Saturday, October 29, 2005

On the SCOTUS Front ...

The NYTimes reports today that Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito (yes, he's the one nicknamed Scalito, for frighteningly obvious reasons) has emerged as a leading contender for the Supreme Court nomination yet to come. Other names in the Times report are J. Michael Luttig and Priscilla Owen, both also appeals court judges.

WaPo basically agrees with the Times on the short list, adding Emilio Garza, Edith Jones and Michael McConnell to believed to be under consideration. RedState's Erick Erickson blogged yesterday that the buzz was on Alito, and then shifted to Luttig later in the day. He also noted a growing number of times that Chris Cox' name was mentioned; Cox is the former GOP congressman now running the SEC.

The president is currently in a position of serious disadvantage. His prior nominee's just been shot down. One of his top aides has been indicted and more charges may materialize. He needs a slam dunk here, but he needs a slam dunk that will not just satisfy (mollify might be a better term) the rabid wolves of the right-wing punditburo, but also those of us who do not share their activist views. Perhaps a senator or former senator (Fred Thompson comes to mind, but several current senators might also fill the bill) would be an appropriate choice, or an elder statesman like John Danforth or Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson. (These are not by any means the only people I would find acceptable, I'm just thinking wishfully for a few moments before I jump back into reality.)

This is not the moment to split the country (even if it might "mend the fence" with "the base") by nominating a so-called movement conservative to the bench. This is a time to unify most (all's probably impossible) of the country around a candidate who brings strong qualifications to the job and will act with the judicious temperament that has characterized all great Supreme Court justices.

Can it be done? We'll have to wait and see. Cross your fingers.


At 12:35 PM, Blogger Lanky_Bastard said...

The base can be brought back into the fold because they have no where else to go. The Center and Left would briefly praise Bush for a moderate, but wouldn't let it detract from his other mistakes.

Over the last five years there has been a relentless division of the country, and he won the 51% lions share in 2004. However, short of another 9/11-type collective consciousness changing issue, that other 49% is gone forever. He cannot get them back, and perversely, that justifies continuing with divisionary politics.

The only way he won't nominate whatever ideologue social conservatives pick for him is if he thinks (Republican) Senators have the will to oppose him and win...or if the RNC can prove to him that he will do more damage than good.


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