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Friday, July 01, 2005


Of course SOC's resignation is bad news for most of us at PrawfsBlawg.  Let me note that it is even worse news if WHR doesn't also retire.  Although giving Bush more vacancies rather than fewer vacancies wouldn't ordinarily be something we lefties would welcome, two vacancies might facilitate a more moderate choice for at least one of the seats.  The Bushies aren't known to be big compromise types, to be sure.  But I remain convinced that if they have two appointments, we are much more likely to see that West Wing fantasy become a reality.  You know the one: where Glenn Close (a stand-in for RBG) gets appointed along with that guy who seems like an AS clone.  Wishful thinking, maybe.  But life does imitate art sometimes.

Posted by Ethan Leib on July 1, 2005 at 01:38 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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You're lefties? If so, you're the most reasonable ones I have read. My two cents is that the President must 1) keep his promise to his base no matter what and; 2) he must go with his first and best choice to minimize the hope of the opposition that if they block the first nominee they will get the one waiting in the wings. From reading other sites I get the impression that this presents a quandary for the President inasmuch as his first choice may not be the first choice of his constituency.

Posted by: nk | Jul 2, 2005 9:01:38 AM

I call for Bush to bring Bork back (is he still alive?) and maybe toss in O'Scannalin too, in the hopes that the system will thus reveal itself for what it is...

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jul 1, 2005 2:08:56 PM

It seems to me that the President must appoint an originalist. Not necessarily a Scalia clone - that Justice does not have a monopoly on what originalism means, how it should be conducted, or the result it mandates, as can be seen by the clear blue water between himself and Justice Thomas in many cases. And not merely an originalist - originalism is absolutely an irreductable prerequisite for the job, in my view, but it is not a full compliment of qualifications.

However, his path to do this is far from easy. He must steer a safe path between the Scylla of his apparent desire to play politics by appointing the proverbially Souter-ish (and utterly unacceptable) Alberto Gonzales, and the Charybdis of the desire of some conservatives to place on the court not an originalist, but an activist Conservative Justice, which is no more acceptable to my mind than an activist liberal judge.

Posted by: Simon | Jul 1, 2005 1:57:50 PM

But the analogy changes a little bit if you believe that the best we can hope for is that Bush will nominate someone like Gonzales instead of Luttig or Edith Jones to the O'Connor spot. I mean, how much of a win is that, really?

Posted by: Hillel Levin | Jul 1, 2005 1:57:05 PM

You get the point. Obviously we're not getting another RBG. It's an analogy.

Posted by: Ethan Leib | Jul 1, 2005 1:46:35 PM

Ethan. You must be kidding. I can imagine that the administration might--MIGHT--tolerate a "moderate" appointment along the lines of SOC herself, and that it might--MIGHT--be more likely to do so if it gets to appoint someone like Scalia at the same time. But RBG?!

Posted by: Hillel Levin | Jul 1, 2005 1:43:01 PM

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