July 02, 2005

Supreme Court Shuffle

With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retiring, the blogosphere is abuzz with speculation about whom the President will name as her successor. I have previously posted my criteria for what I would want to see in a justice, and a "short list" of potential nominees I would like to see. Of course, none of them are within the Bush circle (all are too libertarian, and not conservative enough) so it's just a fun speculative game.

Other posts that are more useful:

Professor Randy Barnett provides a helpful guide to following the debate, with the most insightful [to me] comments critiquing conservatives:

LESSON ONE: Watch the switch from a list of ignored textual provision to good and bad results.

This debate should not allowed to be turned into a debate over results. It should instead be a debate over constitutional method and the restoration of portions of the text that have long been discarded. This includes challenges to judicial conservatives who, like Justice Scalia, would continue to ignore the Ninth Amendment or Privileges or Immunities Clause because they fail to meet his standard for a "rule of law." Ignoring portions of the Constitution because they fail to conform to your theory of the "rule of law" is no different than ignoring portions that fail to conform to your theory of "justice."

(Emphasis mine). Of course we libertarians often share much common ground with "conservatives" in critiquing the excesses of past activist supreme courts that abandoned original intent. So the most interesting debate to me is the one between the libertarian and conservative philosophies. Read Barnett's other two lessons here.

Nick at Crime and Federalism has a list of questions he would like to ask.

But the best post I have found so far was Annika's Freakin' Idiots Guide to the Supreme Court. The choice cut is her handy cut-out-ready pocket guide to the court, which describes Scalia thus: "Anthony Scalia: The first Supreme Court Justice to score perfect 18's in intelligence, wisdom and dexterity on the LSAT. He carries a short sword, is skilled in the use of the bo staff, has 36 hit points, and is also a 13th level Palladin [sic]. The ABA rates him as: good.

My predictions about candidates below:

I expect that Bush will seek to put forward a Hispanic candidate rather than a woman, since Ruth Bader Ginsberg remains on the Court. I hate tokenism, but that's the way they play the game these days. Two Hispanic front runners are Al Gonzales and Emilio Garza. Gonzales is a close Bush friend, which I think gives him an edge over Garza. He was also a Texas Supreme Court justice, whom I remember to be moderately conservative. Expect major distortions of his record (like what happened to Priscilla Owen).

If Bush goes with a woman, I expect him to pass over the far superior Janice Rogers Brown and go with Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones.

We'll see what happens next week. No matter what, I expect the political left to howl in indignation.

Posted by JohnL at July 2, 2005 11:14 PM | TrackBack

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