Justice Kennedy: A Useful Idiot for Obama?

Doug Edlin edlind at dickinson.edu
Tue May 5 06:25:57 PDT 2009


An interesting theory, indeed.  For a somewhat different approach, some 
might be interested in Helen Knowles's new book:  


Rick Duncan wrote:

> Over at the Con Law Prof blog 
> <http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2009/05/the-souter-vacancy-and-justice-kennedy-as-the-key.html>, 
> their is an interesting post today suggesting how Obama can get two 
> votes for the price of one--pick a nominee who is the "perfect 
> persuader," one who will cast a spell over Justice Kennedy and get him 
> to do his bidding. Here is an excerpt:
> "Supreme Court justices peruade each other in a number of ways.  Some 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Warren> persuade through the force 
> of their personality 
> <http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/no_20090501_6870.php>, others 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurgood_Marshall> through their 
> personal stories 
> <http://bostonreview.net/BR31.1/hansonbenforado.html>.  What persuades 
> Justice Kennedy the most?  Law?  Life Expericences?  A combination of 
> the two?   If President Obama wants to create a swift change on the 
> Court, he would do well to have his staff investigate this question 
> and try to find a nominee who can fit that description.  This person - 
> the "perfect persuader" - would be someone that not only shares 
> Obama's legal views and philosophy 
> <http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-souter2-2009may02,0,2486011.story>, 
> but can also convice Justice Kennedy of the correctness of these 
> positions.
> If President Obama chooses wisely, this "perfect persuader" could give 
> him the Court he seeks immediately.  Overnight, the Court could move 
> from a slightly right-leaning to one leaning slightly to the 
> left.  Thus, being able to get Justice Kennedy to the left on a more 
> regular basis would have a real and immediate impact on the Court."
> An interesting theory.
> Maybe a better one would be simply to make Justice Kennedy an honorary 
> member of the White House Press Corps, the President's personal amen 
> corner!
> Rick Duncan
> Welpton Professor of Law
> University of Nebraska College of Law
> Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
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Douglas E. Edlin
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013

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