Democrat Impeachment Scholar Pamela Karlan Too Left-Wing for Obama’s Supreme Court

Sanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan speaks at the American Constitution Society gat
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Democrats’ anti-Trump impeachment witness, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, was too-far left for former President Obama to consider her as a Supreme Court nominee.

Karlan, one of the three pro-impeachment legal scholars hand-picked by House Democrats, was reportedly too far-left to be considered as a viable Supreme Court nominee for Obama, according to a 2009 New York Times article detailing Obama’s search. 

The Times wrote:

Pamela S. Karlan is a champion of gay rights, criminal defendants’ rights and voting rights. She is considered brilliant, outspoken and, in her own words, ‘sort of snarky. To liberal supporters, she is an Antonin Scalia for the left.

The piece highlighted Karlan expressing her desire to serve on the Supreme Court but noted she did not expect it due to her outspoken far-left nature.

“Would I like to be on the Supreme Court?” the Times quoted her asking. “You bet I would. But not enough to have trimmed my sails for half a lifetime.”

The Times also pointed to the frustration of some within Obama’s left-wing base, who favored a more outspoken radical leftist for the Court:

While there are clear political advantages to Mr. Obama if the perception is that he has avoided an ideological choice, Ms. Karlan’s absence from his list of finalists has frustrated part of the president’s base, which hungers for a full-throated, unapologetic liberal torchbearer to counter conservatives like Justice Scalia.

“It’s quite likely the left is not going to get what it wants,” Scotusblog founder Thomas C. Goldstein told the Times, adding that “nobody is seriously talking about Pam Karlan.” He went on to say:

If you talk about somebody who’s a true liberal, a very strong progressive and a visionary architect of the law and jurisprudence, then you’re talking about somebody like Pam Karlan at Stanford. And nobody is seriously talking about Pam Karlan.

Obama successfully nominated two of the more “moderate” choices cited in the article to the Supreme Court –Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Karlan’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee reinforced the qualms over the radical professor.

During Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, Karlan invoked 13-year-old Barron Trump in an effort to attack the president.

“What comparisons, Professor Karlan, can we make between kings, that the framers were afraid of, and the president’s conduct today?” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked.

“So kings could do no wrong, because the king’s word was law. And contrary to what Trump has said, Article II does not give him the power to do anything he wants,” Karlan said.

She added:

And I’ll just give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.

House Judiciary Committee

Her mention of Barron prompted sharp criticism from the GOP and First Lady Melania Trump, who rarely weighs in on controversial political matters on social media.

“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” FLOTUS wrote on Twitter:

Karlan later offered her version of an “apology” but used it to, again, attack the president.

“I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that,” she said:

That was not her only display of blatant bias. In her opening statement, for example, she claimed she was “insulted” by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins’s (R-GA) purported assertion that she did not read the transcripts. However, he never accused her of not reading them, as Breitbart News noted.

Her display prompted additional flashbacks of the professor, who once admitted that she despised Trump so much that she walked on the other side of the street in order to avoid his hotel.

She said during a 2017 American Constitution Society panel discussion:

I came in from the airport yesterday and I got off the bus from Dulles down at L’Enfant Plaza and I walked up to the hotel and as I was walking past what used to be the old post office building and is now Trump hotel… I had to cross the street, of course.

During the same panel discussion, Karlan hyperbolically stated that Trump “has sexually assaulted more women than 99.99% of all of the people who have entered this country illegally.”


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