All the Latest SCOTUS Scuttlebutt

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RUSH: There is a new name — well, it’s not a new name. It’s a new name in the general thrust of things in terms of Supreme Court nominees that Trump could choose. It’s Raymond Kethledge. Last week the names everybody was focusing on, paying attention to, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

By the way, because of some of the reporting on Kavanaugh, there is an entire PR movement that has now been ginned up to defend Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, the stuff going around about Kavanaugh last week was — look. Do not doubt, folks, that all of these people — we think of judges and potential judicial nominees as very reserved, very quiet, very sober, very soft-spoken, very background, very unobtrusive individuals, and they don’t like any of this political fray. They don’t like getting anywhere near it. They prefer to be invisible, not be noticed.

Don’t kid yourself. When a Supreme Court nomination comes up, they all have organizations out there lobbying for ’em. They’ve got organizations pushing news stories about them to elevate their public profile and whatever it is about them that they want people to know — their achievements, their accomplishments. But this idea that, “Judges pay no attention to elections, and judges are way, way, way in the back. No, no, no. Judges would not dare, not dare climb off their lofty perch and descend into the meat grinder of politics. It wouldn’t happen.”

BS. They’re all in there. And there was a movement last week on the pro-Kavanaugh side. I’m not saying he was behind it. You know, Kavanaugh, it was reported that he provided the framework for Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts to rewrite the Obamacare statute to make it constitutional and that Kavanaugh found the mandate, the personal mandate entirely legal. Well, it was probably somebody in the anti-Kavanaugh camp that put that out and the media picked that up and ran it.

And so the pro-Kavanaugh people have their stash out now reacting to that and trying to refute that with news stories and citations of experts who claim that Kavanaugh, for example, the most eminently qualified potential conservative judge ever. And, of course, Amy Coney Barrett has similar operations on her behalf. I’m not being critical of that; I’m just saying it happens even at this level.

Well, the new name that’s shown up is — how many of you had heard of Neil Gorsuch when Trump nominated him, or in the days leading up to Gorsuch’s nomination and you first heard his name, how many of you, “Oh, yeah. Neil Gorsuch. Yeah.” How many of you knew who he was? I would venture to say that not very many.

And Raymond Kethledge is probably the same. I mean, by now, people paying attention know Kavanaugh and they know Amy Coney Barrett. But now when you hear Raymond Kethledge’s name, who? Which, by the way, could be a plus this guy, Kethledge, does not have an Ivy League pedigree. This guy comes from Michigan. This guy writes his own opinions. He doesn’t farm them out to law clerks.

Did you know that, by the way, folks? Did you know that many judges, not all, not all, but many judges, including those on the Supreme Court, assign the writing of opinions to the clerks? That’s why clerks or judicial nominees who have clerked, it’s a huge leg up. It is a huge additional qualifier. And Kethledge clerked for Anthony Kennedy. So his is a name that is entering the public fray late, although he’s always been on the list. He’s always been on the list of 25.

Now, in the scuttlebutt of invisible PR that is being bandied about to either harm or hurt some of these nominees, as I best am able to detect, the anti-Amy Barrett Coney faction is out saying, “Yeah, she checks every box, yeah, she’s exactly right, but don’t know. She’s a woman and she’s gonna get ripped to shreds. And, besides what if Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires, you’ve got to nominate a woman to replace her, so don’t use a woman –“

People like me are being inundated each and every day by advocates and opponents of all these nominees. It’s happening. Which is fine. I’m not being critical of it. Just cluing you in.

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RUSH: Hi Smokey in Coronado, California. Hi, Smokey. Great to have you with us. Hi, Smokey. How you doing?

CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I think everybody recognizes that Joe Biden with his Biden rule helped get Neil Gorsuch on the bench. I think it’s also interesting, Joe Biden is also instrumental in this next pick, because what Joe Biden did in 1987 as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he actively participated in the Borking of Robert Bork and, sad to say, Mr. Bork died in 2012. But had they had Bork nominated and confirmed, Obama would have nominated a replacement for him. So in a way I think it’s some karma and poetic justice years and years later that Joe Biden can now take credit for another Republican —

RUSH: Well, let me tell you, since you’re thinking about it this way, I’ll give you another bit of karma. Do you know how many Democrats are wishing that Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg had retired when Obama was president? Do you know how many Democrats running around cursing Ruth? I know, they all thought Hillary was gonna win. Look at how much they think is gonna happen doesn’t anymore. They all thought Hillary was gonna win. So the fact that Ruth “Buzzi” was gonna try to set records and stay on there, that’s fine and dandy.

But now Trump wins. If Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg had retired when Obama was president, he could have appointed her replacement, and that seat, we’d be looking at it being untouchable for 30, 40 years, 25, whatever, the life expectancy of whoever would have replaced her. But now the odds are — and we say this with great pain, I mean, do not misunderstand — the odds are that Trump will be nominating a replacement, especially if he wins the second term, the odds are pretty good.

I fully expect Ruth “Buzzi” to hang on as long as she can for this very reason. And they are still all over Anthony Kennedy. I mean, he’s the biggest reprobate in the history of the world. They loved him when he found for gay marriage and transgender bathrooms, but they hate the guy now. They’re calling him a disgrace to America, that he shoulda not resigned. No judge should resign while Trump’s president.

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RUSH: Okay. I owe you this. A little description of Raymond Kethledge and how he differs from Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The primary way he differs, other than judicial rulings — and he’s on par with all — he’s on the list, he’s on the list of 25, he’s on the short list for Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, so in terms of his judicial jurisprudence, respect for original intent, flying colors.

The guy is said to be as accomplished and reliable as Gorsuch, as smart, writes his own opinions. Many judges farm that out to clerks. He’s clerked for Kennedy as well. He is not from the Northeast. He’s not a Ivy Leaguer. Midwesterner. Clerked for Kennedy. I think he traces to the University of Michigan. Yeah. Graduate of Michigan. Currently serves on the Sixth Circuit.

In addition, this guy, like Scalia, is a hunter and a fisherman, something that Ivy League people don’t do. You know, when John Kerry went into a place in Ohio, he wanted to try to show during the 2004 campaign that he was an active NRA — he knew guns and stuff, he knew hunting. So he walked into someplace looking like the Johnny Carson character, he was parodying duck hunters in Mississippi. And John Kerry walks into this place in Ohio, bait and tackle shop, essentially, “Is this where I get me a huntin’ license?”

Is this where I get me a huntin’? So John Kerry, thinking that’s how people speak who hunt and fish, walks in there decked out like an idiot carrying his shotgun? “Is this where I get me a huntin”?” ’cause he wanted to show that he could relate. Well, Raymond Kethledge does this. He is a hunter. He is a fisherman. And, I mean, putting a guy from the Midwest on the Supreme Court? I mean, that’s got a lot of pluses to it.

There’s another plus, too, to Kethledge. And this would apply to Kavanaugh as well, is that if you put a woman in this seat, she may become an even bigger target because she’ll be considered a traitor. Like Clarence Thomas was considered a traitor the civil rights causes because he was a conservative black, and he was taking a seat that had been held by Thurgood Marshall, so the left think they owned it. They thought that was a black liberal seat on the Supreme Court.

Here comes George Bush promoting Thomas and you know what happened to him. Well, it is thought that same thing might happen if it’s Amy Barrett, that she’s gonna just get raked across the coals. She’s got too many kids, she’s Catholic, she goes to Notre Dame, oh, all these strikes. Plus she’s a traitor. She is a female conservative who might have problems with the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade. And the thinking is that the Democrats on the committee and in the media would try to destroy her even more than they would try to destroy a guy.

The other thinking is Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg at some point, if Trump has the responsibility of filling that seat, then that’s being held by a woman, makes sense to appoint another woman. I mean, that’s just how political correctness works. Trump could throw all this out and just do what he wants.

But grab audio sound bite 5 and 6. This is Tuesday night, Shannon Bream’s show on the Fox News Channel. She had Andy McCarthy and Julian Epstein, who was one of the legal beagles defending Clinton during the Ken Starr investigation back during that Lewinsky saga. And she played a sound bite of me for these guys to respond to.

BREAM: It was one testy exchange with Senator Dianne Feinstein that raised Barrett’s popularity with religious conservatives, and, according to Rush Limbaugh, exposed the left’s real worry about her.

RUSH ARCHIVE: When you read your speeches, Barrett, the conclusion one draws is that the Catholic dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, meaning there’s a bunch of us that don’t like Christians, and we’ve been working really hard to take this country away from you. And you’re gonna stop us from getting away with taking the country away from you. That’s what Dianne Feinstein means here.

RUSH: Ah, that’s my opinion, but when Dianne Feinstein says, “the dogma lives loudly within,” she was talking about her Catholic beliefs, her Catholicism, as though DiFi’s Judaism doesn’t define her, doesn’t live loudly with her, she’s a devoted Jewish person. And then when she said “large numbers of people have fought,” she’s talking about the American left, who don’t like the history of majority Christianity having founded and directed and led this country. So Shannon Bream says to Andy McCarthy, “Thinking about this idea what Rush was talking about, do you think this will be about Amy Barrett’s credentials, or will it be about her beliefs?”

MCCARTHY: I sure hope it’s about her credentials. What’s really dismaying about this whole discussion is when you look at these candidates, one after another, they’re simply excellent lawyers. You could almost throw a dart at this list and come up with a superb lawyer. And it’s a shame that we’re so immersed in the politics of this that the sheer excellence in terms of legal craftsmanship of these lawyers is overlooked by what people want to project onto what they imagine their personal proclivities might be.

RUSH: I think it’s worse than that. I think it is because they are excellent lawyers that Dianne Feinstein and the others want to destroy ’em! ‘Cause McCarthy’s right. Everybody on Trump’s list of 25 is a superb jurist. There’s nobody on that list that any serious person would have a problem with. Some of them may have, you know, had an opinion here or there that might give one pause on this case or that, but they are brilliant and excellent lawyers. And they respect the Constitution. That is exactly what scares them. The fact that they are excellent lawyers.

The left would love to have people that aren’t even good lawyers, and I can name a couple of ’em that are on the court right now. But they are reliable liberal activist votes. And that’s what the left wants. You trying to tell me that Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are great lawyers? Sorry. Not in the terms we’re talking about here. But they are reliable liberal activist votes. And anybody who’s not gonna be a liberal activist on the Supreme Court is gonna come under extreme fire. And the fact that they are all great, tremendous lawyers is exactly what’s being attacked.

But they can’t attack ’em for that. Like Chuck Schumer can’t sit up there and these others and they can’t say, “You’re too good a lawyer to be on the court. You’re too smart to be on the court. You know, we can’t beat you intellectually.” So what they’re saying is, “You’re Catholic. You’re religious. You’re gonna bring your religious views and you’re gonna impose your religious views on the country.

To which a nominee could say, “Oh, you mean like you and your judges impose their liberal views on the country?” But a nominee wouldn’t say that. But this is precisely what it is. It’s exactly because they are great lawyers that the left is scared to death of ’em. Now, for what it’s worth, here’s Julian Epstein weighing in.

EPSTEIN: I think it’s a straw man to make the argument that she’s being attacked because of her religion. That’s not what she’s being attacked for. She’s being attacked for suggestions that she’s made that her faith in Catholicism should come before her faith in the Constitution. I think she’s out there far more on abortion. The problem for Trump is be careful what you wish for. If you look at the polling data, it shows that many of his voters came out and voted for him because of his pronouncements on the Supreme Court. The problem is two-thirds of the American public, both the Politico poll, NBC poll, and other polls, do not want this nominee to overturn Roe v. Wade. This may be very, very bad politics.

RUSH: You know, this singularly focus on Roe v. Wade, there’s no guarantee it’s gonna happen anyway. I can’t believe, I really can’t, the number of so-called learned analysts who think — and I’m not even talking about Jeffrey Toobin, “Oh, no, Roe v. Wade, it’s over, the end of the world.” I don’t even think that. There has to be a case. The court has to agree to take the case. The case will not be on abortion. It will be on whether Roe v. Wade itself as law is constitutional, which it isn’t.

Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion does not automatically become illegal. States immediately are gonna pass laws to make it — All of this, that’s the straw dog. And so is this silly polling data, two-thirds the American people don’t want it overturned? I don’t buy that at all. Not for a minute.

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RUSH: Of course, there is one thing that could totally turn abortion law upside down. You know what it is? If the baby in the womb is ever decided to have civil rights. If some judge or if some court comes along and agrees with the premise that a fetus in the womb at certain stage has civil rights, and don’t think that there aren’t people thinking about taking it in that direction should things eventuate.

You’ve got some really committed people on this on the life side. And, by the way, the left knows all of that. The reason they are so panicked over this is they know Roe v. Wade is bad law. They know that it’s not really constitutional. Without some misguided leftist majority, it won’t survive a challenge. It’s not good law.

I mean, we should get into this at some point. The way it happened — it could be about any subject, abortion, anything else — it’s bad law. And it became bad law because of political preferences. The left knows all that. They know how precariously balanced this is. So that’s why the full-fledged abject panic.

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RUSH: Steve in Seattle. Glad you called, sir. What’s happening?

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thank you very much for taking my call. Look, I only got a minute so I’m gonna start with my second point first. This Independence Day week, what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks is some really good news for the conservative side of things.

I want to note here right now that your efforts over the years doing what you were born to do has, in large part, brought us to the point where we can in fact elect a man like Donald Trump. Granted, Obama’s efforts did the same thing. But don’t forget what you’ve done for this country over the years.

Secondly, I’d simply like to say that it seems to me that this Roe v. Wade issue is being tabled by the left so as to galvanize use the left and to bring perhaps the right wing establishment in on it to table issue so that other things cannot be discussed. What do you think?

RUSH: You mean not table it, but make it paramount so that nothing else is discussed about qualifications of these nominees? Is that what you mean?

CALLER: Yes, sir.

RUSH: I don’t doubt for a minute that the left is gonna do everything it can, the Democrats are gonna do everything they can to make sure this all happens during the campaign. Because they’re gonna tag every one of these nominees as anti-women, an architect of the War on Women. They’re gonna do everything they can to defeat this nomination and use it to turn out voters in the election.

Whether they succeed at that is another thing. I don’t think they still know who they’re dealing with in Trump, but, yeah. Brilliant observation, both of your points, really brilliant.

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