by John Hawkins | July 8, 2005 4:42 am
*** It goes without saying that all the nominees being mentioned are qualified to be on the Supreme Court and would be originalists and strict constructionists unless I specifically say otherwise. Also, since in the end it’s one man’s call, there’s always the possibility that the President will select a candidate who is not even on the radar screen right now. Don’t rule that possibility out. ***
1) Miguel Estrada: Estrada is a 44 year-old immigrant from Honduras who also would be the first Hispanic ever appointed to the court (which, incidentally, would lessen Bush’s motivation to appoint Gonzales). In and of itself, that makes Estrada an attractive candidate. But, there’s more!
The Dems also got busted with an internal memo saying that Estrada was “‘especially dangerous’ because ‘he is Latino'” while they were unfairly blocking his nomination to the appellate court. Just imagine the Dems being forced to explain that in a high profile Supreme Court hearing! Unfortunately, Estrada is not thought to be a top tier candidate for Bush which is really too bad, because at 44 years of age, it’s entirely possible he could be on the court for 30+ years.
2) Janice Rogers Brown: Brown would be the first black woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court and she is one of the most staunch originalists being considered. Moreover, since she was already confirmed in June as part of the media’s beloved “gang-of-14” compromise, the Democrats’ complaints and delays would look even more incredibly hypocritical than usual. Brown would also be a particularly popular pick with the base, but again, she’s not thought to be one of the top candidates Bush is considering.
3) Michael Luttig (50), John Roberts (51), Priscilla Owen (50) are all great candidates and relatively young for Supreme Court nominees. Plus, as a bonus for Owen, she was just confirmed in late May as part of the “gang-of-14” compromise so the Dems would look particularly foolish pitching a fit over putting her on the Supreme Court.
4) Sam “Scalito” Alito (55) or Emilio Garza (58) would be great nominees. Garza would be the first Hispanic judge ever appointed to the SCOTUS and if he were confirmed it would lessen Bush’s motivation to appoint Gonzales. Either Alito or Garza would be a great addition to the Supreme Court, but they’re both down a notch from Luttig, Roberts, & Owen because they’re a little older and an extra 5-8 years for a conservative justice on the Supreme Court is no small thing.
5) Other quality candidates that conservatives should be happy with include Michael McConnell, Edith Jones, William Pryor, John Cornyn, and Ted Olson.
6) J. Harvie Wilkinson, Harriet Miers, Larry Thompson, & Edith Brown Clement might be good candidates to turn into little Kennedys or Souters. Any of these selections COULD BE OK, but none of them are likely to set any conservative hearts aflutter.
7) Alberto Gonzales: The base is basically screaming “anybody but Gonzales” right now and were Bush to nominate him, not only would it mean another Kennedy/Souter judge on the SCOTUS, the base would feel betrayed to such an extent that there would be significant political fall-out. Gonzales would be the worst of both worlds.
*** Update #1 ***: Straight from Drudge:
“Reporter Bob Novak declares on CNN that Rehnquist will announce retirement today after Bush’s planel touches down at Andrews AFB approx. 4:50 PM EDT… DEVELOPING… “
* The original version of this story errantly described Samuel Alito as Hispanic. That’s incorrect. He’s actually Italian.
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