A correspondent (call him Ted) writes as follows:
If Obama’s goal is to get a decent justice actually confirmed, he should consider a candidate who:
● Is pro-choice
● Is pro-marriage
● Is pro gun-control
● Is pro-immigrant
● Is a member of Congress
● Has a J.D.
● Is a Republican
Sounds like a unicorn, but this is a big country, and this creature does exist. In fact even my cursory research shows that two of them exist, here, and here. These guys both appear to be decent humans who are Republicans because they view themselves as fiscally conservative (which of course barely matters on the Supreme Court). If one of these guys gets through, which you can only anticipate he would, especially in the case of Mark Kirk with the amazing back story of recovering from the stroke, we get a very decent justice for some number of years (and if it’s Kirk we very likely get back that Senate seat in November); if he doesn’t, the GOP has literally painted itself into an amazingly tough “Obstructionist” corner for the 2016 election. And one huge bonus with either of them is that they break the insane and greatly harmful Harvard/Stanford/Yale Law School grip on the Supreme Court.
There’s got to be many more decent Republicans out there who are not in Congress — I mean not as many as there used to be in the day, but we only need one! Another guy with a similar profile of whom I just happen to be aware is Michael Steele, the former Maryland Lt. Gov., RNC chair, and MSNBC commentator. Remember, the finest justices of recent memory, John Paul Stevens and David Souter, were Republicans. Harry Blackmun was much less skillful but also a decent justice. Those guys of course all snuck in by mistake, but if you as a Democratic president actually went looking for a decent Republican, I think they would come out of the woodwork.