The Next Justice

>> Thursday, August 13, 2009

With the recent confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor President Obama managed to add two axis of diversity to the Court. So whats next? Given the temperament of both obama and justice sotomayor i dont envision obama nominating someone radically different in judicial philosophy or style. When you have nailed down the type of person that president obama is likely to nominate the next logical question is exactly what vessel the philosophy will come in. i think Obama should actually nominate another woman of color. My prediction is that he will nominate a white guy the second time around.

It would be a bold stroke to nominate another woman of color. Given the rather white and male history of the court adding more women to the mix sets an important precedent. Adding a woman should be common place, unremarkable. It can only get that way if presidents establish a pattern of nominating women often. Likewise nominating people of color, asian or black or latino or whatever it doesnt matter, is something that should be considered common. If President Obama doesnt start to establish the precedent i am not confident it will happen any time soon.

The reason i am skeptical about the nomination of another woman of color to the Court is that the reaction will be great at this point in time. I do believe their would be a rather large racial backlash from the right claiming that the black man is executing an affirmative action plan for minorities by nominating them to the court. This would likely be a big political headache for the president and i doubt obama cares enough about placing an actual woman or minority on the bench as long as he feels their interests are well represented by the person he does choose. Its a fight he doesnt have to engage in. Instead he can preserve all his energy for fights on his other big challenges like energy reform or immigration reform or health care reform if we are still dealing with that.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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