The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

2/09/2005

The case for Chief Justice Thomas

Unlike the papacy, a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court can step down when his health significantly interferes with his positional duties. I don't expect William Rehnquist to remain as chief justice through the coming summer. Which leads to speculation on a replacement. There's only one logical choice.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Despite Harry Reid unfortunate, ill-informed and just plain stupid remarks about the quality of Justice Thomas's writing, he is very qualified to be on the high court. You gotta think that President Bush would have some strong personal affinity for the man. They're ideological soul mates. Both are bizarrely, continually and viciously derided for a supposed lack of intelligence, despite unimpeachable academic credentials that include advanced degrees and the prestigious Yale University. Thomas could contend for the chief justiceship without surrendering his associate justice seat; in other words, whether he's confirmed or not, he would remain on the court. (And Thomas is so iron-willed that he would have no problem remaining on the court even if he were to face what others would view as an unfaceable humiliation of non-confirmation.)

With the Republicans holding 55 Senate seats, Thomas would most definitely have the votes for confirmation, if there were a vote. Thus, President Bush cannot lose politically with this appointment. Either Thomas becomes Chief Justice, and President Bush and the Republican party reap the benefits of putting the first African-American in charge of one of the three branches of the United States government. Or the Democrats filibuster, standing like Orval Faubus in the doorway trying to block an African-American from what was once a white only domain. Nothing could more quickly bring Karl Rove's re-alignment dream to fruition than such a reactionary stance from the Democrats.

And you just know Thomas-hatah Harry Reid would fall right into the trap.

In the first term, President Bush probably would've elevatred Sandra Day O'Connor for a short stint as chief justice. There isn't enough time for him to appoint a place holder. Thomas will turn 57 this June. President Bush can have a long legacy atop the high court.
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