I don’t really have much to say about the retirement of SCOTUS Justice David Souter, except that the man was clearly not who GHW Bush was told he would be. Promoted by then-White House Chief of Staff John Sununu as a thoughtful conservative with an inoffensive judicial record, he came quickly and reliably to align himself with that wing of the Supreme Court believing that federal law has to do as much with judicial experiences, personal preferences and feelings as it does with some moldy old piece of parchment sitting in the National Archives. Whomever the president picks to replace him will probably be no better or worse.
Still, I found the headline to this NYT article rather amusing, given the cast of characters in play:
I suppose that depends on what you mean by “varied,” but it seems like a remarkably homogeneous assortment given the overall make-up of the federal judiciary.
I’m not saying that the bench ought to only be stacked with gray-haired white men from Harvard, but there is something unseemly in such an utterly unselfconscious lack of pretense. In elder days, we at least pretended to fill a vacant seat in the highest court in the land with the most qualified candidate regardless of the accidents of his or her birth.
One might almost call it sexist. If one were so inclined.
Still, this is, after all, a political appointment and there are identity groups that must be pandered to bills to pay.