Saturday, March 26, 2005

The next Supreme Court Justice will be...?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Justice Scalia is going to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. We all know that Chief Justice Rehnquist is not at the top of his game, and rumors have him retiring by the end of the year. Justice Scalia has the benefit of being one of two Justices currently under 60, which means he'll be more able to stick around a while. He's also one that President Bush is apparently fond of. I know, I know, I'm repeating what several others have said. I don't have much to offer there.
Over at the University of Pittsburgh School of law (, there is a list of possible replacement justices for whomever becomes the next Chief Justice.
One name I didn't see on that list, but I have heard as a possible dark horse is former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice and current South Texas College of Law professor Tom Phillips. That could be an interesting name to keep in mind as this plays out. Other names I've heard more than once include J. Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, and Alex Kozinski. I also would find it interesting to see Judge Posner selected, though, that could be a long shot, as well. Anyway, I'm no expert, and if I put enough names on here, maybe one will get selected and I can say "I was right!"


Bookworm said...

I think Scalia would be a great choice except that he's apparently not much of a consensus builder. That's probably a useful skill to have. On the other hand, as a clear alpha dog, being leader of the pack may be just what's needed to help bring the court together, and to stop some of the split decisions that keep coming down from on high. There's also talk that Bush will score political points by appointing Clarence Thomas, who has become a fairly respected jurist, who is very conservative (pleasing Bush's base), and who has the political advantage of being black (although Thomas himself would hate being appointed because of his skin color). It's interesting to speculate, and I certainly wonder what will happen.

Steve said...

I share your concern regarding the consensus building. I think Pres. Bush could do well with either Scalia or Thomas, I just have a hunch that Scalia has the advantage.
The plethora of 5-4 decisions and lack of concrete majorities on many cases really is my biggest gripe with Rehnquist. I think he's a brilliant Justice, but I think he's missing that cog that would better unite the Justices. That being said, I don't know that there was a better choice at the time.