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Thursday, April 20, 2006 

What's in a Name?

I came across something interesting while browsing the comments on Confirm Them recently. Since a handful of trustworthy sources have said that Justice John Paul Stevens plans to retire at the end of this term, there has been a lot of talk about who the next nominee will be. Apparently, the White House is discussing names. The interesting thing is that a lot of the potential nominees have nicknames (though that is not uncommon in the federal judiciary). Here are a few of them that people in the know have leaked to us judicial geeks...

"Belle" - Judge Karen Williams (4th Circuit Appeals Court) - That is supposedly in reference to the character from Beauty and the Beast, not the fact that Judge Williams is Southern.

"Sharpshooter" - Judge Diane Sykes (7th Circuit Appeals Court) - I'm not sure the origins of this one, but it sounds cool.

"The Queen of the Night" - Judge Edith Jones (5th Circuit Appeals Court) - This is a reference to Mozart's The Magic Flute, not vampirism.

"Dancing Queen" - Judge Consuelo Callahan (9th Circuit Appeals Court) - I have no clue about this one.

"Professor Snarky II" - Judge Michael McConnell (10th Circuit Appeals Court) - Justice Scalia is Professor Snarky I. McConnell has spent over 15 years teaching law and writing extensively on legal issues.

"Ebenezer Scrooge" - Judge Frank Easterbrook (7th Circuit Appeals Court) - Judge Easterbrook is not known for being the most cuddly of people.

"Little Bork" - Miguel Estrada (Former Assistant Solicitor General) - Apparently, this nickname (in reference to Judge Robert Bork) was given to Estrada while he worked in the SG's office.

Based on the current political climate and the fact that I've picked her erroneously every time before (I'm playing the odds...), I think that "Belle" is the next one up for one of the nine chairs. But we'll have to wait and see.

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  • "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
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