Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

12/09/2004

Wishful Thinking

In a recent issue of The Weekly Standard, Terry Eastland opines that replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist would be a relatively easy matter:

Whatever else Bush may take into account in selecting the first nominee, he must make sure that he picks a bona fide judicial conservative. Not only might the president not get another chance to nominate a justice, but it would make no sense to replace a judicial conservative, which Rehnquist most demonstrably is, with someone whose philosophy of judging is the opposite or, more likely, indiscernible because undeveloped. (Repeat after us: No more Souters--but also no more O'Connors.) Furthermore, a judicial conservative can be confirmed. Those Senate Democrats who insist on maintaining the Court's current ideological balance cannot credibly object to a successor to Rehnquist who holds the same philosophy as he. And moderate Senate Democrats can tell liberal interest groups that, after all, because this is already a "conservative seat," they can't be expected to go up against a recently reelected president on this nomination.

The president should be willing to expend in behalf of his choice some of that political capital he talked the other day about having earned. But the stars are well aligned for his first nomination: The president has every opportunity to select a stellar constitutional jurist, and to get him (pretty easily, we suspect) confirmed. Just do it.

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