Patterico's Pontifications


I Should Make This Clear

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:10 pm

I am predicting Garza.

But I am hoping for Luttig.

Bush: save Garza to replace Rehnquist. You want to make history? Forget Gonzales. Make Garza Chief Justice. Now that’s making history.

17 Responses to “I Should Make This Clear”

  1. Rehnquist may not step down before midterms. Depending on how Bush handles this nomination, Rehnquist could well die on the bench (or in a chair).

    Paul Deignan (f8ea37)

  2. Question: What criteria are important to you that lead you to Luttig? Probably make a good post.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  3. Patterico. You have a wonderful website, and I enjoy visiting, but you must hone your Machiavellian skills. Bush must nominate Garza NOW. That would make it exceedingly unlikely that A.G. Gonzales would be nominated in the near future. If subsequently the Chief steps down, then Garza could always be promoted at that point. Garza. Now. Okay?

    Andrew (b77187)

  4. Just wondering: Given Bush’s penchant for renominating previously blocked candidates, is everyone nonetheless writing off Estrada? Why? I would think that the lack of mention of his name makes it strategically more likely, not less, that he could be the one.

    ras (f9de13)

  5. I really like Estrada, though the Clam has warned that he is considered by some to be an unknown in the same sense that David Souter was an unknown before his nomination.

    I still like him, and I think that his treatment at the hands of Retaliacrats was shameful. However, as long as filibusters remain on the table, Estrada cannot be renominated. The wait the first time around caused his private life too much disruption; he would certainly not consent to being renominated unless he had the assurance of an up-or-down vote. Yet another negative consequence of Senate Republicans’ spinelessness in failing to push through the nuclear option.

    Patterico (756436)

  6. Andrew,

    I am afraid that nothing is going to make a Gonzales nomination unlikely — not even a Garza confirmation. Bush is too wedded to the idea — and seems to think (perhaps correctly) that many conservatives will be mollified if one solid conservative is pushed through.

    Machiavellian reasons are nevertheless the reasons that I am predicting Garza will actually be the pick. The main reason not to go with Garza is that I think Bush really wants his pal to be the first Hispanic, as much or more than he wants to be the President who picked the first Hispanic.

    Face it: Bush doesn’t care about getting Roe reversed as much as you and I do. I think the prospect frightens him and other Rove-like “practical” Republicans.

    Patterico (756436)

  7. FYI, the Supreme Court Nomination (SCtN) blog is predicting Owen.

    Andrew (b77187)

  8. Well, Bush may want to put Gonzales on the bench (I don’t know), but he did promise to nominate people of the sort of thiking as Thomas and Scalia.

    Being a man of his word, that rules out Gonzales. (full stop)

    Paul Deignan (f8ea37)

  9. Aren’t you the guy who thinks there will be no successful filibuster?

    I think you’re being naive — again. Or, you’re kidding.

    Patterico (756436)

  10. I’d like to second the question raised by my landsman, Kevin, #2– Why Luttig?

    I like him a lot from what I’ve heard, but I would appreciate your insights on what makes him THE ONE.

    Fortunately, GW has a raft of excellent candidates to choose from– Estrada, Roberts, two Ediths, Brown, Garza, Alioto, etc., etc., etc.

    mrmurph (99ada0)

  11. When I get time. I have no problem with the people you mentioned. But Luttig is my favorite.

    Patterico (756436)

  12. Patterico,

    Adding complication to an analysis without good cause ususally leads to mistakes. I’ve made enough of these in the past that I have learned to take a couple different looks at issues I want to get right.

    Two years ago I predicted that there would not be a successful filibuster of the nominee due to the entrench extremeness of the Dem’s position. They haven’t adapted much since then so my prediction should still be about right.

    The Dems will filibuster if they have the votes for it. If they do, it will be nuked successfully. Regardless, Bush’s nominee will be confirmed.

    I think that Bush will play it straight down the line.

    Paul Deignan (664c74)

  13. Isn’t it the usual tradition to elevate an existing Justice to Chief Justice? When was the last time someone went straight to Chief Justice without being an associate first?

    Dean Esmay (81f299)

  14. Burger. And before him, Warren. And before him, Vinson. Rehnquist was actually the first Chief elevated from an Associate Justice position in 40 years.

    Patterico (756436)

  15. Over at, “Resistance is futile!” the idea that was offered up Bush should nominate Ann Coulter. She is constitutional scholar with a J.D. from a respectable law school. That’s more than most of our Justices have had, historically

    If for no other reason than entertainment just imagine the lovely Ms. Coulter exchanging words with the likes of Kennedy and Schummer…

    russ (00806a)

  16. Dude:

    the best replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is Judge Edith Hollan Jones of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s a real conservative.

    See here:

    -nikita demosthenes

    nikita demosthenes (6aa116)

  17. I recall that at last summer’s National Conservative Student Conference, some people were wondering whether they should support President Bush for re-election. A reason given for disgruntled young conservatives to nonetheless back Bush was the issue of U.S. Supreme Court justices, and how President Bush would appoint better justices than “President Kerry” would. However, during one of the sessions, a student shared Bob Novak’s report that President Bush may choose to appoint Sandra Day O’Connor as Chief Justice, while appointing Alberto Gonzalez as an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. (This would continue his groundbreaking approach to appointing minorities to important positions within the federal government…) He said that he asked [I’m not allowed to disclose the name of the editor-in-chief of this conservative publication] about this… that conservative leader said to trust what Novak had reported.

    President Bush did end up appointing Gonzalez to an important position, but it was to Attorney General. And he now won’t be able to appoint Sandra Day O’Connor to anything.

    I was wondering whether President Bush would appoint Gonzalez to the highest court in the land, which would require removing him from his current post. I didn’t know if this was a strong possibility, but I was surprised today to see that a number of people were predicting it as a probability. While the AG spot is of course extremely significant, especially considering our current geopolitical climate, a U.S. Supreme Court seat ensures power for a lifetime (although it shouldn’t…).

    During President Bush’s first term, there was some speculation that he may appoint a “pro-life Democrat” (possibly one from Texas?) to the Court. That may be something that he could resort to, in order for a nominee to be confirmed – one who opposes Roe.

    This could be the biggest test that our President will be presented, during his second term. But when presented with the opportunity to appoint Supreme Court justices while Governor of Texas, he fumbled badly, appointing three pro-abortion judges to the State Supreme Court, one of whom was Gonzalez.

    The fact that Governor Bush appointed these three justices to the Texas Supreme Court led to the overturning of the Parental Notification Law, which Bush was touting as a success during his gubernatorial term. I remember this news from the 2000 election campaign; the following article, from the Republican National Coalition for Life, has the relevant information:

    When the previous President Bush had two opportunties to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices, he did well. And then he did horribly.

    If he had appointed someone other than ‘Sue-outer‘ – someone who either supported Life, or who supported the Constitution, or both – that would have been enough justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Being the oldest justice, I was thinking that John Paul Stevens may be first in line to step down – and then he could be replaced by a justice like that. But now it seems that everyone else’s name is being tossed around as a possibility for retirement. In fact, Radley Balko is reporting that Souter may be retiring… which would accomplish the same goal.

    In fact, it would have been great if the Court was never given all of this power, so we wouldn’t have to be this worried about who gets in. But now that it has, we have to do what we can, to get back to the Constitution.

    It’s going to be a long trip. We have to pressure our leaders, and pray that they will make the Right turn on the road ahead. Thank you, Patterico – and other bloggers – for your excellent commentary and coverage of this vital subject.

    Aakash (a075a3)

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