Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Supreme Court

Everybody is putting his two cents in as the death of Chief Justice Renquist has created two vacancies on the Supreme Court. This came from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal before the President decided to nominate Judge Roberts to the Chief Justice post:

Since it looks as though President Bush is going to get a free pass on his first Supreme Court pick, how can he make the most of the political opportunity? By elevating Clarence Thomas to chief justice. Justice Thomas is the youngest member of the court, and his appointment might provoke Democrats into a futile fight. As a black conservative, he drives liberals and Democrats to irrational extremes. They depict him as an "Uncle Tom" and an intellectually inferior beneficiary of affirmative action. If Democrats cannot resist expressing such prejudices, they will damage their reputation as the party of racial equality, which can only help the GOP.

As for Justice Thomas's replacement, Mr. Bush would doubtless like to appoint the first Hispanic justice. But it would make political sense to wait until one of the pro-Roe justices leaves the court. In that case, the Democratic base will demand a fight--and the president might as well make senators choose between Latinos and abortion advocates.

That would have made for interesting confirmation hearings. I'm still hopeful that Bush will nominate Miguel Estrada to fill the O'Connor vacancy.


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