John Yoo Is Willing To Write Off SCOTUS Rather Than Risk A Trump Presidency

FILE - In this June 26, 2008 file photo, John Yoo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and Yoo face the rare prospect of being held personally liable for alleged violations o... FILE - In this June 26, 2008 file photo, John Yoo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and Yoo face the rare prospect of being held personally liable for alleged violations of individuals' rights in the aggressive aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) MORE LESS
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John Yoo — a conservative lawyer and a George W. Bush administration alum who authored the so-called “torture memos” — warned in an Los Angeles Times op-ed Tuesday that Donald Trump’s promise to appoint conservative judges is not enough of a reason to support him. Yoo said the concerns raised about Trump’s foreign policy proposals outweighed his vows on judicial appointments.

“While he is shaking up the world, Trump will also nominate conservatives to the federal courts — or so he says. But no one should rely on his vague promises,” Yoo wrote. “He has already flip-flopped on numerous core issues, such as the minimum wage, tax rates and entitlement reform. Even when he announced his list of judges in May, Trump would not be pinned down.”

Yoo cited the comments Trump has made suggesting he doesn’t understand basic facts about the U.S. legal system. He argued that, even if Trump did name conservative nominees, he would face obstacles pushing them through the Senate.

“Trump’s outbursts won’t persuade the Senate to embrace more conservative nominees, where Reagan’s sunny optimism and George H.W. Bush’s patrician decency failed,” Yoo wrote.

Yoo is not the only conservative legal scholar to express wariness over Trump’s claim that Supreme Court appointments are enough of a reason to back him.

Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, told Huffington Post that “there’s a lot of uncertainty.”

“How hard would Trump push to get a nominee confirmed? What would he do if his first choice were rejected? Would he make a ‘fabulous deal’ to trade judicial appointments for other priorities?” Shapiro said.

Shapiro’s concerns were echoed by Richard Epstein — a Hoover Institution Fellow and professor at both New York University School of Law and the University of Chicago Law School — who told HuffPo that supporting Trump on basis of judicial nominees rested “on the questionable assumption that a man of his mercurial temperament and intellectual ignorance will keep to his word.”

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  1. When I saw the headline, I thought that maybe the torturers’ apologist was standing up for the principle of law against the barbarian. But his real complaint is that he doesn’t think Trumpf would appoint judges who are reactionary enough.

  2. Avatar for meri meri says:

    If we’re really lucky, Hillary has a mean streak and a sense of irony that will lead her to order Yoo tortured, using his own writings to justify it.

  3. When he starts to lose Yoo, you knew, Trump was in deep doo-doo.

  4. This guy is another monster, in a long list of monsters, of the Dubya presidency. I care nothing about what he has to say…about anything…ever.

  5. Guy is evil. no question. But if he costs Trump one vote, I will take it.

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