Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Professor Lubet: Liberal Argument for a Chief Justice Scalia.

In a New York Newsday editorial on 1/03/05, Northwestern University Law School Professor, Steven Lubet, makes a pragmatic argument that liberals shouldn't oppose Scalia's possible elevation to Chief Justice of the U.S. (For those current (and former) trial ad. students, he' s that Lubet.)

Lubet argues the CJ position is largely ceremonial and administrative, and Scalia would continue to have only one vote in deciding cases. Professor Lubet writes that a Democratic "scorched-earth" filibuster of a Scalia CJ nomination would be far too costly, given the current political balance in the Senate. The Democrats should hold their fire, Lubet believes, and save their ammo for the person appointed to fill the Associate Justice position vacated by Scalia.

Lubet also claims that Nino wouldn't be very effective as C. Justice. Scalia's peevishness "would likely lead to a fractured court, which could be the liberals' best hope to avoid an out-and-out shift to the extreme right." But Lubet does suggest that serving as the Court's head honcho could have a "moderating influence" on Scalia's saber-sharp legal postions. Could Nino's rhetoric ever become mellow!? This blogger and other Ninowatchers certainly hope not!

The Outside the Beltway blog posted thoughtful comments on Lubet's piece.


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