The Corner

The Next Chief

Jay suggests Justice Thomas as the next Chief Justice. Even setting aside their doctrinal differences, there are more reasons to prefer Thomas over Justice Scalia for the position. First, of the two, Thomas is more likely to be a coalition maker. Justice Thomas is universally liked by his colleagues. Scalia, on the other hand, can be a bit prickly at times. (What often makes his opinions such a joy to read can also alienate his colleagues.) Second, a good Chief Justice must also be a good adminsitrator. This aspect of the position is often overlooked. Justice Thomas, unlike Scalia, has substantial administrative experience (he ran the EEOC), and apparently likes that sort of thing. Thus, if one of the two is to be the next Chief, Thomas would be the better fit.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.

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