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The Confirmation of Justice Alito: The Reagan Revolution Continues

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Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have long pieces on the continuing legal harvest from the Reagan Justice Department and White House.

Among those who share in the credit for spotting and developing this team are the late William French Smith and Rex Lee, and the very much still inthe game Ken Starr and Fred Fielding.

There was never any “plan” to identify and credential the best young legal minds of the early ’80s, but it turned out that way. There are many more such Reagan-era lawyers and judges on the lower federal courts, in law schools and in private practice, and three more years in which the Bush Administration will continue to use that talent bank to fill vacancies on the federal bench (including, hopefully, two more nominations to the D.C. Circuit in short order, to go along with the renomination of Brett Kavanaugh, already accomplished.)

Not being in D.C. it is hard to say whether the current set of Special Assistants to the AG, Assistant and Associate Counsels to the President, Deputy Assistant AG’s and Deputy General Counsels scattered across the government have the same abilities as the young Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito did when they were toiling away in the Reagan-era ’80s, but it will part of President Bush’s legacy if the nominees of 2025 turned out to have begun their careers in the turbulent legal times of the Bush Adminsitration.

I hope the president and his senior staff are restocking the bench.


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