Re: Reliable Votes and Identity Politics

by Steven F. Hayward

I know from my Reagan research that one of the reasons Reagan nominated Scalia was that he would be the first Italian-American pick for the Court, and Reagan loved the politics of that. So to be fair the problem of identity politics did not begin with Bush. (George Will, it is worth noting here, preciently attacked the O’Connor nomination in 1981.) The difference is that Scalia was already on the list of highly qualified legal intellectuals who would have received the same consideration if his name had been Smith. If Bush wants an evangelical, surely there are some notable evangelicals on the bench or prominent in legal circles who could have been selected.

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