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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Who will be the next Justice of the Supreme Court?

The Chicago Tribune has an article today naming Bush's supposed "short list" of individuals who he will nominate to replace Rhenquist, should the Chief retire in the near future (you have to subscribe to the Tribune for free to read the article). Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is at the top of that list and has at least three things going for him: (1) Bush wants to nominate the first Hispanic Justice; (2) it is thought that he would sail through confirmation proceedings; and (3) Gonzales and Bush have a good personal relationship. Social conservatives consider Gonzales a disaster of a selection because his views on abortion and affirmative action are either unknown or moderate.

Could it be that Gonzales will be the latest in a line of Justices appointed by Republicans who turn out to be more liberal than even their colleagues appointed by Democrats? I'm thinking most notably of Earl Warren (Eisenhower); William Brennan (Eisenhower); and John Paul Stevens (Ford). Some might argue that Souter and Kennedy somewhat belong in this category as well. Maybe 30 years from now, nobody will even be able to tell you the political party of the President who appointed "Justice Gonzales"


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