It is hard to know which of the many pleasures of last night’s results to choose as one’s favorite, but I think it’s got to be the future of the federal judiciary, in particular the U.S. Supreme Court. It is now safe for Rehnquist, O’Connor and other possible retirees to go gently. Issues related to the sanctity of life — from abortion, to cloning, to biomedical research — aren’t the most immediate (the war is), but are the ones with the potential to do the most long-term damage to our culture if the wrong side prevails. With a popular pro-life president in the White House and the Senate in control of his party (owing primarily to his labors), those who believe in what the Pope has called the “culture of life” stand perhaps our best chance ever at seeing our convictions made into law — and upheld by a pro-life Supreme Court. Alas, the cynic in me can’t help being tortured by thoughts of the excuses we may soon hear from Republicans, explaining why we can’t have pro-life legislation and judges just yet (“In a time of war, we mustn’t be divisive…,” etc.). For now, it is enough to chant silently the mantra “Chief Justice Scalia,” in the same jubilatory manner in which I invoked the happy phrase “Speaker Gingrich” on this day eight years ago.