Senate Democratic leader-elect Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apparently could support Scalia for Chief Justice, but considers Thomas an "embarrassment." Liberal groups dutifully expressed outrage, as did pro-Thomas conservatives.
Is Reid serious when he says that he thinks Scalia (unlike Thomas, in his view) is just a "smart guy" who, if nominated, should be confirmed on the merits? Or has Reid figured out that Scalia would probably be an ineffective Chief, as we’ve already discussed here, and for that reason has decided to back him? In either case, Reid’s kind words for Scalia combined with his insistence that Bush should hear Democratic suggestions for judicial appointments is most intriguing. Stay tuned.