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The Case for Michael Luttig or Michael McConnell

Email Email Print hears it is Judge Luttig or Judge Williams. I am hoping for the former, and if not Judge Luttig, then the 10th Circuit’s Michael McConnell. The best case for either man is that they are the best men for the court. In the end, I am hoping that President Bush makes a choice that he can defend to the country as a simple merit pick, free of political calculation or constituency bolstering. Very few, if any, serious ConLaw scholars would debate the intellectual qualifications of either man, and their colleagues from the Reagan Executive Branch, the law school community or the bench will sing their praises. Either will be opposed as too conservative, which is simply outrageous partisanship. So there will be a fight, and the GOP has the votes to win.

There has never been a filibuster of a SCOTUS nominee over the perception of how he or she would vote. If the Senate Democrats mount such an effort, the country will get a very clear lesson in how unhinged that party’s leadership has become from the country’s political history and mainstream, and the Senate will have to vote on whether the filibuster can be applied to SCOTUS nominees. The Republicans will win that debate and that vote.

When the battle is over, and five and ten and twenty and perhaps even thirty years later, George W. Bush will be able to confidently assess his first two nominees to the SCOTUS and know that he did exactly the right thing for the right reasons.

The Supreme Court deserves the best jurists available to it. If the Constitution matters, then the nominees to join the court that interprets the Constitution should be those judges with the best intellectual talent, calm temperment and governmental experience.

It is a coin toss between these two men. That they are men shouldn’t be a reason to deny the SCOTUS and thus the country the best and highest use of their vast talent.


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