The Supreme Court post

Supreme Court nominations are a funny thing; you wait for eleven years and nothing happens, then you get two in a row, and in this way, nominations are much like the 136 express bus in Chicago.

I think we’re all a little confused by the selection of Harriet Miers when so many capable jurists were overlooked. Our intrepid Chief Executive missed a chance to unite the county by making a truly unprecedented appointment from an as-yet untapped pool of jurisprudential talent. Yes, once again, our many TV judges have been passed over despite their proven abilities to definitively settle hot-button issues while still dispensing Scaliaesque levels of sass. And while Joe Brown, Alex, Mablean Ephraim, Judy, Larry Joe (TEXAS JUSTICE!) et al would all make fine appointments, I think we all know that snubbing Judge Mathis is a national embarrassment on par with Watergate or post-Paradise Theater Styx.

Envision, if you will, the benefits of Mathis, C.J. First of all, we’d improve judicial efficiency. No more protracted appeals. We’d get through presentation of briefs, oral arguments, deliberation, and an opinion four times in every jam-packed sixty minute session. Second, odds are pretty good that while other Justices would be asking ticky-tack questions about “precedent” or “personal liberty,” Justice Mathis would get the Solicitor General to admit that he was totally hopped up on crystal meth that one time, and yes, he did use to be in a relationship with opposing counsel, but that’s all in the past, and he is not the father. (Ideally opposing counsel would respond with “Judge, he lying.”) But the great thing about Justice Mathis is that as long as you admit that stuff and don’t try to make a fool out of him, he’s still happy to rule in your favor. If ever the inscription “Equal Justice Under Law” on the Supreme Court building was embodied in a human being, surely that human is Greg Mathis.

So why wasn’t Mathis nominated? My sources in the White House tell me it was mostly bad luck. Apparently, before Dubya picked Roberts and Miers, he had a somewhat different short list of potential candidates. Unfortunately, Cheney had to inform the President that Judge Reinhold possessed no legal training, and that Judge Doom (although a big favorite among the Dip industry folks) was in fact a fictional half-cartoon villain from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? After these humbling setbacks, Dubya was in no mood to take a chance on the Mathis that he saw in the moving-picture box every weekday at 3 and resigned himself to picking only people he had been personally able to shake hands with and nickname.

OK, so my sources in the White House are complete fabrications. Where’s my New York Times columnist gig?


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