Acton Institute Powerblog

Senate Leaders Now Discussing Supreme Court Nominees

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Now that Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 80, has cancer, coupled with talk that Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, 75, and John Paul Stevens, 85, might also consider stepping down, there is quite a buzz in the beltway about the Supreme Court. Majority Leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he’s been talking to Democratic leader Harry Reid about nominees for a potential vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Reid later offered what he considered good possibilities: GOP Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Mike Crapo of Idaho and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. They "are people who serve in the Senate now who are Republicans who I think would be outstanding Supreme Court members," Reid said. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called on Bush to pick a consensus candidate if a vacancy comes open. "Americans want to be brought together around this decision." What should the President look for in a nominee for the court and who would you nominate?

Anthony Bradley Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics in the Public Service Program at The King's College in New York City and serves as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His books include: Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (2010),  Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (2011),  The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone of the Black Experience (2012), Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation (2012), Aliens in the Promised Land:  Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (forthcoming, 2013). Dr. Bradley's writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern slavery. From 2005-2009, Dr. Bradley was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute.   Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Bradley also holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society at Fordham University.


  • While I haven’t been doing the investigation required to give you a name, I can say that I’m a fan of the “[url=]Dead Constitution[/url]” theory of jurisprudence.

  • marc, thanks for blogging with us and offering the “Dead Constitution” link! This could be critical in discussing the way to interpret the Constitution as we evaluate nominees in the future. Very useful!!

  • Breaking news for the day: Sandra Day O’Connor has announced that she is retiring from the United States Supreme Court.

    Yesterday, Anthony Bradley asked what the President should look for in a Supreme Court Nominee. Join the discussion here.

  • The already has been much discussion over who should be appointed to replace her. Some argue that the replacement should be a woman. Others (i.e. liberals) insist that the President should appoint someone who is a moderate. And others still (i.e. conservatives) insist that the appointment should not be someone who holds to the “living constitution” view of jurisprudence.

  • Danny

    Let’s assume that the Democrats are going for broke, in other words, that they’re playing to their leftist base and will strongly oppose any nominee to the right of David Souter. This would mean picking a supposed moderate, like Alberto Gonzales, would win Bush not many Democrats but would lose him many on the right. What should the president look for in a nominee?

    1) Unlike Robert Bork, someone with a friendly face and personality. This may seem superficial, but in a media saturated age it is unfortunately necessary.

    2) A nominee without unnecessary baggage, like Janice Rogers Brown’s comments about the elderly cannibalizing the young. Fighting against attacks on a nominee’s conservative judicial record will be plenty hard enough with out added distractions.

    3) Out of the remaining nominees, he should go ahead and pick the one who is youngest and most reliably conservative.

    By reliably conservative, I mean someone who’s had political or judicial experience, preferably in Washington, D.C. itself, and won’t be seduced by the beltway establishment’s advice to ‘mature’ in office, by which the establishment really means ‘move left.’ I would recommend John Roberts, but I don’t have enough information on the various choices.

  • Danny, these are most excellent things to consider!! Thanks for offering this! It’d be good to send this to White House!

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