Court Watch: Granholm, Roberts and Some History
By Garance Franke-Ruta
AP's Ben Feller reports that "Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, one of President Barack Obama's candidates for the Supreme Court, will be at the White House on Tuesday . . . for an event unrelated to the Supreme Court. It is not clear whether Granholm will be meeting with Obama about the upcoming vacancy on the court." Granholm is reportedly under consideration for the post.
Sally J. Kenney, a professor of public affairs and law director at the Center on Women and Public Policy Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, gives some history of the 10-year campaign by women's groups, starting with Richard Nixon's 1971 gaffe that he would "appoint the best man for the job," to get a woman on the Supreme Court. The piece also goes into some detail about President Jimmy Carter's role in growing the pool of women in the judiciary by raising the number of women on the federal bench from four when he took office to 44 at the end of his term. The press for a woman on the court culminated with the selection of Sandra Day O'Connor by President Reagan in 1981.
And, over at the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin delves into the impact of Bush-appointed Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., on the court. Toobin's conclusions: "Roberts's record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. In every major case since he became the nation's seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party."
As the battle for influence over the selection of a nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter heats up, we'll bring you news and analyses that catch our eye. Of particular interest today:
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May 18, 2009; 1:28 PM ET
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