February 18, 2010

Court-Packing 2.0

Liberal law professor Jeffrey Rosen, who is downright giddy over Obama's attack on the Supreme COurt during his State of the Union, takes to the pages of the Washington Post to declare that Obama should appoint... himself to replace John Paul Stevens. Yes, really:
Think about it. Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, especially at a time when a narrow conservative majority seems increasingly intent on challenging progressive economic reforms for the first time since the New Deal. Obama is clearly eager to take on the four truly conservative justices -- Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- as his State of the Union smackdown suggests. But as president, he's constrained by that pesky separation of powers. So what better way to engage the fight than to join the bench?

It would be unusual, but not difficult, for Obama to get himself on the Supreme Court. He could nominate himself to replace John Paul Stevens, for example, or he could gamble and promise Hillary Rodham Clinton that he won't run for reelection in 2012 in exchange for a pledge of appointment to the next vacancy. And although, as president, Obama has seemed haunted by the example of his political hero, Abraham Lincoln, on the Supreme Court, he could take up the mantle of the greatest liberal justice of the 20th century, Louis Brandeis, another community organizer with a background in politics. In the end, Obama's legacy on the court might surpass his legacy in the White House.
Getting to watch Chris Matthews go through another round of leg tingles almost makes me hope Obama tries this.

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