Sunday, November 07, 2004

Thomas, the Next Chief Justice?

Just yesterday we were discussing the plan for succession for Chief Justice Rehnquist departure which seems imminent. (We have some unusual kitchen-table conversations.) Daddypundit and I were discussing the options...Scalia? O'Connor? it seemed obvious to us that Thomas was the most natural choice for the post.

President Bush will have as his legacy...the first African-American Secretary of State, Secretary of Education, and National Security Advisor. Thomas' appointment as Chief Justice would be the fourth major historical appointment for a President who was called "the most anti-civil rights president in 50 years," by Jesse Jackson.

More than race, however, the President has made these choices based on the caliber of the individuals it should be. Powell, Paige, and Rice were all named to their positions because of the President's commitment to excellence,"What my cabinet shows is that I am not afraid to surround myself with strong and competent people...a good executive is one that understands how to recruit people and how to delegate authority and responsibility."

Earlier this year, The Washington Times had an article called "Thomas Eyed For Chief Justice" in which Thomas says that "he isn't interested" in the post, "but he could find it hard to turn down an opportunity to be the first black man to lead the Supreme Court."

An article written last month by author Ken Foskett ends with this about Thomas, "His message to Americans of all colors, I believe, is that you can be whatever you want to be if you ignore society’s expectations and have the strength to follow your own."

Thomas would be an excellent choice for the post. A strict constructionist, Thomas would be an antidote to the brand of judicial activism that has run amok in this country.