SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Thursday, July 07, 2005


1. Judge Garza would be a SUPERB nominee to the Supreme Court. Jordan Cunningham of Democracy Market has a couple good posts (with pertinent links) about Judge Emilio Garza of the Fifth Circuit. I agree with Cunningham that Judge Garza would make a great appointment. It is likely that he will understand and take the war on terrorism seriously from the bench--and that could be very crucial to the successful prosecution of this war in the time ahead. Attorney General Gonzales certainly has such a respect for the President's war powers, but unlike Judge Garza, he would likely have to recuse himself as a Justice in some important prospective cases concerning the war.

2. Chief Justice William Rehnquist could resign at any time. Confirm Them has the latest on this, also linking to a new Robert Novak column that provides some insight. Chief Justice Rehnquist has been a solid jurist and I am grateful for his service. A resigation for the Chief will almost certainly change the dynamics of the situation. I tend to suspect the President will not seek to elevate one of the current Justices of the Court to Chief, but will instead appoint someone new.

3. James Na endorses Judge J. Michael Luttig--another great prospective choice for the Court. Na, of Guns and Butter Blog--and of whom I'm sad to say will be leaving Seattle soon--argues for Judge Luttig. Fine by me. Judge Luttig, of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, is young, has an impressive resume and his dissent in the Hamdi case shows that he takes the war on terror seriously.

4. Judge Alex Kozinski would be a wonderful addition to the Court, but I don't think it will (or should) happen. Cunningham also posts about the possibility of nominating Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' Judge Alex Kozinski (following up on a post by Prof. David Bernsteain at Volokh Conspiracy). I concur with Cunningham. I've met Judge Kozinski and heard him speak. He is indeed very thoughtful and just hillarious. Judge Kozinski also possesses an extraordinarly sharp legal mind. If the President were to nominate Judge Kozinksi, I would strongly support his confirmation. Nonetheless, he just doesn't make it near the top of my list.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger James J. Na said…

    The reason why I would pick Luttig is simple. He embodies both outstanding qualifications AND conservative -- that is to say, strict constructionist -- legal philosophy.

    Even though I am not "white," I could not care less about needing black, Asian, Hispanic, woman, martian, transvestite or whatever justice.

    If anything, all this discussion about needing to pick a particular ethnic or gendered candidate is highly counterproductive to the kind of society we wish to be -- unless one is a Democrat who wants to perpetuate the status quo so that he/she/it can continue to "represent" such constituency.

  • At 1:12 AM, Blogger Coop said…

    I'm with you in holding qualifications and judicial philosophy as the most important factors.

    Strictly speaking, I am not a "strict constructionist" and do not support strict constructionism. However, the term has come to have a colloquial meaning that is quite different, and which roughly equates with "textualism-originalism." Some folks use the term "constitutionalism," instead. The President has used the term strict constructionism in its colloquial sense--and NOT in the sense that I find objectionable.

    As for me, I generally go with the term "originalist." Basically, it's the idea that the written constitution is important precisely because it is written, that its words have a fixed meaning (or at least a fixed range of meanings, where terms are ambiguous), and that its provisions should be interpreted in light of the original understanding (not original intent, per se) of the ratifiers (not drafters, per se).

    Of course, given that we already have enough problems getting some of our Justices to keep from citing foreign court decisions to bolster their own flimsy opinions, I would prefer a martian NOT take a seat on the bench. The last thing we need is a Justice going interstellar on us--using a Klingon court decision to bolster his or her own judicial opinion.

    Come to think of it...though I'm not the kind of Star Trekkie who would know such things, I would surmise that Justice Kennedy would not have cited a Klingon court in a death penalty case. Those guys would probably be all for it.

    Given the odd turn this comment has taken, I'll end that thought here, lest at this late hour I should plunge myself further into Nerd Alert Land...

  • At 11:27 PM, Blogger James J. Na said…

    I loved Klingorns... until they all turned idiots in more recent versions (too much talk, not enough killing -- they've become Romulans, basically).

    I personally use "constitutionalist" and "strict constructionist" interchangeably, but I see your point.

    Oh, yeah, Star Trek rules, Star Wars sucks.

  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger Coop said…

    Wait, the Klingons from the 60s show were ALL talk. They were actually, cunning, crafty and intriguing folks. It was the later movies and TV series in which they became creatures with giant foreheads who always got into fights and space warfare. Not that that isn't interesting, too.

    Of course, I've not bothered to watch the last three ST series that have aired, so it wouldn't surprise me if all they do now is sit around campfires and sing Kumbaya.

    But really, the last thing I need is for you to get into the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate. I can just see some rabid fans from both camps finding your message through Technorati, and before you know it my blog will be swamped with this endless debate.

    Of course...Star Wars IS better.


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