Obama Probably Won’t Nominate Cass Sunstein to Replace Stevens

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On Friday, John Paul Stevens, the oldest justice on the Supreme Court and the leader of its liberal wing, announced he would retire this summer. The news immediately fueled speculation that President Barack Obama might nominate his friend and former University of Chicago colleague Cass Sunstein to the vacant seat. Sunstein is currently serving as Obama’s regulatory czar.

Eric Posner, a colleague, told Slate that Sunstein is “the most important legal scholar of his generation.” That’s the problem: as a uniquely prolific and creative legal scholar, Sunstein comes with a lot of baggage. In 2009, Jonathan Stein reported on a big business front group’s effort to paint Sunstein as a “radical animal-rights activist.” We’re republishing that piece today. If Sunstein was getting this kind of flak when he was a nominee for an obscure regulatory position, imagine the controversy if he was nominated to the nation’s highest court. Anyway, read Jonathan’s piece.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate