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Flashback - Slate: The Supreme Court Shortlist - The views of the likely candidates. (In retrospec)
Slate Magazine ^ | July 1, 2005 | Emily Bazelon & David Newman

Posted on 02/19/2006 10:41:28 AM PST by new yorker 77

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced Friday that she is stepping down from the Supreme Court. In anticipation of resignations—Chief Justice William Rehnquist's had been thought most likely—the Bush administration has floated several names for possible nominees. What views have the president's shortlisters expressed, on and off the bench? In order of our best guess as to the likelihood that they'll be chosen, here's a guide to the prospective nominees' records.

1) Michael J. Luttig, 51

2) John Roberts, 50

3) Emilio Garza, 58

4) Michael McConnell, 50

5) Alberto Gonzales, 49

6) J. Harvie Wilkinson III, 60

7) Edith Brown Clement, 57

8) Samuel Alito, 55

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: alito; ginsburg; judicialactivism; judicialnominees; justice; oyez; rehnquist; roberts; sandyoconnor; scalia; scotus; stevens; supremecourt
Both Roberts and Alito made the short list for Supreme Court Nominees in July 2005.

Conservatives in the know had Roberts on their short list.

Still, it suprised myself at the time that so many were clueless about Roberts.

Even people like Coulter foolishly used the word 'stealth' to describe this guy.

I still can't explain the Miers thing. Maybe after her recomending people like Janice Brown, Pricilla Owen, and William Pryor, President Bush thought he could slide her in there. It was a bad choice to try to avoid a fight.

I wonder if the remaining 6 on that short list will be picked to replace Stevens or Ginsburg should they retire or expire.

1 posted on 02/19/2006 10:41:30 AM PST by new yorker 77
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To: new yorker 77
I wonder if the remaining 6 on that short list will be picked to replace Stevens or Ginsburg should they retire or expire.

Luttig and McConnell will be the next two.

2 posted on 02/19/2006 10:45:03 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (A Liberal by any other name is still a Hypocrite)
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To: Cowboy Bob

If he picked Luttig, Chucky would soil himself.


3 posted on 02/19/2006 10:46:15 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Luttig and McConnell will be the next two.

If Buzzy retires Dubya will have to nominate a woman, but that's just fine - he can nominate JRB :-).

4 posted on 02/19/2006 10:46:36 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: new yorker 77

If another vacancy occurs, Bush's choice may be influenced by who retires.

There are other names who would be in the running. They include Karen Williams, Diane Sykes, and (my personal choice) Viet Dihn.


5 posted on 02/19/2006 10:46:55 AM PST by Clintonfatigued (Bob Taft for Impeachment)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Viet Dihn would be perfect because it would be the worst name for Ted Kennedy to pronounce.

He would slip up and call him Vietnam at least five times during the hearings.
6 posted on 02/19/2006 10:49:17 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: Tarkin
If Buzzy retires Dubya will have to nominate a woman, but that's just fine - he can nominate JRB :-).

Why does he have to nominate a woman?

7 posted on 02/19/2006 10:49:34 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (A Liberal by any other name is still a Hypocrite)
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To: Tarkin

Or Edith Clement


8 posted on 02/19/2006 10:50:27 AM PST by traderrob6
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To: Cowboy Bob

I'd like to see him nominate JR brown just for the pure enjoyment of watching the dems' heads explode.


9 posted on 02/19/2006 10:53:29 AM PST by REDWOOD99
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To: REDWOOD99; Cowboy Bob

Here's a curve ball; how about nominating Condeleeza Rice? There's been non-judges put on the Court before, I understand.


10 posted on 02/19/2006 10:55:52 AM PST by RonF
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To: Tarkin
I like Luttig, but the pressure will be on to nominate a female. Also, if the vacancy is Stevens, Bush might try to appoint Gonzalez. I think Gonzalez will be a problem since conservative don't want him and liberals don't like him as AG and Guantanamo.
11 posted on 02/19/2006 10:56:31 AM PST by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Cowboy Bob

Because "there has to be" at least one woman on the SCOTUS, just like in the past there "had to be" at least one Jew (the 3rd seat occupied first by Cardozo, then by Frankfurter, Goldberg, Fortas, Blackmun, who was the only non-Jew in this seat, and now by Breyer is even sometimes called "the Jewish seat") and at least one Catholic. Now we have a "black" seat (do you really think GHWB would nominate Clarence Thomas if it wasn't Thurgood Marshall who retired?) and it's rather obvious that there is one place reserved for a woman. Affirmitive action has applied to the SCOTUS appointments for a very long time, I'm afraid.


12 posted on 02/19/2006 10:56:59 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia
I think Gonzalez will be a problem

Oh he will. Conservatives will oppose him just like they opposed Miers.

13 posted on 02/19/2006 10:58:19 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: RonF
Condi is an Executive.

The Supreme Court is for Jurists steeped in understanding of Constitutional Law.
14 posted on 02/19/2006 10:58:46 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: Tarkin

Gonzales is a fine AG.

President Bush needs him where he is and he will not pick Gonzales.


15 posted on 02/19/2006 10:59:26 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: REDWOOD99
I'd like to see him nominate JR brown just for the pure enjoyment of watching the dems' heads explode.

I agree on that. But I'd like to see her nominate because she is the best candidate available (and she might very well be), but not because she is the best woman available.

By restricting the selection to a women, wouldn't Bush be ignoring half the population, and a vast majority of sitting judges? Wouldn't that be sexist?

Certainly we need the best possible jurist on the SC, no matter what the gender, or race.

16 posted on 02/19/2006 10:59:36 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (A Liberal by any other name is still a Hypocrite)
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To: new yorker 77
Viet Dihn would be perfect because it would be the worst name for Ted Kennedy to pronounce.

He would slip up and call him Vietnam at least five times during the hearings.

Even though I love the idea of a justice who could last for 40 years, it looks like he is a little young. Put him in a district court for 10 years to let him ripen.

17 posted on 02/19/2006 11:02:18 AM PST by KarlInOhio (In this year's White House play, Henry VI part II, VP Cheney got the role of Dick the Butcher.)
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To: RonF
Here's a curve ball; how about nominating Condeleeza Rice?nThere's been non-judges put on the Court before, I understand.

Of course, Earl Warren for example, and nominating him turned out to be the second-worst decision in Ike's life (appointing William Brennan being arguably the worst). Condi? Geez, do we really another abortion-loving "moderate"?

18 posted on 02/19/2006 11:03:13 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: RonF; Cowboy Bob

Great for entertainment value but hardly the best choice. I think Luttig is the best choice.


19 posted on 02/19/2006 11:04:20 AM PST by REDWOOD99
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To: KarlInOhio
Osamadabin ... Osama-Obamadabin ... Vietnam ... dinh ..obamadabinobamasama ... you know .. the black guy who speaks for American blacks even though his father is from Africa.

Has anyone ever asked Obama if he feels unworthy of being a spokesman for blacks in America considering that he is not the descendant of those brutalized in the slave trade?
20 posted on 02/19/2006 11:05:44 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Certainly we need the best possible jurist on the SC, no matter what the gender, or race.

It's fairly tough to objectively define "best" in these situations.

If you go by experience and resume two names top all others Frank Easterbrook and Mike McConnell.

If going to the best schools and having the longer federal bench/teaching positions doesn't matter as much the list widens and certainly includes Janice Rogers Brown as her writing ability is top notch, despite going to UCLA instead of Univeristy of Chicago.

Confirmability also matters, as it is a political oppointment and having 9 men on the court is just not politically feasible. Although if you go by the most traditional qualifications, you probably wind up with 9 men.

21 posted on 02/19/2006 11:07:24 AM PST by NeoCaveman (Cheney's gun has still killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car - thanks Old Scratch)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: new yorker 77

"I still can't explain the Miers thing."

The only thing that I think explains it is that Bush has a tendency to get lazy at times.


23 posted on 02/19/2006 11:11:52 AM PST by jocon307 (The Silent Majority - silent no longer)
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To: new yorker 77

Two words: Earl Warren.


24 posted on 02/19/2006 11:12:54 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: Tarkin

John Roberts is Earl Warren to only both the paranoid and overeducated.

He's a solid pick.


25 posted on 02/19/2006 11:17:05 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: new yorker 77
I mentioned Warren just to prove your point. Prior to his appointment in 1953 he had absolutely zero experience (he never worked as a judge and hadn't practiced law since 1917) and worked in the executive branch practically all his life.
26 posted on 02/19/2006 11:20:10 AM PST by Tarkin (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito...one more to go)
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To: Baynative
Anyone he nominates will be savaged.

Exactly. Send a minority female and make them justify savaging that. That is, if she's up to it.
I suspect she is and the President isn't. He's still talking New Tone, won't even hire a press secretary who'll stick up for him. :(

27 posted on 02/19/2006 11:21:12 AM PST by Graymatter (Yes and...what are we going to do about it?)
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To: Tarkin

I'm too tired to continue posting.


28 posted on 02/19/2006 11:27:25 AM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: new yorker 77
I still can't explain the Miers thing.

I think I can explain it, though I don't agree with it.

I think Bush picked Miers for two reasons. First, the last openly conservative nominee was Thomas, who barely won confirmation and only did so because a substantial number of Democrats broke ranks. Bush believed he needed to pick a stealth candidate and not one with an established conservative judicial history.

Second, Republican presidents have had a very bad track record in picking Supreme Court Justices. Half the time, they either turn out to be liberals or they become more and more liberal after they are on the Court. Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy and Souter were all nominated by Republican presidents. Souter in particular had to be on Bush's mind. When Bush named Miers, I think he decided to go with someone that he personally knew very well and that he trusted would be conservative and would remain conservative.

The trouble is, none of the rest of us knew that. Conservatives in this country wanted Bush to name someone that we trusted would be conservative and would remain conservative. We also wanted an intellectual heavyweight who might be able to prod some of the Justices in the quavering middle (i.e., Kennedy & Souter) to see the light every now and then.

Alito proved that the President can nominate a Justice with a long and consistent conservative track record and a convincing intellect and still win confirmation. Hopefully, Bush will remember this lesson if he gets an opportunity to name another Justice.

Personally, I think it would be good to have one or two Justices who have worked their entire careers as attorneys (or even non-attorneys) in the private sector and not spent their entire careers drawing public judicial salaries. Once we have a good solid conservative majority on the court (6 or 7) then I would have no problem with replacing one of the remaining liberals with someone like Miers.

29 posted on 02/19/2006 11:58:29 AM PST by Bubba_Leroy (What did Rather know and when did he know it?)
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To: Tarkin
Affirmative action has applied to the SCOTUS appointments for a very long time, I'm afraid.

I'm familiar with all the "seats" - the "Jewish seat," "Black seat" and "Woman seat." It is interesting that the MSM said that Bush HAD to nominate a woman to replace O'Connor, but didn't.

Alito's nomination showed that if the person is qualified (and Alito certainly was), it is hard to argue that the seat belongs to a certain group. Remember, the "Jewish seat" disappeared for a few years until Clinton nominated Ginsburg. Now, with Breyer, there are 2 "Jewish seats," to go along with 5 "Catholic seats." (Oh, the horror!)

Alito's nomination proved that the Libs are paper tigers. They can yell and scream all they want, but they cannot block a highly qualified nominee - even if the nominee has a long track record as a Conservative.

I hope Bush crams through another Strict Constructionist, whether it be Luttig, of JRB.

30 posted on 02/19/2006 12:04:32 PM PST by Cowboy Bob (A Liberal by any other name is still a Hypocrite)
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To: new yorker 77

LOL>.......you really are an "evil, mean-spirited" Republican!


31 posted on 02/19/2006 12:06:44 PM PST by Howlin ("Quick, he's bleeding! Is there a <strike>doctor</strike> reporter in the house?")
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To: new yorker 77
I wonder if the remaining 6 on that short list will be picked to replace Stevens or Ginsburg should they retire or expire.

Think we could wrangle them an invite to the next time the VP goes Elk hunting or some other large caliber opp?

32 posted on 02/19/2006 12:47:06 PM PST by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: REDWOOD99
"I'd like to see him nominate JR brown just for the pure enjoyment of watching the dems' heads explode."

And you hit the nail on the head. A poor black girl who made good, and just happens to be conservative. The Dems can only pull a Clarence Thomas once, and what are they going to do -- find an old boyfriend who will have some dirt to say about JRB? The nation would be outraged. The black community would be outraged. For every Jesse Jackson they put on the podium, the Repulbicans would put a Lynn Swann or Ward Connerly.

Most pleasant, of course, would be the total silence from NOW and other "women's" groups. It would prove that these orgs have nothing to do with women and everything to do with leftist, anti-American politics.

33 posted on 02/19/2006 12:50:18 PM PST by tom h
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To: new yorker 77
Thanks for posting..it's fun to look back..

Re the Miers nomination..of late I'm starting to come to the conclusion that the whole thing was planned,a strategery..to energize the conservative base and force/dare them to support the next nominee (Alito)..here's why. Miers is obviously a smart, rational, and intelligent woman. without any pretense whatsoever. Why do I say this?..simply because if she wasn't that way, she would not long survive in W.'s inner circle..Miers was involved in the selection, vetting, and coaching of many Circuit Court nominees as well as having a big role in getting Roberts through the hearing. So there was no way in the world that she, a rational being, having seen the process so up-close and personal; could have ANY thought that she would survive the SJC..Therefore, she was a decoy..

34 posted on 02/19/2006 1:04:23 PM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050
I hope you are right, but I think we need to absorb the pain.

President Bush thought the lady who helped reshape the federal bench by lining up appointments would make a good Justice. He was wrong. His decision was a bad one. It pains conservatives to think this, but it would be better for us to understand that it is more likely that President Bush made a mistake and corrected it rather than this Machiavellian move.
35 posted on 02/19/2006 1:35:03 PM PST by new yorker 77 (Conservatives who eat their own are a liberal's best friend.)
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To: RonF

There have been several non-judges, but no non-attorneys have ever served. It would be too hard for a non-attorney to get confirmed.

Harriet Miers was taking a crash course on Con-law after she was appointed. And she was an attorney, the president's attorney no less. A non-attorney would not stand a chance of learning the law in a few weeks.


36 posted on 02/19/2006 4:27:22 PM PST by RKB-AFG (We welcome that debate on our side. We'll clean your clock!)
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To: Cowboy Bob

He does not HAVE to, but it is time. There are many qualified women just as good as Roberts and Alito.

Why take the risk of tweaking HALF the population, and exposing oneself to false claims of insensitivity to women?

It would be foolish to do such a thing. It will be a woman.


37 posted on 02/20/2006 10:53:18 AM PST by joyspring777
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