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After The Rehn(quist)

John Roberts now tapped for Chief Justice. There are some potentially interesting repercussions here.

Firstly, it’s an excellent move from a political standpoint, as most on the left have conceded Roberts’ nomination as associate justice. It’ll be hard to manufacture opposition to his nomination as CJ from thin air. Also, in the absence of an extensive judicial record, one of Roberts’ main features was that he was respected and liked by the other justices, having argued fifty-odd 39 cases before them. This actually seems like a better qualification for CJ than associate.

On the other hand, this makes Roberts, technically, Rehnquist’s successor. Now all the nonsense about unbalancing the Court will come back into play with the next nominee. In the wake of the horrific federal mismanagement of Katrina, and the predictable upswing in Kanye West-style identity politics, there will be even more pressure to fill the remaining vacancy with a female or non-white justice.

Suits me fine: Janice Rogers Brown is, of course, a female non-white justice. Alas, there’s basically no chance of that happening. On the other hand, did I mention that Edith Clement is from Louisiana? (Well, OK, Alabama. But she worked there a lot, according to Wikipedia.) Not sure how I feel about Clement, but I’m pretty sure I prefer her to Gonzales. Dan, please enlighten us when you have a minute.

Meanwhile, here‘s a moderately depressing Plastic thread.

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