October 22, 2004

The Next Justice(s)

Stuart Taylor has a run-down on possible nominees. This piece in The National Journal is better than the usual prospective nominees article. While most of the names are familiar, there are a few new ones, and Taylor offers brief but still somewhat detailed descriptions of their backgrounds, pluses and minuses.

Posted by armand at October 22, 2004 11:44 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Law and the Courts


Gah! Rehnquist is in the hospital with cancer!

Posted by: binky at October 25, 2004 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

So Joshua (or anyone else), are there any names on this list that you particularly like or dislike? Out of the Kerry list I'm most interested in Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit and Judge Diane Wood of the 7th Circuit - http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/wood-d/

I don't know much about Pete Benavides of the 5th (though I tend to see very positive adjectives used to modify references to him), but I'm also interested in him as a possible choice, and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Kathleen Sullivan and Walter Dellinger.

There isn't really a single name I'm happy with on the Bush list, though I guess relatively speaking Judge Roberts and Larry Thompson seem the least scary.

Posted by: Armand at October 26, 2004 08:57 AM | PERMALINK

geez oh man that's a big question. frankly, i see the potential for a long period of republican rule from which kerry might be a brief (if welcome) respite, so i've gotta like those candidates who are young, confirmable, and who have the best liberal credentials that can fly (which pretty much means white men are out; the diversity card will be huge in selling a liberal candidate to the public and thus to the senate).

by these indices, sotomayor is probably the best of the bunch. wood and sullivan also -- although wood might be the stronger of the two, given her international law and antitrust foci. dellinger is out; he's too old. benavides is maybe not out-of-hand out, but still, i'm not sure.

truth be told, an honest answer would require more research than i can do right now. but sotomayor is a superstar, and young, and brilliant. she gets my vote for the first opening in a kerry admin. trading -- say -- rehnquist for sotomayor would bring a tear to justice stevens' eye. and mine. and we need a good, long-term liberal on the court so that poor stevens can retire confident that his torch will be held high, even if his own seat is filled by someone more moderate (again, assuming a kerry presidency).

Posted by: joshua at October 26, 2004 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, it strikes me that there is going to be heavy pressure brought to bear for the next vacancy to go to an Hispanic, so ... Chief Justice Sotomayor has a great ring to it. And if the alternative is Chief Justice Garza (though I expected that if Rehnquist had retired in the 1st Bush term that Wilkinson would have been nominated to replace him) ... yikes!!!

Posted by: Armand at October 26, 2004 09:37 AM | PERMALINK

yeah, and that's why a liberal-under-the-cover-of-hispanic-background is crucial: just as the GOP tried to sell the Pickering (was it?) filibuster as an anti-catholic gesture, so will the senate minority democrats (assuming) be able to burn the GOP as anti-hispanic if they don't come up with really credible reasons to not confirm sotomayor . . . and i'm not sure there's enough ammo against her. just calling her a liberal won't carry the day. nor will calling her an activist (wilkinson, anyone?).

Posted by: joshua at October 26, 2004 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

of course, pronouncing "Madame Chief Justice Sotomay-OR" would baffle supreme court litigants for decades.

Posted by: joshua at October 26, 2004 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

If she'd give up the fucking Pirates of Penzance stripes on the robes, I would personally design a web-based pronunciation tutor for the confused.

Posted by: binky at October 26, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

now now binky, the stripes are Three-Penny Opera.

but yes, no stripes would be nice.

and just hope she doesn't start writing in verse, as a certain jurist near to my heart has been known to do.

Posted by: joshua at October 26, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

I stand corrected. :)

Posted by: binky at October 26, 2004 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, I believe Binky is closer to the truth - I'm under the impression that the robes were inspired by a Gilbert and Sullivan show. But I think it was Iolanthe, not Pirates.

But wherever he got the idea, they should be retired in his memory when he leaves the bench.

Posted by: Armand at October 26, 2004 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

i stand corrected.

should have just waited for your correction in the first instance, armand. and i call myself a lawyer.

Posted by: joshua at October 26, 2004 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

And I call myself a guy who used to usher for the local Gilbert and Sullivan society when I was in high school. Well, I don't call myself that - but I did do it (for the free tickets).

Posted by: Armand at October 26, 2004 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

So, in reading the CSPAN piece, does this mean the fairies have taken over the supreme court?

Posted by: binky at October 26, 2004 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

thing is, i had the gilbert and sullivan thing in my head when i said it derived from the TPO. and here i am thinking, "brecht, gilbert and sullivan, brecht, gilbert and sullivan . . . ." i should have done my research before getting all snarky with binky.

Posted by: Iron John Flint at October 26, 2004 12:13 PM | PERMALINK
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