Jan Crawford Greenburg, whose book about the high court, Supreme Conflict, is this week No. 19 on the New York Times hard cover non-fiction list (one notch above Terry McAuliffe’s What a Party!) is interviewed by readers of the conservative blog “Confirm Them,” a website dedicated to the vacancy politics of both the Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals.
Asked who she thinks Bush will nominate if a third SCOTUS justice steps down during his presidency, Greenburg fires back with a couple of interesting choices: Janice Rogers Brown if it’s in 2007, and litigator Maureen Mahoney in 2008.
Brown, a former associate Justice on the California Supreme Court, faced vehement Democratic opposition when she was appointed in 2005. But her nomination was one of three ultimately agreed to as part of a deal made by the Gang of 14, seven moderate Democrats and seven moderate Republicans who banded together in the 109th Congress in order to avoid a vote on the so-called “nuclear option,” which could have brought the Senate to a standstill.
Now, contends Greenburg, Brown is “getting very high marks from colleagues on the D.C. Circuit, and her experience, compelling life story and demeanor (she’s fast on her feet and would be a terrific witness) would present those moderate southern Democrats (there are still a few of them) with a very difficult choice.”
The closer a vacancy occurs to the 2008 presidential election, however, the greater are the chances that Maureen Mahoney will be chosen. Mahoney’s credentials, however, cut both ways. Although she is prized by Republicans as a judicial conservative, they grit their teeth when Democratics point to the thing they approve of: her advocacy in support of affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court case which upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School.
Legal Times recently reviewed Greenburg's book in our After Hours section. Check out the review.