The problem a president has with any court nominee is transparency. Until your choice actually begins ruling on cases, you can never be sure he or she was what you imagined them to be. By that time, as we know, it’s too late. As these are lifetime appointments, he and we are stuck with them, many times suffering disastrous consequences of a wrong choice.
Recent history is replete with Republican “wrong” choices, from David Souter to John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor and, of course, Mr. swing-vote, Anthony Kennedy.
We cannot afford to replace Anthony Kennedy with another Anthony Kennedy, or worse.
Because of the importance of his pick, I don’t understand why the president appears to be following the typical method of choosing only from a list of lower-court judges. Trump is obviously not the sort to follow the convention of, “this is the way it’s always done.” So why adhere to it now?
There is only one candidate right for this job, and that is Utah Sen. Mike Lee. There is no more transparent choice than Mike Lee. Sen. Lee was born to be a Supreme Court justice.
However, the conventional wisdom and whispers are that Lee has never been a serious candidate. If this is so, who are the advisers telling Trump to back off of Lee? Are there any, or is Trump dismissing Lee on his own? Is there any lingering animus between Lee and Trump, owing that Lee is good friends with Trump’s former rival Ted Cruz?
This nomination and subsequent confirmation may not break Trump’s presidency, but it could make it for all time. By make it, I mean Mount Rushmore make it.