Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Monday, November 08, 2004

Drudge Rumor: Clarence Thomas to Replace Rehnquist

That's the rumor, at least. It seems the Chief Justice has to go through the same nomination process again. When Thomas was first nominated to the Court, he was viciously attacked in the Senate over the Anita Hill scandal. Not being a political junkie at the time, I didn't pay any attention.

Since then, I've started paying attention to politics (thanks to my wife) and reading judicial opinions (thanks to law school).

Politically, I doubt a Thomas nomination would do much good. True, that would make him the first black Chief Justice (he is the second black Supreme Court Justice). But blacks didn't support him during his original nomination, and I can't imagine they would now. It looks too much like a political move. And most importantly, the NAACP has effectively convinced blacks that you cannot be both black and conservative. Seriously, they hate black conservatives more than they hate the Klan, because black conservatives undermine their whole approach to politics.

Legally, I wouldn't be terribly impressed with a Thomas nomination, either. As a conservative I generally like his results, but his opinions never wow me. I mean that in as non-partisan a way as possible, because I can honestly say I loved Justice Brennan's opinions, raging liberal though he was. He and Justice Scalia were the best around. Now only Scalia is around, and perhaps the better choice.

But consider also that at 56, Thomas is the youngest person on the bench, and would basically run the show for maybe 25 years. That's quite a legacy for Bush. Scalia is in his seventies, I think (have to look that one up), so he wouldn't be around as long.