« Home | My Big F'ing Hurricane Post » | Beer Review: Unibroue Don de Dieu » | Add MULS to the List » | Law Professors Against Roberts » | I Have a Migraine... » | Sick Hatred » | Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity » | Scalia » | Praise from Caesar » | Roberts » 

Sunday, September 04, 2005 

The Chief is Dead

Chief Justice William Rehnquist is dead. Major loss for the country and major monkey wrench in the Supreme Court. What the hell is going to happen with the hearings now? Who will be the next nominee? Why did they announce this when I'm about to go to bed?

EDIT: Ok, I was on the phone when I posted the above, cause I am a multi-tasking machine. Since I doubt I will get to sleep now, I felt like sharing some ideas. If I was Bush, I would swap Roberts into the position of Chief. As far as I understand, it's possible. The confirmation hearings to have Roberts replace O'Connor have not begun yet. O'Connor has stated that she will serve until her replacement is confirmed. Have Roberts become Chief, keep O'Connor on until a new nominee can be named for her seat.

If there is some archaic rule that prevents this, then I think that Roberts will be confirmed as Associate Justice, then elevated to Chief (as long as he has a comfortable majority vote). Then there will be a vacancy. Then President Bush will find another nominee and push for a quick confirmation. I think there will be pressure on the Senate to make the confirmation speedy, in order to avoid the dreaded 4-4 vote. The Court in the past has managed itself to avoid it (read The Brethren). They will schedule cases that they think will be the close votes later, hoping that the new Justice will be confirmed by then.

I have no real idea who the next nominee will be. Chris Matthews just said that he "and others" think it will be Alberto Gonzales. I think that's crap. I always fall back to the Wikipedia list. Using Roberts as a measuring stick, a few names jump out at me: Michael Luttig, Michael McConnell, Edith Clement, and Harvie Wilkinson. Those names seem like "Bush picks" to me. I think age is also a factor to Bush. Roberts is 50. Provided that he is in good health, he'll be on the Court for the duration of my career. Bush is going to want to repeat that. It won't be someone too old. Basically, things will be very interesting for the next few months.

Also, I love all the old photos when Rehnquist had those bitchin' long sideburns. Groovy.

EDIT: On FNC, Alan Dershowitz just called Rehnquist a "Republican thug" and also accused him of keeping minorities from voting, etc. Mark Levin and Judge Andrew Napolitano just verbally slapped him down. General public, welcome to the wonderful world of legal debate. I hope you're wearing a cup.

YET ANOTHER EDIT: I've been reading various blogs and other websites, trying to get a feel for which way the wind is blowing on this vacancy. I've read a few people buying into my idea of re-nominating Roberts now as Chief. A comment on Volokh said that Bush should nominate an interesting candidate now that will take the heat off the Roberts hearings, possibly the first female Chief. Everyone is pretty much just guessing right now. What is more likely? Chief Justice Roberts? Chief Justice Luttig? Chief Justice Clement? Chief Justice ___________?

ted olsen

Very possible. He wouldn't be an unknown, as far as his legal philosophy. There wouldn't be many surprises with his rulings, so there is no Souter danger for the administration.

He does have a lot that can be used against him though. He was recently on a panel on CSPAN discussing the Supreme Court nomination process, so his views are no secret. Democrats might have grounds to oppose him as being too partisan. I still think he would get confirmed.

Post a Comment
Edit Comment

About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
  • E-mail Me
My profile