If Elected, McCain Should Nominate a Senator to Fill a Supreme Court Vacancy (cough ... Brownback ... cough) [UPDATED]
Josh Mercer of the Fidelis blog links to a story highlighting Bob Novak's comments speculating that should he be elected President, McCain would likely not pressure the Senate to pick more conservative judges like Alito or Roberts:
The theory goes that given the extremely difficult climate and the prospect that the GOP will suffer deep losses in the Senate, it might be too difficult to confirm someone like Alito or Roberts with so few GOP Senators in 2009 or 2010. Someone clearly more moderate, like an Anthony Kennedy (gag), would be much easier to confirm.Josh thinks (and I agree) that such circumstances may call for going the route of choosing a nominee from among one of the Senate's own:
If you want to avoid a tough fight, pick a Senator. There’s another theory that for at least some of the Senators, they would have a tough time voting against a fellow Senator and friend. Why not then nominate someone like John Cornyn? He’s a former State Attorney General and a strong defender of common sense law.Josh is definitely on to something, but after their high-profile-profanity-laced showdown over immigration on the floor of the Senate, I have my doubts about whether McCain would nominate Cornyn.
Instead, if we’re looking for an appointment to the Supreme Court from the ranks of the U.S. Senate, then Associate Justice Sam Brownback sounds awfully good to me. (Wouldn't the commentariat just go absolutely nuts over the prospect of a 6th Catholic on the Court? That alone would be worth seeing Sen. Brownback nominated.)
Besides, McCain owes him one.
Dale raises a good point regarding appointing Sen. Brownback to the Court:
One problem: Doesn't Sebelius get to choose the successor if that happens?I'd be willing to make the short-term trade-off of losing that Senate seat in order to get Brownback a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Wouldn't you? A near-sure-thing vote against Roe v. Wade who would probably be confirmed with very little Senate opposition?