From on High

I retort. You decide.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pick 3

I'd like to get a little game going. Think of three people whom George W. Bush should consider for Sandra Day O'Connor's spot on the Supreme Court but who haven't been mentioned much (or at all) in the press. It can be more a wish-list than a prediction, but anyone who picks a future nominee gets a special prize. Here are my picks:

1. Frances Frago Townsend - She's Bush's current Homeland Security advisor and a lifetime government lawyer/prosecutor who formerly held several high positions at the Department of Justice. As one of Bush's closest confidants, she has won the President's deep respect and trust over the last four years. As a Democratic appointee (holdover from the Clinton administration) she'd have broad bipartisan appeal.

2. Mary Jo White - This tough-minded former prosecutor is now a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton. She may not be "bookish" enough for the role of Justice, but she's a Columbia Law grad and few could doubt that she's smart. Though Clinton appointed her to the her post as U.S. Attorney, rumor has it she's been disenchanted with the Democratic party of late.

3. Sonia Sotomayor - Appointed by Bush I to the District Court, elevated by Clinton to the Circuit Court, she's also likely to face easy confirmation by Democratic Senators while simultaneously allowing Bush to check off the woman and Latina boxes. The only problem is she too may not be conservative enough either for Bush or for his conservative base. That may be why she's not mentioned on any short lists.

I'm not sure that I'd nominate any of these three, but I'd certainly take a close look at their resumes. As you might have noticed, all of my picks assume 1) that the person should be a woman and 2) that a compromise moderate pick is better than a conservative ideologue who will further divide the country with a bitter confirmation hearing. I'm pretty confident that with Roberts already on the court and one or two more justices likely to go before Bush's term is out, the court is in no danger of going radically liberal any time soon. Why not take the opportunity to show some civility?

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