Friday, May 28, 2004

Advise and Consent, III. If there were a Stevens resignation, President Bush could pick a nominee from the staff of Harvard Law School. The person I am thinking of joined up with Law Professor Lawrence Tribe to oppose the U.S. Navy's bombardment of Vieques and signed on to the Harvard Living Wage Campaign along with John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, and Michael Moore. She has written approvingly of Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations.

According to the Boston Globe,
Alan Dershowitz, [her] Harvard Law School colleague and a supporter of abortion rights and gay marriage, described her as "one of the most brilliant and effective and moderate voices at the law school."

"If a woman could be made pope, she'd be my candidate," Dershowitz said.
Yet, Pope John Paul II has selected her on a number of occasions to serve the Roman Catholic Church. In 1995, she led a delegation of the Holy See, at the United Nations Women's Conference in Beijing. [Article on her experiences.] This year, she was asked to head the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

She serves on the President's Bioethics council and writes frequently for First Things magazine.

So what are her drawbacks? Well, she's 65, therefore would not have a long career (as has Justice Stevens who is in his 29th year). Oh, yeah, she's a real Catholic, which means she would put people like Kennedy and Kerry in a real pickle. She's eminently qualified and no right-winger, but, she's pro-life.

Her name is Mary Ann Glendon and she'd be my first choice for the Court.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Advise and Consent, Part II. First, I think Judge Hinojosa, whom I mentioned below, would be a good choice -- especially, if President Bush wants to appoint an Hispanic Justice (I think the case for Benjamin Cardozo as the first Hispanic Justice is a good one. Can we settle for "the first Latino Supreme Court Justice?"). Another alternative would be Emilio M. Garza, a retired Marine.

Nevertheless, I think President Bush could walk in to John Kerry and Ted Kennedy's back yard and come out with a nominee who would have the endorsements of liberals like Larry Tribe and Allen Dershowitz, not to mention the support of folks like Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback.

Oh, and Pope John Paul II...

Tomorrow I'll tell you who.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Advise and Consent, Part I. I believe that Justice John Paul Stevens will announce his retirement from the Supreme Court soon -- by the end of the term in June. Stevens is 84 and has served on the Court for 29 years. He is the most liberal member of the current court, but nevertheless, a Republican from a strong Democrat party town, Chicago. See, Manaster, Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens [review] (on the other hand, many bios note, as does this one, "he had never been active in party politics.")

Part of my thinking is shaped by Steven's Republican ties and part are shaped by the knowledge of his abilities as a strategist (namely, he is a world-class bridge player). If you put yourself in Steven's shoes, when would be a good time to turn over the reins?

I believe it would be this summer. This would allow a Republican president to name a successor, yet force him to go "left" to get a "moderate" through. The thinking being, if Bush nominates a Robert Bork-style conservative, it might galvanize the opposition and tie up the Senate in a heated, distracting debate before the elections. Moreover, if the first candidate is rejected, it could give Kerry a chance to name a successor. Applying a "game theory," this might force Bush to choose someone more moderate, say, Ricardo Hinojosa [interview], thinking it would minimize the opposition and guarantee a less objectionable nomininee not be chosen.

Yet, is this what Bush would choose to do? Is this what he should do?

More later...

Breathtaking. I got up early and drove down to the WWII Memorial – it is very impressive. The word that kept coming to mind was “breathtaking.” (Yes, that’s not a word normally associated with a monument or memorial, but it is fitting for this one.) The Memorial conveys strength, commitment, sacrifice, compassion, liberty, and victory, even without reading the words. [picture]

I was there before sunrise and there were already at least 50 people there. Many joggers pausing to reflect, but also some families were there.

There is a memorial pillar for each state and territory which sent men to fight; interestingly, they are not in alphabetic order or any apparent order which I could discern. I sought out the Iowa pillar to remember my Mother’s brothers, William and Robert, it is right next to the Pacific archway (on the left as you are facing out) and next to the California pillar.

Beneath it is a fountain reflecting the names of some of the great battles of the Pacific, Midway, Guadalcanal and the Solomons, Saipan, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa. I touched the word “Tarawa” and thought of the men hung up on the reefs with the freak hundred-year tide.

So many battles, so many men.

This memorial is truly a worthy monument to the men who gave their lives, to those who fought with them, and to the citizens of this nation who all came together to fight against tyranny. Moreover, it’s placement on the Mall is precisely correct, between monuments to the Father of our Nation and the President who led the nation through its greatest conflict and gave birth to the idea conceived in the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal. Those who gave of themselves; this Nation in the 20th century, came together to bring that ideal to the world at large.

This is a special place.


On the other hand, Ben hated it -- calling it a "dog park"
It is clumsy and bureaucratic. It has no classic line or form. It is as graceless and hollow as the lobby of a modern governmental building.
I strongly disagree.