More Speculation on Souter Replacements

The AP now has this list of potential replacement candidates for Justice Souter.

President Obama's vetting team has been at this for a while. I doubt he'll feel pressured to nominate someone acceptable to conservatives, particularly with Arlen Specter and (hopefully)Al Franken joining the Dems in the Senate before a vote is scheduled. Whoever he picks is probably a lock.

If he is looking for a "consensus nominee", as I wrote several times in 2005 when Bush was doing the picking, 5th Circuit Judge Ed Prado would be an excellent choice. Initially appointed to the federal bench by Reagan, and to the 5th Circuit by Bush, he's also been a long-time opponent of mandatory minimum sentences, as I wrote here in 2003. Prior to becoming a judge, he was both a district attorney, U.S. Attorney and Public Defender. The "Draft Prado" website is no longer accessible, but who knows, maybe it will be back.

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    Savana Redding (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Ben Masel on Fri May 01, 2009 at 03:16:37 AM EST
    The Constitution mentions no minimum age, nor does it require a law degree.

    Balanced . . .HAH! (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by allys gift on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:18:07 AM EST
    If Balance is the target, Obama must pick a VERY liberal woman. There are at least 4 VERY conservative justices, a regular conservative, and 4 moderates.  Not a liberal among them while the population of the US is at least 30% liberal.  There are 8 men and 1 woman when the population is 51% female.

    So are there any VERY liberal women on the list?

    They are already (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by indy in sc on Fri May 01, 2009 at 10:09:18 AM EST
    attacking potential nominees.  I'm shocked, shocked!

    This morning on Morning Joe, Joe was saying how republicans sit back and give deference to democratic president supreme court nominees and only the democrats attack republican supreme court nominees.  No one on the show challenged him...sigh.

    Jacob, take your (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 01, 2009 at 10:15:36 AM EST
     Obama-bashing elsewhere. It's off-topic and mean-spirited.  Keep this thread to replacement nominees.

    It's your blog. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jacob Freeze on Fri May 01, 2009 at 12:38:14 PM EST
    It's your blog, and maybe you think that a negative reading of Obama's character was also irrelevant to the appointment of Tim Geithner, who "proposed asking Congress to give the president broad power to guarantee all the debt in the banking system" in June 2008, and in the ten months since then, "the government has in many ways embraced his blue-sky prescription."

    Blue skies for bankers, but no relief for desperate homeowners, after President Obama let mortgage cramdown die without a fight in the Senate.

    It's your blog, and you can pretend that whatever it was that appointed Tim Geithner is totally irrelevant to future appointments, but about the meaning of "mean-spirited"...

    It's an excellent fit for a hypocritical politician who only yesterday betrayed hundreds of thousands of desperate homeowners.


    It should be a woman. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lilybart on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:17:56 PM EST
    I don't care who thinks that gender shouldn't matter. It does and one woman on the court is not enough.

    Half the country is not properly represented.

    Vanity Fair (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by jbindc on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:52:14 PM EST
    argues for Anita Hill to be the replacement. (Hey, she's a woman, a minority, and it would be fun to have to watch Clarence Thomas squirm for the rest of his life).

    And this conservative plays along and says Arlen Specter should be the choice. (And while I think his reasoning is faulty, I can think of a better reason - he could be grilled as mercilessly as he grilled Anita Hill!)


    Amen. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Dr Molly on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:01:13 PM EST
    I'm so tired of the token 1-2 women on the court. It definitely matters.

    Compared to the President.... (1.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Jacob Freeze on Fri May 01, 2009 at 03:09:12 AM EST
    Prior to becoming a judge, (Prado) was both a district attorney, U.S. Attorney and Public Defender.

    And now Prado may or may not be appointed to the Supreme Court by a "lawyer" who never tried a case in court or wrote an article for a legal journal, and got himself elected on the basis of a "semi-fictional" autobiography and ridiculous slogans, and then immediately sold out the country to international banks.

    American law and politics...

    It's all just a joke.

    Dude we get it (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 01, 2009 at 05:54:41 AM EST
    you don't like Obama, he's not Kucinich and even Dennis would be a little too conservative for your tastes, no reason to let your petty distaste for Obama cloud every single issue.

    "...Obama, he's not Kucinich..." (1.50 / 2) (#6)
    by Jacob Freeze on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:08:28 AM EST
    Don't you mean "... Obama, he's not Martin Luther King..."


     "... Obama, he's not anybody with any principles or integrity..."

    If you actually bothered to do a little research, instead of just pretending to know all about me, you would already know that...

    Wesley Clark was my first choice for President in 2000 and 2004 and 2008, and...

    If the hypocritical clown Obama had any integrity, I would have supported him even with a centrist platform like Clark.


    Thanks for clarifying (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:37:07 AM EST
    Its not idelogical its just petty whining, gotcha.

    So integrity is a "petty" consideration? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jacob Freeze on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:51:29 AM EST
    Apparently "Socraticsilence" thinks integrity is a "petty" consideration in politics, and objections about Obama's political ideology or his spot on the political spectrum would be more substantial.

    And it's obviously incomprehensible to such people that anyone might support Kucinich and Wesley Clark equally, in spite of major differences in their political orientation, mainly because both of them are honest, in addition to their many other outstanding qualities.


    It is a bit odd (none / 0) (#14)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 01, 2009 at 09:11:19 AM EST
    John McCain is also "honest" as were Santorum and Keyes- they jut backed horrendous policies- but hey you embrace that integrity above all else strategy- I mean sure it basically means that in the last half-century the only President you would have even partially supported were Carter and Eisenhower:

    JFK- basically dishonest not only in personal life but also in terms of civil rights and Vietnam
    LBJ- Vietnam
    Nixon- Vietnam
    Ford- Pardoned Nixon
    Carter- Good Guy- possible objection in support of mujahadeen
    Reagan- Iran-Contra, possibly October Suprise
    Bush I- Iran-Contra
    Clinton- personal issues, selling out on Welfare, DADT, etc.
    Bush- Iraq among other things
    Obama- not withdrawing Habeas and other terror appeals

    Heck let's go back through the greats in American History
    FDR- packing court, internment of the Japanese
    Wilson- probably don't need to elaborate
    Teddy- Betrayal of first Republican and then progressive principles
    Lincoln- Suspension of Habeas, slow movement on abolition
    Jackson- betrayal of principles of office- "let them enforce it bit"
    Jefferson- betrayal of own principles on Slavery
    Adams- betrayal of principles in Bill of Rights (Alien and Sedition)
    Washington- decent, except for the whole slavery violating the basic spirit of constitution


    you seem to be mixing and matching (none / 0) (#16)
    by Bemused on Fri May 01, 2009 at 09:22:40 AM EST
     things that bear on honesty or integrity with objectionable decisions.

      I actually agree that honesty and integrity are exceptionally important considerations and that significant lack of them in a person is "disqualifying" in my view regardless of the degree of policy or political agreement.

      On the other hand just being an honest won't get my support for high office if i worry about temperament, judgment and even mental stability. (Either Clark and Kucinich, for example,  would scare the living daylights out of me as President)

      As we get no perfectly virtuous people, it's always a matter of degrees (and even that calculation is obviously skewed heavily by perception and bias).

       As it is I prefer the "less dishonest" people as far as I can distinguish them from the field.


    "Lawyer" (none / 0) (#3)
    by Merle on Fri May 01, 2009 at 05:07:51 AM EST
    There are lots of eminent, successful, highly qualified, and intelligent lawyers in this country who have never "tried a case in court" , or who  never "wrote an article for a legal journal." What makes you think these are negatives for a lawyer who wants to become or is President?

    I'm not even sure I'd care if a Supreme Court nominee had never tried a case in court or had never written a law review article.
    In many instances, in fact, I might see those qualities as positives.  There's a lot of garbage published in law reviews.  

    Eminent lawyers with no legal record? (1.50 / 2) (#11)
    by Jacob Freeze on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:39:54 AM EST
    Okay, Merle...

    Maybe you could name a few "eminent lawyers" who never tried a case in court, or published a legal article, or filed a brief of any kind, or even negotiated an out-of-court settlement, as far as anyone knows?

    Who are these "eminent lawyers" who have no legal record whatsoever, like Barack Obama?

    We elected a political version of Britney Spears on the basis of TV charisma and a few pop-song slogans, and now you seem to think that Britney/Barack should appoint a legal version of Paris Hilton to the Supreme Court!



    Johnny Mac (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 01, 2009 at 09:21:29 AM EST
    Is that you? Sorry, man America didn't buy the "Celebrity" meme.

    Hey Jacob, can you explain to me why U Chicago would have hired a "celebrity" to teach law- I mean is that the strategy that lets a University rank among the nation's most prestigous law schools.

    In terms of your question would you have considered Bill Clinton a lawyer- sure he was Arkansas AG for a time, but in terms of actual court cases I can't find any record of them.


    BC (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri May 01, 2009 at 10:21:48 AM EST
    Was Of Counsel at Wright, Lindsey, and Jennings for 2 years, although spent most of his time doing work for his re-election.

    You don't know much (none / 0) (#33)
    by Merle on Sat May 02, 2009 at 01:35:22 PM EST
    about law, varieties of the practice of law,legal education, "filing legal briefs",do you?
    Your post, and my response, addressed only your implication that the only real lawyers were those who "tried cases in court" (including traffic court?) or wrote journal articles.  

    Har Har to you.  Keep watching lawyers on TV and thinking that you know what it's all about.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#5)
    by Bemused on Fri May 01, 2009 at 07:52:21 AM EST
     it's necessary that every Justice has tried cases but I definitely don't want a Court dominated by a majority that hasn't. As for law review articles I don't think being published means anything directly in terms of qualifications but the outlook presented in them (and other written and spoken communications) are helpful tools in evaluating candidates.

      Personally, I would prefer a "balanced" court in terms of jurisprudential philosophy, political ideology and backgrounds. (Of course, I would also prefer that the phiolosophical and ideological balnce be titlted slightly in "my favor").

      My ideal court would have one extremist from the the left and right. The extremists would be scholarly types and able to forcefully and persuasively state  competing extreme positions. I'm not an extremist in any sense of the word but I think it helps a lot to have those views to provide perspective and sometimes just warnings of the otherwise glossed over problems  of the majority view.

      Then I would  like a two  pragmatic, non-ideological Justices with nuts and bolts experience in court, preferably with long careers as practicing courtroom lawyers and maybe also some tenure on a trial bench.

      Among the other five, I'd prefer a 3-2 split in terms of in favor of what is usually somewhat inaccurately called liberal activist jurists with the five having a range of backgrounds.

      I fear more than anything solid ideolgical majorities for either side. A cohesive ideological majority has too much power.

    I really don't care (none / 0) (#8)
    by Bemused on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:30:34 AM EST
      much about the sex of candidates and think that only has external politcal ramifications. I won't speak for women, but I think it is invalid and perhaps insulting to suggest that the sex of a person defines is determinative of how they will act in a job.

      Here,  to retain even  the current balance, we obviously need a someone as or more "liberal" than Souter turned out to be. (Remember though he was selected by Bush, so expectations are not always met).

       Of course, my ideal court will likely never exist because Presidents only fill vacancies as they occur and don't get to start from scratch and couldn't create MY ideal court even if they share my opinion.

    there has been some speculation (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:37:37 AM EST
    that there could have been a deal with Ed Rendell to favor his wife for one of these spots as a reward for helping flip Specter.

    "Mr. Rendell and his wife Marjorie O. Rendell, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit . . . "

    I like Midge (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:46:05 AM EST
    I'm not sure she's young enough or quite has the gravitas for the rule, though.

    I forgot about the woman aspect (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 01, 2009 at 10:13:23 AM EST
    I think he will pick a woman for the first opening -- and one who is a racial minority. Sotomayor may be near the top of his list.

    Age will also be a factor. He'll want a relatively young justice for maximum impact on the court for years to come.

    On the other hand, I think he will want to appoint someone with whom he has  a personal relationship. But maybe he'll tell those aspirants to wait till the second vacancy.

    I would so love... (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri May 01, 2009 at 10:54:59 AM EST
    ...to see the Old Boy's Club get broken up a little more with another female justice.

    Are you going to send in your resume, Jeralyn?


    one thing for sure (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 01, 2009 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    I think.  is that it will not be Hillary (at least not this time).
    she is needed far to much right where she is at the moment.

    HRC (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:48:45 PM EST
    is not SC material.  She's a policy wonk and doesn't really have the passion for the law in the way a justice would need.

    Too Old (none / 0) (#31)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 01, 2009 at 08:12:54 PM EST
    Honestly, I think it'd be a waste to appoint a justice over the age of say 55, but that's just my personal opinion.

    As I was reading the Wingers... (none / 0) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri May 01, 2009 at 02:23:39 PM EST
    ...reaction to all of this, I came across one fairly sane comment.  That was that with the retirement of Justice O'Connor, the current make-up of the SC is all Easterners.  The argument was made that the interests of the West are not being represented.  I.E...

    Considering the ongoing, protracted battles over water, oil, natural gas and mining existing throughout the West, the Court would benefit from someone with experience in these critical issues.

    I have to agree--although I'm sure we differ on whos interests need to be served.  So, I am updating my wish list to:  liberal, female and a Westerner.

    Kim Wardlaw (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Fri May 01, 2009 at 03:27:01 PM EST
    She is on the Ninth Circuit.  Her mother is Mexican American.

    Appointed by Bill Clinton.  Was a long time partner at O'Melveny & Myers.

    Take two off the list (none / 0) (#27)
    by jsj20002 on Fri May 01, 2009 at 04:11:57 PM EST
    Not that they are not qualified, but I would take Koh and Patrick off the list because they either have or are slated to have tremendous responsibilities in their present or future assignments and they will not have to persuade four other of their colleagues to just do their job. Koh, I believe, is slated to become the legal advisor at the State Department and quite obviously will be knee-deep in serious international problems from day one.  Patrick is doing an admirable job as governor of Massachusetts and he is a remarkable Democratic politician and just as good a public speaker as our president. Would that we had more like him -- there will be another place for him on the national stage.  Jennifer Granholm, my governor, is term limited and has nothing but the private sector in her immediate future.  

    I want it to be a woman (none / 0) (#32)
    by catmandu on Sat May 02, 2009 at 09:56:15 AM EST
    I don't believe that being a man is a requirement for being an excellent SC judge.  It is about time that woman are recognized as half the population and have half the responsibility of the proper care of this country.
    I would like to see Janet Napolitano as justice.  She would be good in the job.  She has great legal experience.
    What do you think??