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September 01, 2011


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Howard Wasserman

As I just wrote elsewhere, Obama has shown a willingness to think outside the last-generation box for his SCOTUS nominees. He picked a non-judge in Kagan, which had not happened since Rehnquist. Why not a state Supreme Court justice, which has not happened since Brennan (who, at least in the view of some, turned out OK).


Wasn't David Souter on the New Hampshire Supreme Court? And I believe Sandra Day O'Connor sat on the Arizona Court of Appeals (though not the AZ Supreme Court).

Howard Wasserman

You're right about O'Connor; my bad. Souter was appointed to the First Circuit for a very short time (less than a year until he was nominated to SCOTUS), mainly based on the assumption that he could not be confirmed coming directly from the N.H. Supreme Court and that he needed federal judicial experience.

Orin Kerr

Don't forget Harriet Miers. Her nomination made the Kagan nomination seem very much inside-the-box by comparison.

Isabella Tu

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.


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