Thursday, July 14, 2005

The hunt for the next justice

The Hill is reporting today that John McCain has suggested Senator/TV star/movie star/Watergate personality Fred Thompson as a desirable nominee for the Supreme Court:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) floated the name of Thompson, who met with Senate Republicans yesterday. “He could do like Cheney,” said McCain, referencing how Dick Cheney headed Bush’s search for a vice-presidential running mate and was himself selected. “I’m serious,” McCain said. “He’d be great.”

Yes, perhaps he would. I'll have to think more thoroughly about Thompson before I judge his qualifications for the Supreme Court, but I'm not sure he'd be such a bad choice (how's that for a double-negative quasi-endorsement?). These days, we tend to think more of judges already sitting on the federal benches, but some of the great justices of the past, including Earl Warren, were appointed to the Supreme Court from non-judicial positions. See the Times story here.

In other news:

  • Rehnquist is out of hospital and denying any imminent retirement. "I am not about to announce my retirement," he said. "I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits." More here.
  • O'Connor is being wooed out of retirement. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Committee, have suggested that O'Connor could be a candidate for chief justice were Rehnquist to retire, and now four other senators have written to O'Connor to ask her to reconsider her retirement. More here.
Ah, the saga continues... Can Bush please nominate someone? Anyone? Then we can talk more seriously about this. Sure, I've done my share of speculating here, but it's time to get down to business...

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