Supreme Court Speculation
As is to be expected, speculation about William Rehnquist's successor has begun less than 24 hours after his death. So, I might as well put in my two cents. This is going to be a long post, but if you read the whole thing, you will eventually find out who my Chief Justice pick is. I want you to read my arguments first, so no fair scrolling down to find out who it is!
Most of the scuttlebutt that I've read has revolved around John Roberts being renominated as head honcho. Personally, I think that Judge Roberts will make a great Chief Justice, in about 15 years. He is significantly younger than every other current justice and lacks the experience on the bench that he needs in ordser to hold the nation's top judicial position. I think that our President knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed Roberts to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat and not Rehnquist's. Bush knew that Rehnquist was probably going to either die or retire before the next election, so he didn't feel the necessity nominate the man he wants to lead the Court in the immediate future. Instead, he picked a young gun who would sit on the Court for a long time and have the chance to move up later. I'm sure that the President already had a short-list of Chief Justice prospects (probably all older than Roberts) already made when O'Connor stepped down, and the reason that he took so long to pick Roberts was that he now had to find a suitable younger candidate.
So, I don't think it's Roberts, but who do I think it should be?
I think that the position of Chief Justice requires a man or woman with a boatload of judicial experience at the highest levels. I also think that the only way to gain such experience is to actually sit on the Supreme Court for an extended period of time. So I think that the President should elevate a sitting justice to the top job, and then pick whoever he pleases to be an associate justice. I know that this will make for a more difficult confirmation process, as three different nominees would have to have Senate hearings, but I think that the good of the Court and the country should come before political expediency.
So, now that you've (hopefully) read my read my reasoning, I think that the next Chief Justice of the United States should be...
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas!
Now, I don't have such a definite idea who should fill Thomas' seat after he is elevated. After all, I have not researched every appeals court judge in the country (and do not intend to). However, as I believe in appointing solid constructionists to the Court and playing political hardball instead of trying to find someone that everybody likes, I think that the new associate justice should be...
Judge Janice Rogers Brown.
(DC Circuit Court of Appeals)
Judge Brown is reliably conservative, a minority, and a woman. If I remember correctly she is also the daughter of a Southern sharecropper, so the Democrats can't use the argument that she "hasn't seen hard times" (which is what they're saying about Roberts), and they definitely can't criticize her on civil rights. This would also be a good political move, daring the liberals to filibuster her again (at their own political risk). Most importantly, nominating her would show that Bush has the guts to make waves in order to put the right person on the court.
So, those are my picks. I probably will not comment further on this matter until a nominee is chosen, because I have said everything that I have to say at the moment. So, what do you think?