The financial mess threatens to obscure other issues important to selecting the next president. But kudos to Ed Whelan for pushing ahead nonetheless on the judges’ question. Ed promises to discuss probable contenders for the Supreme Court in an Obama Administration. His start today on Harold Koh is a good one.
I should like to begin the other half of that discussion: who stands tall among those who deserve consideration by President McCain? Several names familiar to Benchmemos’ fans come first to mind. They are sitting judges who have already established themselves as SCOTUS material: Edith Jones and Edith (Joy) Clement of the Fifth Circuit; Mike McConnell of the Tenth Circuit; Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit; and Maura Corrigan of the Michigan Supreme Court. Thanks to the good work of the Bush Administration (and, in vital part, to the labors of Deputy White House Counsel Bill Kelley, now returned to Notre Dame Law School), there are now several more appellate judges who deserve a look. Among these less well-known but deserving possibilities are Steven Colloton (Eighth Circuit); Neil Gorsuch and Jerome Holmes (Tenth Circuit); Bill Pryor (Eleventh Circuit); and Debra Livingston (Second Circuit). Recently departed Solicitor General Paul Clement — the leading Supreme Court practitioner of our day, now that John Roberts has found other work — should also be considered.