Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Long List. Looking back over the most recent SupCt. nominees, most have been "non-surprises." David Souter was a minor surprise and Sandra Day O'Connor was a big surprise nominee. Nevertheless, most come from the short list.

If there is a nominee who is not on the short list, who could it be?

Herewith, are ten names who should make the long list* being considered by a conservative Republican president:

  • Mary Ann Glendon, who I've flogged many times before. The major drawback for her is her age (67).**
  • Leroy Roundtree Hassell, current Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court. Liabilities (as a candidate being considered by a conservative Republican): he's a moderate Democrat. Liabilities (to the Left): he's long been a visiting scholar at Regent University, Pat Robertson's grad school, he dissented from the Davenport v. Little-Bowser decision (compelling the issuance of a birth certificate with two persons of the same gender listed as parents). (See also the Arlington Co. v. White case, where he would have invalidated Arlington County's expansion of health care benefits to domestic partners as a disguised attempt to legitimize same-sex unions.)
  • Judge Frank Easterbrook, 7th Circuit. Surprisingly (to me anyway), he hasn't been making the short lists -- a good choice, perhaps too moderate for some.
  • Judge Karen Williams, 4th Circuit. A sharp judge; endorsed by Southern Appeal.
  • Judge Alice Batchelder, 6th Circuit. Endorsed by Todd Zywicki of the Volokh Conspiracy.
  • Robert F. Nagel, Professor of Law, University of Colorado. Identified by First Things as " of our most forceful critics of judicial supremacy."
  • Robert P. George, Professor of Law, Princeton University. "Conservative Heavyweight" - Crisis Magazine.
  • O. Rene Diaz, Attorney and State District Judge in San Antonio, Texas. He is also the General Counsel for the Republican Party of Texas.
  • Eugene Volokh, Geek, UCLA -- he has the reverse problem of Glendon: at 37, he's too young for this vacancy. (William O. Douglas was 40 when appointed; when the court was less important, Joseph Story was named at 32).
  • Stephen L. Carter, professor of law at Yale. While a liberal, as a columnist for Christianity Today, he's probably too conservative for a Democrat to appoint.

* I'm purposely bypassing the usual suspects mentioned on the published short lists, as well as others, such as Alex Kozinski or Richard A. Posner, who deserve more mention than they've been getting, yet appear to be making some of the more extended "short lists."
** Some others who will not be considered due to age: Judge John Noonan [with his criticisms of Scalia et al, he wouldn't be considered, I gather], 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Charles E. Rice, Professor of Law, Notre Dame (all three of these are devout Roman Catholics, which could also pose a problem for the notoriously anti-Catholic Democrats on the Judiciary Committee).

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