ABC is reporting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized and has had surgery for early-stage pancreatic cancer. Of course, I wish Justice Ginsburg a speedy recovery. Her illness is just a reminder, though, that sometime (sooner rather than later is my guess), President Obama (I almost wrote “president-elect!”) is going to have the opportunity to nominate at least one associate justice of the Supreme Court.
My own choice: Solicitor-General designate Elana Kagan. Dean Kagan is finishing a very successful term as Dean of Harvard Law School, where she was able to foster a new era of good feelings among the famously fractious faculty. This may be the most important skill a center-left justice could bring to the Court.
Her academic credentials are excellent. Her area of scholarly expertise, administrative law and the regulatory state, is timely in an era when the powers of the presidency are being sharply contested. And frankly, her lack of courtroom experience might make her a better choice for the bench than for the SG’s office, though folks with real Supreme Court experience (David?) might like to chime in on that issue.
So who is on your list?