.

BORK: Well, the first one is, that this is a woman who’s undoubtedly as wonderful a person as they say she is, but so far as anyone can tell she has no experience with constitutional law whatever.  Now it’s a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you’re on the court already.  So that—I’m afraid she’s likely to be influenced by factors, such as personal sympathies and so forth, that she shouldn’t be influenced by.  I don’t expect that she can be, as the president says, a great justice.

But the other level is more worrisome, in  a way:  it’s kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives who’ve been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years.  There’s all kinds of people, now, on the federal bench and some in the law schools who have worked out consistent philosophies of sticking with the original principles of the Constitution.  And all of those people have been overlooked. …

The same concerns raised by Bork apply to Governor Chris Sununu’s nomination of “Bobbie” Hantz Marconi to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Continue reading