Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Supreme Court Candidates-- cast the net widely!

With the retirement of Justice Souter, President Obama will be making the first of what will end up being two to four high court appointments.

While you often hear Souter characterized as a "liberal" justice (despite being appointed by Pres. G. H. W. Bush), his judicial philosophy is more complex than that-- much as Justice Scalia's philosophy is much more complex and intriguing than the caption "conservative" describes. In short, Souter has been perhaps the foremost proponent of stare decisis-- that is, of respecting the Court's prior opinions. He often writes about the importance of settled expectations, for example, and this is a part of his thinking in a wide variety of cases.

If Obama chooses a straightforward liberal (and I think he will), that voice will be probably be lost.

So, who should he choose?

You can see a list of likely candidates here:

The NY Times today has a select-your-nominee feature, and a description of each candidate.
Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA)
I don't know who he should choose, and I'm sure I won't like whoever he does choose, but I think these are the criteria he should follow:

1. Do they look good in black? This seems critical.

2. Do they listen to cool music on their ipod? I don't know why exactly, but this seemed like a big deal during the presidential election. It is comforting to know that our commander in chief may be listening to "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z to get pumped up for an NSC briefing. I want to know that my next supreme court justice is hip and knows who 'Lil Wayne is.

3. Can they look at Ruth Bader Ginsberg directly without turning to stone? Seriously, this seems like a big factor to me.

4. Are they sparkly? We don't want any sparkly people making their way on there. No sir, no how.

5. Is their last name something other than Clinton? Since the New York Times poll that Swissgirl linked to included both Bill and Hillary as potential candidates (at least in the eyes of some, what must be completely insane, readers) I think it is important that the nominee have a name other than Clinton. For obvious reasons.

6. Do they agree with Lane about anything? If so, they should be right out.

These are just a few thoughts on the subject. I'm going with El Diablo as my pick. Let me know if you need any help getting your name out there sir. I'm volunteering.

What about George Clinton?
I amend #5 from earlier for the following exceptions:

George Clinton (but only if he brings the entire Parliment Funkadelic, including Bootsy Collins, with him to court every day)

Also, this rule in no way is meant to effect Clinton Portis' candidacy for a seat on the bench. That guy is nuts and would make a hilarious justice.
If Parliament is in the Judicial branch, doesn't that undermine our system of separation of powers?
I think that under the constitution, if George Clinton is on the Supreme Court, he would have to resign from Parliament. I say this as a law professor and citizen of the P-Funk Nation.
The new justice needs to favor the use of flame throwers.
I think that George Clinton can both serve as the head of Parliment Funkadelic and as a Supreme Court justice because we are all one nation under a groove.
Finally, someone who will put a flashlight on justice!

(sorry, I couldn't help it. It's the dog in me)
Clearly not Michael McConnell:

I recommend the Baylor gummi bear; or Bates; or maybe Kinky?
RRL -- you just got more complex by revealing your awareness of Clinton (there can be only one).

I still vote for the Ashram for a week or two, but I might go with you now...
What's this "agree with Lane" horsepucky? I've put my resume in for consideration. I expect my nomination shortly.
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