Friday, July 08, 2005


Hasen: Rehnquist should retire now and Gonzales should replace him

Richard Hasen writes in The New Republic Online (registration required) that Chief Justice Rehnquist should retire immediately (as has been rumored to occur today). Hasen also believes that this will trigger the "West Wing option," which is where President Bush would nominate one principled conservative and one unprincipled fortune teller to the Court. As I opined yesterday, this would be Conservative X and Alberto Gonzales. Apparently, this line of attack was used in the "West Wing" television propogan- ur, I mean, show - in a recent season. I wouldn't know, because, although my wife and I were extras in an episode a year or so ago, I don't believe I have ever watched an entire episode of that liberal babble since it hit NBC several years ago.

In any case, Hasen believes that the "West Wing option" is the best scenario. Why? Well, as he puts it:

"Democrats probably would not block a deal that preserves the Court's current balance of power. Indeed, preserving the status quo is about the best deal they can realistically hope for."

I agree with that. It is the best-case scenario for the Democrats. But what about conservatives? Hasen thinks we're pretty stupid.

"For their part, conservatives would probably be happy with another Scalia or Thomas on the Court, even if that came at the price of a more moderate justice in the other seat."

That's right, Dave. Just throw us a bone every once in a while and we're quite content. After all, we'll just be glad if we get through this whole nomination process without Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton on the Court. I mean, it's not like we are the political base for the President of the United States, the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and the majority of the states' governors. If that were the case, then we might expect to see conservative judges confirmed, because then the argument could be made that conservatives were mainstream America. Heck, we should just be lucky to be included in the debate, right?

(Hasen's thoughts should come as no surprise. Just a few months ago in Roll Call - when faced with the possibility of no filibustering of judicial nominees - Hasen suggested that the entire Senate be "nuked." Very nice.)

I tell you what I do feel lucky about. I feel fortunate that not every law professor thinks the same way as Richard Hasen.

It's amazing to me that the majority party in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives is powerless to the will of the would seem that being in the majority might allow the GOP to exert some control on policy. I'm not sure what's gone wrong here, but something is definitely NOT RIGHT.
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