Trump’s list has drawn hoots and derision, but also a measure of concern. Associate Justice David Stras was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2010 by Minnesota’s Worst Governor Ever, Tim Pawlenty.
Ironically, much of Stras’ scholarship prior to joining the bench offered ideas to limit the power of the United States Supreme Court. Stras proposed creating a “golden parachute” for justices to encourage them to retire. He also proposed requiring justices to “ride circuit,” a practice abandoned more than a century ago whereby Supreme Court justices would spend much of their time traveling to various parts of the country to hear ordinary cases rather than focusing exclusively on the difficult and contentious cases that reach the Court in Washington, DC.
Stras has not been able to do a lot of mischief while on Minnesota’s top court, which has thankfully moved a little leftward since Gov. Mark Dayton has been making the picks. It’s tough to find much about Stras’s actual record; at least, it was for me, despite trying numerous search parameters and looking all the way to page 8 or 9 in some cases. A recent article notes that he would likely not be good for LGBT rights. This older one points out his limited qualifications, and the likelihood that he was wholly a political pick by Tea-Paw. And an article from this very blog does have specifics about his record prior to his elevation. (Like the Pawlenty article linked above, it’s from before we changed platforms, and I apologize for the crunched formatting. The reasoning from fact therein nonetheless remains entirely valid.)
Speaking of Trump, check this out, too. Hilarious.
Comment below fold.
From Mac Hall: Did you see the May 5th tweet from Norm Coleman : “I’m a stranger in a strange land this election – facing a choice of 4 more years of division and weakness- or 4 new years of division& anger.”
So how does a Donald Trump reach out to American Action Network’s CEO to get his support ?
Well, guess who was an early supporter of David Stras … long before he was on Trump’s shortlist ? Did you guess Norm Coleman ?
What I found interesting about the list is the number of candidates whose “past life” was clerking for a Supreme Court Justice (Stras clerked for the Honorable Clarence Thomas) and a Member of the Federalist Society (fun fact — shortlist candidates Joan Larson and Stras held a joint talk to the Society in 2015).
Would David Stras make a “good” Supreme Court Justice ? I don’t know, but the question should be “Why does Donald Trump think so?” … ‘cause my guess is that neither Donald Trump nor anyone outside of the Minnesota legal community had ever heard of Justice Stras before his name was announced.
That should be the concern … who is telling Donald Trump — “this is the guy” … right now it appears to be the “dealmaker” is just trying to appease the Washington Powerbrokers (Coleman) and willing to let them decide who gets appointed to federal courts.
If anything at least Trump didn’t list Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley on his shortlist (she wrote a column in which she equated birth control with murder and Trump has stated that women who get abortions need to be punished).