Friday, February 25, 2005

Vox Blogoli 2.2

It is pretty obvious that the first Justice that President Bush will be replacing is Chief Justice Rehnquist. I believe that Justice Rehnquist only stayed on to be sure that his replacement would be made by a republican and that he would be able to swear in one more commander-in chief. Job done on both counts.
So this is where it gets interesting for the democrats. Justice Rehnquist is a solid conservative. That means that his replacement, whether from an existing justice or a new nominee, can be just as conservative without changing the flavor of the court.
This is the way I think it will play out. Justice Rehnquist steps down and President Bush goes to his conservative bench of Justices Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas. My money is on Justice Thomas. He is the younger of the two and in this post Lewinsky world Anita Hill is about a dated as a Ross Perot campaign button. Also after nominating the first black Secretary of State and the first black woman Secretary of State, how about the first black Chief Justice. Unfortunately Barbara Boxer is not on the Senate Judiciary Committee so we won’t be able to see the profound lack of grey matter she exhibited at the confirmation hearing of Condi Rice. I am constantly amazed that my beloved Senator Boxer has the IQ to digest food. Well hopefully we can get her on some of the Sunday news shows. We can only hope.
Back to the court. Because this is a zero sum ideology game the president should use this opportunity to put a solid conservative like Judge Michael Luttig on the court. The democrats will scream but replacing a conservative with a conservative leaves them little to do but puff and fume. The real challenge will be if Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or Justice John Paul Stevens retire. Justice O’Connor has been a weather vane and has usually been the 5th vote on 5-4 decisions. If she could be replaced by a solid conservative woman like California Supreme Court Justice Janice R. Brown would be wonderful. She is also a great success story of an African American woman growing up in the segregated south. She would be a dream come true and make the 5-4 split permanently center right.
As for Justice Stevens even a moderate appointment would be an improvement. Appointed by President Ford he turned out to be Ford’s Edsel. A solid activist liberal the democrats will fight to the death to keep his seat a solid left wing slot. If the republicans go for the “nuclear option” it will probably be then.

Hello Hugh Hewitt fans. Make yourself at home.