Saturday, January 05, 2008

Supreme Court Justice William Jefferson Clinton

So, right before Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, I made my late father shit a brick when I told him that I thought George W. Bush should have nominated Bill Clinton to the vacancy left by Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement. While he convulsed, I mentioned that Clinton is actually a political moderate, and that it would've gone a long way to heal partisanship in our country (not just in politics).

I admitted that there were some problems, namely that he had been impeached (but not convicted) and that may have lied under oath (that's the big one). Bush could've pardoned him on that one, and then we could've had a healing choice.

I like Alito, I like a conservative court, frankly. But I also want checks and balances, just like the rest of the government. A moderate court would be ideal, but a balanced one is a must. Heaven forbid we should ever get a court that's decidedly one way or another. Moderation in all things, including the judiciary. My dad was too obtuse to realize how good a choice Clinton would be. I mean, he, a Democrat, overhauled welfare and reformed into a much better (though still tragically flawed) program. He was a great president, aside from his peccadilloes--which were many.

I guess my main point is that I can forgive the perjury, which he never admitted to have done. Therefore, I can totally support his appointment to the SCOTUS. However, I have a concern:

This article mentions that if Hillary were elected, she might appoint her husband. I don't like this. It's one thing for anyone else to do it; in this case it just seems like nepotism. That logic might not follow for yall, but something about it gives me cause for concern. One things is for certain, in the next five years, we're going to be replacing some judges. Some of them are O L D.


Thewmes said...

I don't know if being a political moderate is good enough for a seat. Maybe some legal experience or experience as a judge might be desirable. I know this is not a requirement, being a member of the bar or going to law school aren't requirements either but still would be desirable just the same.

As far as if Clinton was apionted by his wife that wouldn't bother me. If your the type of person we want on the court it doesn't matter to me if you have a close relationship with the person that apionts you. Although it seems he would have to recues himself on a potentially large amount of cases. However on 2nd thought many Justices have had close ties to presidents and they didn't recues themselves.

I just like the idea because can you imagine him wearing the rob with sun glasses and playing the sax when he gets bored or on some night show. It would be great.

brent said...

thewmes, Clinton is a lawyer by training, although I doubt he's done much that could be called the practice of law.

And as far as judicial experience goes, he would have as much as Warren did, who had a J.D., but retired as the governor of California to be on the SCOTUS. And Warren is considered by some to be the most influential jurist of the twentieth century.

So neither of those factors bother me. I still wouldn't have him on, though, because it would blur the lines between institutions I desparately need to be separate. If Clinton goes home every night to a wife that gets angry at him because he struck down one of her favorite laws, it could lead to him voting the wrong way on issues just to support his wife.

Thewmes said...

Clinton did go to law school, but a career politician isn't what I would consider enough to qualify him to be a judge on any level. Lots of people go to law school, doesn't make them qualified to sit on the Supreme Court either. Also although it seems clear that the justices often vote down political lines the Supreme Court handles a great deal of cases that do not pressent a political question. These cases could cover any number of areas of law he has zero experience in. We like our judges well rounded in all areas of law and I think clearly he would lack that experience.

More concerning then sleeping with the executive is the fact he was the executive. And this wasn't to long ago. He more then likely will have cases brought before him that are based on legislation passed during his term.