Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Possible Replacements?

Let's run down the list of possible replacements. TheWashington Post has their short list, but I think we can pare it down even further. Here's my list: Alito, Garza, Gonzales, Jones, Luttig, McConnell, Olson, Owen, Estrada, Clement, Brown, Batchelder and Cornyn. Of those, McConnell is my clear favorite. Olson and Clement, I think, would sail through the confirmation process. Alito and Garza don't necessarily make me want to throw up. That's about all the good I have to say.

The radical right wing would not approve of Gonzales, so I think we can throw him out.

This article tells you all you need to know about Priscilla Owen. I think there's no way she gets through without the nuclear option.

Most of the criticism of Janice Rogers Brown (whom the wingers adore) comes from this speech. You can find an analysis of it here if you don't want to slog through it. Frightening stuff.

Even more frightening (possibly) is Luttig's opinion in Padilla v. Hanft that LTG referred to below. It basically says that the President can throw any American in Gitmo indefinitely for no good reason.

I just wanted to get the ball rolling. Other thoughts?


Dr. Strangelove said...

I suspect Bush is in no mood to please the ultra-right wing of his party right now, after they attacked his friend Ms. Miers and handed him the first real political defeat of his presidency at the same time. I also think that the "executive privilege" excuse that Miers used in her resignation letter may have been more genuine than we give it credit for, though for a different reason than she said. I think the Bush-Cheney White House has plenty of things to hide and may well be indicted... and they do not want someone in the inner circle--a lawyer who knows all the dirt--to be put in a position where she might have a strong incentive to reveal it.

Nominating Alberto Gonzales would be wrong on two counts, then. First, because it would piss off the religious right, costing Bush perhaps a dozen or more Senate votes... and since Gonzales was only approved 60-36 for Attorney General, and it is reasonable to assume that no Democrat who voted against him for Attorney General could justify a vote in favor of him for the Supreme Court... I must reluctantly agree with Bell Curve that he probably would not get through. Furthermore, Gonzales has also been White House counsel as Miers, so if you accept my premise that this is a problem, then this also counts against him.

But I am still going to run contrary to the conventional wisdom and suggest that Bush is going to select another good friend--because that's his M.O. and I think he's pissed at the evangelicals and the "thoughtful conservatives" right now--but he will pick someone who is not a White House inner circle member, and who therefore cannot be pilloried for any White House ethical lapses.

If Bush chooses someone moderate whom the Democrats can support, then I think that person will get in. He got 4 Democrat votes on the Judiciary committee and 22 Democrat votes on the Senate floor. He can afford to lose a couple dozen Republicans and still win the day. He might also choose someone right-wing whom the Democrats have... other reasons to want to stuff away safely in a lifetime position. Here are a few wild thoughts.

1. Gov. Jeb Bush. Think about it. He's a reliable conservative, which should please the Republicans. And might not a few the Democrats--like Hillary Clinton--support the idea of Jeb Bush, because then Jeb could not run for President? I love this idea... well, not as an American, but as a pundit.

2. Sen. Mel Martinez. He's has been considered a top contender before. He's a latino--which helps the Republicans--and he's a Senator, so his buddies will not vote him down. He was also a huge fan of Harriett Miers.

3. V.P. Dick Cheney. Crazy, I know, he's a reliable conservative, a Bush insider, and someone sure to be confirmed by the Senate. (The Republicans wouldn't dare vote no. They might even bust the filibuster over this one if the Dems try to use it!) Furthermore, this would let Bush nominate a Vice President, and therefore let him groom a successor. Might that not be the ultimate insult to the religious right? Imagine: he could pick Condi as VP!

Anyhow, we'll see. I will be disappointed if he picks Luttig--not just as an American, but because it would be so boring...

Anonymous said...

Yes #3 violates some of my rules, but it was too fun a speculation to resist. 

// posted by Dr. SL.

Anonymous said...

Well, Joe Lieberman is a Republican, so they've actually got 56 votes.

There are some who have suggested he nominate Orrin Hatch.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

And some have suggested Rick Santorum. Fat chance.

Looks like Luttig or Alito right now. And with Luttig's comments about stare decisis, my money's on Alito. 

// posted by Bell Curve