Monday, April 19, 2010

Could a UVA Law Grad be the Next SCOTUS Nominee?

Verily, it's possible.  You all may remember the Honorable James Clark McReynolds, UVA's only nominee to the Supreme Court, who is "widely considered one of the most unpleasant men to ever sit on the Court."  He had the distinction of refusing to accept "Jews, drinkers, blacks, women, smokers, married or engaged individuals as law clerks."  He would refuse to hear cases that were presented by female or minority lawyers, and refused to speak to [Jewish] justices Brandeis and Cardozo.

So who could follow such an act?  According to the blawg-ologist Brian Leiter, Janet Napolitano, who spoke at the Law School last week, should be considered the front-runner:
I was talking with a colleague elsewhere at a conference the other day, and she had a very persuasive explanation of why former Arizona Governor Napolitano, who is now head of Homeland Security, will be Obama's choice.  Bear in mind, as my colleague David Strauss has said (in various news articles over the last year), that Obama does not have a court-centered agenda:  he isn't looking for a liberal maverick, and he doesn't want to expend his political capital on Supreme Court battles.  As the choice of Sotomayor shows, he likes to get some political benefit out of an appointment, and he certainly doesn't want a Justice who will create problems for his real agendas. 
The list of reasons that follows is interesting, if not wholly surprising or unpredictable.

Related:
Janet Napolitano Will be the Next Supreme Court Justice [Brian Leiter Reports]

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no way, not after her "the system worked" fiasco following the underwear bomber on X-mas day. She has zero chance.

Anonymous said...

Supreme Court Justice Stanley Forman Reed was also a UVa Law alum, but he didn't finish his degree.

Anonymous said...

So "the last Supreme Court Justice who did not graduate from law school" went to UVA? Quality.

If only it had been McReynolds who didn't graduate instead... then we could really say "the system worked"!

Anonymous said...

obama owes this lady. endorsed him early as hell (when everyone still thought hillzilla would win), then takes the most thankless, hi-stress job in the cabinet.

otoh, while she's smart, you need someone with real intellectual chops who's also pugnacious enough to challenge the reactionaries

Anonymous said...

I would love to have a UVA alum on the Court. However, and I am sorry to have to say this, but she is way too dumb to be on the Court. Her incompetence at Homeland Security has been epic.