Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Senator Martinez for the US Supreme Court?

So thinks NewsMax, which claims that Senator Mel Martinez (R-Florida) has made President Bush's short list.

If so, it would be a great pick.

1. He has the confidence of pro-life leaders--a key part of the GOP constituency. Martinez has been crystal clear in opposing Roe v. Wade: "I am devoted to the pro-life cause in America." And again: “As Florida’s next U.S. Senator, I will go toe-to-toe with Ted Kennedy on the JudiciaryCommittee over confirming judges. I will insist that we confirm judges who will adhere to the limits of judicial authority -- judges who will use the bench to interpretand defend the Constitution, not pursue fringe political agendas.”

2. He would enable President Bush to appoint the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court--without the controversy surrounding Attorney General Gonzales. His dramatic life story--a Cuban refugee who came to America as a teenager and went straight to the top--will win him a broad and sympathetic hearing. A decision to filibuster Martinez would put the Democratic party in the very bad position of filibustering the first Hispanic appointee to the US Supreme Court.

3. As a member of the senatorial club, he would likely pick up strong support from his peers: Harry Reid would probably have little choice as Democratic Senate leader but to offer bi-partisan support since he personally suggested Martinez:

Reid later offered three names of people he said would be good for the court: GOP Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mike Crapo of Indiana. They “are people who serve in the Senate now who are Republicans who I think would be outstanding Supreme Court members,” Reid said.

It's not impossible that Senator Reid could flip-flop. But it would be difficult for Senate Democrats to filibuster a man that Senator Reid has already declared to be an "outstanding Supreme Court" appointee.

4. Catches? a) Sen. Martinez is 58--somewhat older than the president might prefer. b) A staffer for Sen. Martinez wrote the Schiavo memo--which won't help the senator. c) Senator Martinez ran a brass-knuckles senate campaign accusing one opponent of being the "new darling of homosexual extremists". d) Sen. Martinez is a first-term senator with less than a year in the senate and no previous experience on the bench. His principal credentials are his 25 years as a succesful lawyer in Orlando and his experience as Secretary of HUD under W.

5. Although Sen. Martinez would probably be confirmed, it probably wouldn't be without a fight: his strong pro-life and pro-Schiavo credentials, his strong language as a campaigner, and his lack of experience on the bench might make it difficult for him to avoid the firestorm that Judge Roberts has so far been able to dodge.


At Thursday, 08 September, 2005, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

And of course Jeb Bush would get to appoint his replacement.


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