« Home | Celebrity Political Donations » | Constitution Day » | Are Sen. Schumer's Eyes Brown? » | I Hate Being Right All the Time » | The Chief is Dead » | 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... » 

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 

The Swap

There have been rumblings about the Roberts swap from conservatives. They've been saying it's a bad idea because Roberts for O'Connor is more important than Roberts for Rehnquist. At first glance, it seems like a good argument. But I think it is flawed.

Replacing Rehnquist with Roberts is not just replacing a conservative with a conservative. Replacing Rehnquist with Roberts is replacing an 80 year old conservative with a 50 year old conservative. That seat will be a conservative vote for the next 30 years. You can't overlook the importance of that additional time. Remember, these Justices die or retire at weird times. It's uncontrollable. Any time a younger conservative judge is put on the Court, it's a net gain in regards to time.

I think that the plan was to have Roberts be the new Chief anyway. My feeling is that Roberts would be put on the Court, Rehnquist would serve for one more term, retire, then Roberts would be elevated. The time line has been sped up now, but we would be in the same situation a year from now. ANY nomination will be fought by the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary committee. Bush could resurrect and nominate Blackstone, and Schumer would still rail on him about his "deeply held beliefs" or whatever.

The other reason I'm not worried about this is because I think President Bush will nominate another good candidate. Look at Roberts as a measurement of the kind of person that Bush will pick. Bush defied the PC quota garbage and didn't nominate a woman for O'Connor's seat. He nominated the best person for the job. The next nominee will be the next best person for the job. Bill Kristol has been jittery about Bush nominating Gonzales. I just don't see it happening. I think the threat of him having to recuse himself in cases involving the administration makes him a huge liability. Gonzales seems happy with his current, high profile job. Bush knows the stakes with his Court nominations, and he wants this to be a lasting legacy. He won't screw this up.

I think that the candidate will be fairly young and from the appellate bench. I think the White House has a cut off point for age. It won't be anyone older than 60. My gut feeling is that it will be Edith Clement. She is not my "go to Tradesports and throw down 10 large on her" pick yet, but she's my favorite right now. Aside from being a believer in federalism (a nod to the late Chief), member of the Federalist Society, and strict constructionist, she also looks a hell of a lot like my mom. How can that be a bad thing? She is a Bush appointee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and was also confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2001.

I guess my main point is don't worry. The only reason you have to worry is if you think that President Bush will flinch and make a bad appointment. If you've been paying attention for the last 5 years, you should know that Bush don't flinch.

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