Wednesday, May 25, 2005

SCOTUS Prediction

Once in a blue moon I make predictions on this site. Most of them never come true. But here goes: When a Supreme Court spot opens up later this year, President Bush will nominate Janice Rogers Brown. Here are a few reasons: (1) she is highly qualified; (2) she is a woman; (3) she is African American; and (4) she won't be filibustered.

President Bush has demonstrated numerous times that he values a diversity of highly qualified people to make up his cabinet and his appointees. Why do I think that she won't be filibustered? Because the Senate compromise deal reached the other day agreed not to filibuster Brown and reserved the right to filibuster only those "extreme" candidates in "extraordinary circumstances." Brown, then, on their understanding, is not extreme and is no longer worth filibustering. So if logic and consistency mean anything, she is filibuster-proof.

I think it would be a very shrewd political move. John Podhoretz, by the way, thinks that Bush will nominate Miguel Estrada to become the first hispanic Supreme Court justice. This very well could happen. The question is whether Estrada, who had to withdraw his name for an earlier nomination, will accept. I doubt he will, and hence I think Brown may bet the nod.

BTW, the name that appears most often at the top of shortlists for SCOTUS is Judge Michael McConnell. If more than one vacancy opens up, as seems likely, I would expect to see a McConnell nomination and confirmation.