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    Monday, September 26, 2005

    A Vietnamese Supreme Court Justice?

    A couple months back I posted my philosophy on supreme court nominations. The basic underlying argument is that the 9 justices should be the best judges, regardless of political leaning, race, religion, or gender. However, I generally opposed a nomination of a woman to replace Justice O'Connor because I feared the precedent that it would lead to court quotas. I said:
    I don't want someone to say, 4 justices must always be female, 1 must be asian, one hispanic, one african-american, etc. That neuters the court, because it doesn't allow the 9 most qualified judges to sit.
    Well, now that Judge Roberts has been magically transfered into Justice Rehnquists' replacement, the same sentiments apply. We still have the problem of quotas. I would have felt much better had Judge Roberts been confirmed/not confirmed as Justice O'Connor's replacement and chief justice (even if it's only in voice) than to say he is replacing Rehnquist. That way a man replaces a woman, then becomes chief justice, and if later a woman replaces Rehnquist ... fine.

    However, that's over a done with. So I call your attention to a pick for O'Connor's replacement that has started to be thrown around by pundits not willing to give the pick outright to a woman or Gonzales --- Viet Dinh.

    Judge Viet Dinh is a GREAT candidate in some regards. He has taught law at Georgetown and been Assistant Attorney General. He graduated, like Roberts, magna cum laude from Harvard Law and is young--just 37 years old.

    Plus, he's Vietnamese. He was born in 1968 in Saigon, Vietnam and escaped to America when he was 10. He understands the plight of the immigrant and the refugee. He puts another minority on the bench. He gives an Asian voice in an arena where previously there has been none.

    And best of all, he starts another precedent! Judge Roberts clerked for Justice Rehnquist and guess who Viet Dinh clerked for...you guessed it! Sandra Day O'Connor!

    Seriously, I don't like the idea that maybe all supreme court justices must come from Harvard and clerk for the justice they are replacing, but I think that is a very unlikely precedent. What he does is satisfy the desire for a minority, and silence the left's call that the past indicates the future. The knock on Judge Roberts is that his time in the government and with Justice Rehnquist shows him extremely conservative. Well, Viet Dinh can use his time with O'Connor to argue he is moderate. That takes the teeth out of some of the democrats' bites.

    Also, he specializes in constitutional law and corporate law, both issues where experitise would be great on the bench (Kelo?). I will try to do more research into his actual views on subjects, but as for now, he's my nominee.

    1 comment:

    VietPundit said...

    I second your sentiments. Linked to your post here.