Who will Bush nominate to succeed Justice O'Connor?

Nobody’s started a simple, open-ended handicapping thread on this yet, so here it is: Who will Bush nominate to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor? And why?

Are there any constitutional experts who are not judges? Or even lawyers?

Hmmm… the way I phrased that seems too much like a hijack. Sorry folks. I have read previously that you don’t have to be a lawyer or judge before being on the Supreme Court and wonder if Bush will look beyond the assembled ranks of judges. Perhaps there’s a historian or two who’s an expert on the Constitution?

It’s Janice Rogers Brown. god help us all…

You speak as if Bush has already decided on Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Rogers_Brown) as the nominee. You know something we don’t?

Hundreds, no doubt. And there’s no constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court justice be a lawyer.* But I can’t think of one, to date, who wasn’t. Does anybody know? I remember reading once that William Howard Taft wasn’t a lawyer; the Wikipedia article on him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Taft) doesn’t say whether he was or wasn’t.

*For that matter, I remember hearing once during a lecture in an undergraduate course on American government that there’s no legal requirement that a federal judge at any level be a lawyer, but I never heard that again in law school or since.

Like Judge Roy Bean?

:stuck_out_tongue: I said a federal judge!

O’Conner thru a wrench in the system. Now Bush needs to find an Hispanic woman who is also an originalist for the court.

Heh. I read that as “O’Connor threw a *wench * in the system.”

The next minority in line for an affirmative-action nomination isn’t necessarily the Hispanics. Any non-Anglo would do, if that’s what Rove is thinking.

The rubber will meet the road when a vote is taken on Cheney’s override of the parliamentarian’s ruling that cloture on debate of the the parliamentarian’s first ruling that Cheney’s constitutional folderol vis-a-vis the illusory disctinction between legislative proceedings vs. confirmation proceedings.

At that point, the gang of 14 deal becomes a referendum on “extraordinary circumstances”

Since Brown has already been found (by implication) less than exceptionally unqualified, the terrain upon which the dems find themselves fighting will be less hospitable than if there were a nomination “de novo” as it were.

Moreover, she being a “doubleplay” as it were, half a dozen raving loonies (republicans…) will rise to accuse the dems of racism and sexism, yada yada.

sorry, lost a dependant clause or two.

"that cloture will require 60 votes on the debate of the parliamentarian’s first ruling requiring 60 votes to end debate on the question in chief, ie the nomination itself.

It would be funny if Bush paves the way for his brother’s acension to the presidency by nominating Rudolph Giuliani.

OK, if I’ve got it right, you mean:

  1. Bush nominates Brown and submits her name to the Senate for confirmation.

  2. The Democrats filibuster, indefinitely delaying a floor vote (which probably not certainly would end in confirmation).

  3. Supporters of the nomination fail to muster the necessary 60 votes (3/5) to call cloture on debate on the nomination.

  4. Cheney, in his constitutional capacity as president of the Senate, argues (or simply asserts – he doesn’t strictly need to support his position with a legal or rules-based argument) that the Senate rules providing for unlimited debate do not apply to confirmation of presidential judicial nominees (or, perhaps, presidential nominees of any kind, what the hell).

  5. Cheney submits that particular question for debate on the Senate floor.

  6. The Democrats filibuster that debate.

  7. Once again, 60 votes cannot be mustered to call cloture on debate and call the issue for a vote.

  8. The Senate parliamentarian makes a ruling that debate on this issue cannot be closed without 60 votes in favor of cloture.

  9. Cheny “overrides” the parliamentarian’s ruling and insists debate on a rules-based question can be closed by a simple majority vote. And that’s where you lost me. I’m not up on Senate rules. Does the VP’s status as president of the Senate include the authority to overrule the parliamentarian? Is that where the rubber meets the vagina?
    (None of the above, so far as I can see, raises any “constitutional” issue; it’s all a question of the Senate’s procedural rules, which, apart from a few details like the number of members necessary to form a quorum, are not spelled out in the Constitution and are left to the Senate itself to write.)

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that votes on Senate procedures can’t be subject to a filibuster. If the Pubs want to nuke the rules, they get to do it with a straight-up vote, or at best, with limitted debate.

!!! Cite?

Precisely. It’s because as the presiding officer, Cheney “counts” the vote, and declares:

“The ayes have it, debate is closed”. (note that this would be the identical declaration following a vote of 60-40)

In other words, on its face, the presiding officer’s declaration as to the outcome of the vote contains no implicit numeration.

Then Reid raises a point of order to frame the issue of whether or not debate on the parliamentarian’s earlier ruling vis-a-vis the matter in chief (cloture on the debate over the nomination) may be terminated by less than a 60% vote.

Cheney “lays the point of order on the table” (as presiding officer) and it’s game over.

Judge Judy might be cool.

I’m holding out for that ex-stripper.

God I hope that wasn’t Judge Mills Lane.