A Wood Boomlet

The Chicago Tribune profiles Judge Dianne Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as a potential Supreme Court nominee.

Judge Diane Pamela Wood, 58, has spent the last 14 years going toe-to-toe with the legendary conservative lions of Chicago’s 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, and her fans say she could ably fill the shoes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the moderate-liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wood often finds herself the lonely dissenter on three-judge panels, arguing that atheists should be able to challenge the mostly-Christian prayers Indiana legislators use to open their sessions, that a gay Wisconsin teacher should be able to sue for alleged discrimination, that a Jewish condo dweller should be able to sue for discrimination when the building makes her take down her mezuzah, or that Indiana voters should not have to show ID to vote.

Conservatives dominate here in the 7th Circuit, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Wood, sometimes in the majority, other times in dissent, has taken the pro-choice side in three high-profile cases that could become lightning rods for conservatives if she is President Obama’s first nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

One particularly interesting aspect of the story is its emphasis on Judge Wood’s personal connections to individuals of influence within the Obama Administration, including Abner Mikva and Cass Sunstein.  Judge Wood would deservedly be on any Democratic President’s short-list for the High Court, but her connections could boost her prospects should there actually be an opening.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More