An Obama Judicial Nominee
I have been thinking (thanks to those who have commented below) about what might be the best thing we can hope for in an Obama nominee given the current political situation and what might be the best policy of conservatives in the Senate. Here's my preliminary conclusion: I hope Obama picks the absolute best proponent and the most articulate, well-spoken, and (above all) the best writer he can find for his understanding of the Constitution. It goes without saying that I believe his understanding of the Constitution to be completely off--but this does not mean that there is not a good case to be made for it. I want someone who will make the case with force and with clarity and with very little willingness (or, perhaps, capacity) to cover it with the veil that makes it politically palatable. I want a good and an honest liberal--one who will be a worthy opponent for Thomas, especially. And I say let them duke it out in print. At least then the opinions of the court will be entertaining and enlightening reading. It is even possible that in this stirring up things will begin to settle into a better kind of clarity than we have at the moment. Senators should question with intensity and probity . . . but more for the sake of exposing what the nominee is than for the sake of any ill-conceived effort to stop it. But an effort to demonize the nominee is also ill-advised. Just move toward clarity and, in the end, trust the judgment of the people. To the winner goes the spoils, and all that . . . This winner is banking on continued lack of clarity. That's where we should put a hold on his account.
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