Granholm to join the Supremes?

If you’ll recall, back when Obama first took office, there was talk of him bringing on his friend and fellow Harvard Law School alumnus, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, as a cabinet member. At the time, a few, such as yours truly, suggested that, more likely, she’d land on the Supreme Court. Well, now that the great shame of the Republicans, David Souter, is stepping down, and with Obama under pressure to name another woman to the high court, she’s looking like a frontrunner. As was mentioned in yesterday’s New York Times, though, Granholm doesn’t have much of a legal record to stand on, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Here’s a clip:

…Now Ms. Granholm, nearing the end of a second term as governor that has been defined more than anything else by the economic crisis in her state, is among the small number of people being considered to succeed Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court. But her fast ascent to the state’s top political job and lack of judicial experience has left only a lean record for scrutiny of her legal thinking.

“As the A.G., in my judgment, she never showed a strong passion for the right or left of center,” said Steven A. Freeman, a criminal defense lawyer in Lansing, Mich., who estimates that he faced off in court with Ms. Granholm’s team on at least 60 cases. “If you didn’t know her, you couldn’t tell if she was a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal.”

To some, Ms. Granholm’s legal style, or absence thereof, is a clear asset because it shows that she put the issues of the law ahead of any personal agenda. Despite favoring abortion rights, for instance, she defended the more conservative views of the Republican administration in Michigan in the late 1990s on abortion. In one opinion as attorney general, she stated that taking RU-486, known as the abortion pill, was legally tantamount to having an abortion…

It’s also worth considering how this might impact the upcoming Michigan gubernatorial race. If Granholm is nominated and confirmed, Lieutenant Governor John Cherry would assume her role as Governor, and one would expect that being an incumbent would give him an advantage going into the election. I saw Alma Wheeler Smith earlier today, but it didn’t cross my mind to ask her if this might hurt her chances. She looked happy, though. (Alma recently announced that she’d be running against Cherry for Governor when Granholm steps down, in accordance with Michigan’s law concerning term limits.) Speaking of local candidates for Governor, Ann Arbor Republican Rick Snyder, who I don’t believe has officially joined the race yet, has launched a website and a statewide listening tour. One would hope that our Republican friends on the west side of the state would be willing to consider supporting an Ann Arbor Republican, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d like to think that, in the wake of the Bush era, they’ll come to see the error of their ways and support someone who doesn’t just fan the flames of culture war and pander to the anti-science fundamentalist minority, but I know that’s asking a lot.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    If Granholm gets on the Supreme Court, someone is going to have to pinch me because I’ll be so beside myself with joy that I’ll need a reminder that it isnt all a dream

  2. watching laughing
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Granholm would be an excellent Supreme Court addition.
    I hope it happens.

  3. Posted May 25, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    “Just because she couldn’t fix Michigan doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t be a damn fine justice.”

    Not really catchy enough for a bumper sticker.

  4. Meta
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    President Obama to nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, sources tell CNN.

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I have been away from this blog any haven’t read any of the above comments or watched the news but I’ll go out on a limb and predict Obama will select Sonia Sotomayor who is clearly a much better choice, based solely on her intelligence.

  6. Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    My God, OEC, that was incredible. You should make more predictions.

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Granholm was not chosen as a Supreme Court Justice.

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