May 6, 2009, 9:04 am
Filed under: Ian | Tags: , , ,

granholmI’m not terribly impressed with the Washington Post‘s obligatory speculation this morning regarding the Souter replacement.  The first part of the article, which I am inclined to trust and agree with, says that the selection of the next Justice is being managed by a “small group of senior advisers,” and that this group is going to great pains to insure that nothing is leaked to the press.  Several column-inches later, the article quotes a “lawyer who has been consulted by the administration” who lists Judge Diane Wood, SG Elena Kagan and Governor Jennifer Granholm as the top tier of candidates.  Obviously, it can’t be the case that the White House is simultaneously keeping a tight lid on the nomination, while also blabbing to some unidentified lawyer about who their three finalists are.

That said, I would keep a close eye on Granholm.

Objectively, Granholm makes a lot of sense as the next Justice.  She is smart; has hard lawyering experience as a law clerk and as a prosecutor; she’s a woman; and she is not a sitting judge.  In light of all the President’s statement that he would like to appoint someone with real world experience outside of the judicial monestary, Granholm is a good fit.  Plus, she hasn’t recently been appointed to another job like Elena Kagan or Janet Napolitano.

I also wouldn’t rule out the Damon Keith factor.  Damon Keith is the iconic judge on the Sixth Circuit that Granholm clerked for right after law school.  In addition to a well-earned reputation as one of the titans of the bench, Judge Keith is known for taking a particularly active role in advancing the careers of his law clerks—and an unusually high number of Judge Keith’s clerks have risen to esteemed positions within the legal profession.


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