Friday, October 28, 2005

The Next Nominee...

May have already been chosen. Various rumors suggest we get an announcement today. But it's important to be clear about the principles involved in this choice.

1. The nominee should have impeccable conservative/originalist credentials. There should be no doubt about the nominee’s conservativism. This means NO as in NO stealth candidates: eg, Maureen Mahoney or Callahan. (The Corner notes reports that are currently circulating that Mahoney is pro-Roe.)

2. The nominee should be on record as a critic of several of the cases listed below—with opposition to Roe as the sine qua non of an acceptable nominee:
2.1. Roe v Wade (abortion).
2. 2. Lawrence v Texas (gay marriage).
2.3. ACLU v Reno (internet pornography).
2.4. Santa Fe v. Doe (school prayer).
2.5. McCreary County v ACLU (ten commandments).

3. Good nominees would include: Emilio Garza, Michael McConnell, Edith Jones, Chris Cox, and William Pryor.

MEANWHILE: the rumor mill...
"Sources say that Judge Priscilla Owen of the 5th circuit, Judge Michael McConnell of the , J. Harvie Wilkinson of the 4th circuit, Judge Edith Jones of the 5th circuit and Judge Edith Clement of the 5th circuit and Judge Karen Williams of the 4th circuit had interviews with Bush.”

Bush won’t pick anybody he hasn’t interviewed. And if he interviewed them, it means they’ve also been vetted.

What should the president do with these candidates?

Edith Jones: Yes—see the links at ConfirmThem.
McConnell: Cautious yes—He’s academia’s leading critic of Roe v. Wade, and strong on Religion in the First Amendment. He’s no liberal: any conservative who can resist the pressure of academia will likely resist the pressure of SCOTUS; cf. Scalia.
Williams: NO—with her Democratic husband she’s an excellent bet to come to DC and lose both her principles and her accent.
Owen: NO—reported here at ConfirmThem to be pro-Roe; her sympathy for parental notification does not change this. And she’s vulnerable to the Bush crony charge.
Edith Clement Brown: NO—see her answer to Senator Kennedy below.
Wilkinson: NO: he was Powell’s clerk on SCOTUS when Powell voted for Roe, and he regards Powell as his hero. NO WAY.

Edith Brown Clement: answer to Senator Kennedy’s question of 2001:
Question 2C: Do you believe the constitutional right to privacyencompasses a woman’s right to have an abortion?
Answer: The Supreme Court has clearly held that the right toprivacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have anabortion. The cases handed down by the Supreme Court on the right toabortion have reaffirmed and redefined this right, and the law issettled in that regard. If confirmed, I will faithfully apply SupremeCourt precedent.

GRENFELLHUNT: That’s not good enough.


At Friday, 28 October, 2005, Blogger dan said...

GH, I know someone who was at Mahoney's firm, LAtham and Watkins, for four years, then moved to their LA office and now practices in the DC office of another big LA firm. his read of Mahoney is htat she is a stronger Republican than she is conservative, pro-life personally, but believes that overturning Roe would be a disaster for the GOP. She might be OK on parental consent, PBA, etc., but who knows. Like Roberts, she would not profess to be an originalist. A risky pick, IMHO.

At Friday, 28 October, 2005, Blogger Gary Frazier said...

Two things should be considered before anyone jumps to conclusions about Clement's comments to Kennedy at her confirmation hearing:

(1) She was nominated to a position to the court of appeals. Circuit judges do not, no matter their own views, overrule Supreme Court precedent. Stating that she would apply precedent in no way indicates that she is not committed to overruling Roe.

(2) It was boilerplate language that nearly every appeals court nominee, including Roberts, uses. Note that Clement takes no normative position on Roe. She merely states that it is "settled" Supreme Court law. I can think of no conservative who would suggest that Roe is not "settled," hence the discussion by us on the right of the need to "overrule" Roe.

At Friday, 28 October, 2005, Anonymous Jeff G said...

I presume that the question from Kennedy pertained to her current position as a circuit judge. In that case she is duty bound to apply supreme court precedent. As such I'm not so sure that this is as much of a red flag as GH does. Nevertheless, why take chances when you could go with Edith Jones or Luttig.

At Sunday, 30 October, 2005, Blogger GrenfellHunt said...

Dan, thanks for the valuable info on Mahoney. Your summary of "risky" is perfect based on the info you presented.

Gary/Jeff: you both rightly point out that she's being interviewed for a circuit position. I agree that this is not the place where one would expect a forthright critique of Roe. Nonetheless, it is important that the next Supreme Court appointee make that critique. It seems safer to limit ourselves to those persons who for whatever reason are currently on-record criticizing Roe. Clement might be great--but so too would be the gamble.


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