Rice political scientists available to discuss President Obamas Supreme Court pick

first_imgShare2Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsEXPERT ALERTDavid [email protected] [email protected] political scientists available to discuss President Obama’s Supreme Court pickHOUSTON – (March 16, 2016) – President Barack Obama announced U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Rice University political scientists Paul Brace and Mark Jones are available to share their insight on this choice.Paul Brace (Photo credit: Rice University)Brace, the Clarence L. Carter Professor of Political Science, called Obama’s selection a surprising choice but one with strategic implications.“With Judge Garland being on the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals, both Democrats and Republicans have had a lot of experience with him,” Brace said. “I don’t think it’s coincidental that this announcement has been made the morning after Donald Trump had a very good night. Republicans who promised to block any nomination by the president now realize they may be reserving that choice for Trump or (Hillary) Clinton. This is a moderate choice, and one that they would vastly prefer to one by Clinton or Trump at the beginning of their administration.”Mark Jones (Photo credit: Rice University)Jones, a professor of political science and a fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Kinder Institute for Urban research, said Garland has a reputation as a centrist but left-leaning justice.“He will definitely not be a justice cut from the same cloth as the late Justice Antonin Scalia,” Jones said. “At the same time, he is not going to be like Justice Sonia Sotomayor or Justice Elena Kagan in that he has a centrist or moderate profile.”Jones said that Senate Republicans committed a strategic error immediately after Scalia’s passing by refusing to even consider any nominee presented by Obama.“President Obama had three choices,” Jones said. “He could have not nominated anyone and given into the Republican senators or he could have nominated a liberal justice and made it easy for the Republicans not to consider his nominee. However, he has chosen the tactic to make it most difficult for the Senate Republicans to continue with their intransigent position of not considering any nominees by nominating someone who is seen as a consensus candidate, not a die-hard liberal. In fact, there are many quotes from Senate Republicans that are laudatory of Judge Garland.”Jones said that without question, the Senate Republicans’ resolve to refuse to consider any nominee from Obama will be tested.“The Republicans will be watching the presidential nomination process closely,” Jones said. “The better Trump does, the less likely it is that Republicans will control the Senate, let alone the presidency. This means that someone like Judge Garland may look very good to many Senate Republicans in part because they believe they may get a more liberal justice if they wait until January with Hillary Clinton in the White House and a Democratic majority in the Senate.”Brace is an expert on American politics. He has published widely, primarily in the areas of state politics and judicial decision-making. He is the author of “State Government and Economic Performance,” co-author of “Follow the Leader: Opinion Polls and the Modern Presidents” and co-editor of “Change and Continuity in American State and Local Government” and “The Presidency in American Politics.” His recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science and Political Research Quarterly. The National Science Foundation funds his current research on strategic behavior in state supreme courts. Brace also serves on the Council of the Midwest Political Science Association. To speak with Brace, contact him directly at 832-628-5285.Jones is a leading expert on Texas and American politics. He has been quoted nationally about the 2016 presidential race and other issues in Texas and American politics. To speak with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535.Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.-30-For more information, please contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or [email protected] news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Jones in the news:Houston Chronicle: Ted Cruz celebrates primary wins in Houston area.Univision: Texas le da oxígeno a la campaña de Ted CruzVoice of America: Republican Party faces sharp divisions Brace in the news:Bloomberg Politics: Paul Ryan’s House agenda upended by Trump, Cruz dominanceRelated materials:Mark Jones photo: http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/09/mark-jones.jpgMark Jones biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/Mark Jones Twitter handle: @MarkPJonesTXPaul Brace photo: http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/01/Paul-Brace-1i4pyra.jpgPaul Brace biography: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~pbrace.Photo credits: Rice UniversityLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceUniversity. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more