Sunday, October 30, 2005

Supreme Court Nominee Prediction

I have not idea who the next US Supreme Court nominee will be. The latest news indicates that it is a dead heat between Federal Judges J. Michael Luttig and Alito.

Both men have long track records of judical experience and are both considered to be firmly in the tradition and philosophy of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia.

Both were overwhelmingly approved for their Federal Court positions by the Senate and it would be a real stretch for the Democrats to claim extraordinary circumstances to justify a filibuster on either.

My prediction, if I must make one (and I don't but I will, anyway), is that Alito will be nominated. At 55 he is four years older than Luttig and, based on my reading, be slightly less distressing to the Democrats. His 15 years on the Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia (in contrast to Luttig's 4 years in Richmond, Virginia) gives plenty of paper trails to follow and, therefore, fewer opportunities for demands from memos or records from the Executive Branch (a situation that Harriet Miers cited for her withdrawal from nomination).

I feel that Bush believes that he will get at least one more chance to nominate to the Court and will be keeping Luttig in his "back pocket." If he gets more than one opportunity look for Janice Brown to get called up. She has only recently been appointed to a Federal Appeals Court position so another year or two on the bench will only serve to ripen her appeal.

I'll probably be wrong on this but no one can say I didn't stick my neck out!