Nomination Nation

News, views, and gossip about judicial appointments. Please send your tips to Pozinski [at] gmail [dot] com or Senator [dot] Spectator [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Handicapping Bush's Judicial Nominations

An article with that title appears today in Legal Times. It provides a good overview of the challenges facing both the administration and the Senate in the upcoming year(s).

On the lighter side

The Onion reports that the Supreme Court will break up if Chief Justice Rehquist retires.

"It just wouldn't be the same court without Bill," Justice David Souter said. "He's the heart and soul of this judicature, the one who motivates us to keep ruling. I can't imagine doing it without him."

"Bill kept arguing that no matter what happened, the Supreme Court should continue," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said. "It was touching to see how much
faith he has in us, but I think the majority opinion is in favor of quitting while we're on top, rather than muddling through a bunch of mediocre judicial sessions and becoming some sort of kangaroo court."Continued O'Connor, "The hardest thing to achieve with a judicial body as large as ours is a rapport. To effectively interpret the law, you need that certain magical something. Without Rehnquist, we'll lose that vibe."

Bernard Tomaine, publisher of the Supreme Court fanzine The Docket, characterized Rehnquist's role as "essential."

"When Rehnquist leaves, it's going to be the end of an era," Tomaine said. "He's absolutely irreplaceable."

Added Tomaine: "I've got a bootleg copy of an opinion that Rehnquist wrote for U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez that would blow your mind."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nuclear Option? Perhaps Not So Fast.

As the second Bush administration is about to take hold much talk is swirling around the nation's capital about judicial nominees. The big question is whether the Democrats will continue to filibuster some nominees, and if so what will be the GOP response. The most talked about repsonse by the Republicans has been the "nuclear ("nu-ku-lar") option."

This Washington Post article however questions whether or not the GOP will have the votes to implement the option. And of course, the Democrats are threatening retribution should the GOP end filibusters.

In any event it should be a fun fight. Let the battles begin.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Sunken and Lifeless

This is awful, but noteworthy. There's a first-person account of the Chief Justice's (outward) condition in today's New York Post. It is not good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A completely Unproven and Totally Speculative Theory

With today's selection of Judge Chertoff to head the Department of Homeland Security a question and then a thought came to my mind. The question is, why would anyone give up a life tenure on the Court of Appeals (especially if one was appointed to it less than 2 years ago) for an uncertain and politcially charged world of the Presidential Cabinet?!

Although certainly prestigious, the Cabinet provides neither the job security nor the intellectual challenge of the judicial work. And of course it is signifcantly more hectic. Which in turn brings me to my thought. Could it be that Mr. Chertoff is being groomed for the Supreme Court?

It is well known that President Bush selects individuals for important positions largely on the basis of trust and loyalty. Having Judge Chertoff in Washington, D.C., in a position of high sensitivity will undoubtebly give Bush the opportunity to see if he trusts him enough for the Supreme Court appointment. An additional benefit is that Judge Chertoff would not produce partisan rancor. He was confirmed to be Asistant Attorney General by a vote of 95-1 and Circuit Judge by a vote of 88-1. He is liked by Democratic Senators Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, and was well regarded by fmr. Senator Bill Bradley. So he may sail through the Senate. And if someone like Stevens retires (where the replacement would not have to be rock-ribbed conservative in order to keep the Court in place or move it to the right) Chertoff may be a perfect choice.

None of this theorizing has any basis in any actual fact (beyond the fact that Judge Chertoff, President Bush, and the Supreme Court do exist, and that Judge Chertoff was indeed selected to be the next DHS Secretary).

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What Time is It? Game Time!

The Chairman is finally in place. The new Senate is ready to convene. The President has already done his part. Judicial nomination season is upon us.

And it should be interesting. Tempers are already high. But, while Majority Leader Frist publicly seeks swift action and threatens rules changes to combat the Democrats, documents emerge that he himself has participated in judicial filibusters before, and then lied about it. As Frist himself said, this is all a bit "confusing."

Nomination Nation intends to sort it all out for us, and be your source for the latest in judicial nomination news and gossip.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Random Prediction of the Day

Ever-reliable Cindy Adams, of the New York Post, tells us that Justice O'Connor will "likely resign this summer." While not proffering any real detail on why we should believe her, Adams mentions in passing that O'Connor's husband is not well. If this is true, we wish them both health and happiness for the new year.

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