There have certainly been some… interesting… nominations for the soon-to-be-empty Supreme Court seat. And why not? It’s like a FRP (fantasy role playing; think Dungeons & Dragons) game for political wonks! After all, neither woman needs the aggravation, but wouldn’t it be fun to watch the Republicans go (even more) crazy if either Hillary Clinton or Anita Hill was nominated?
Some of the names floated by serious mainstream media outlets have already come as a surprise to me. I wasn’t surprised when the local Boston media immediately cornered Deval Patrick and demanded to know whether he’d abandon his campaign for re-election if he was nominated, because here in “The Hub of the Universe” we have a good opinion of our political prowess out of all proportion to our actual importance. But even inside Route 128, most people think of Governor Patrick as ‘Barack Obama Lite’, which would only make him valuable if the president had the megalomaniacal self-regard of a Glenn Beck or a John Boehner. Gov. Jennifer Granholm? Russ Feingold? Sen. Amy Klobuchar? Elliot Spitzer? Heck, why not Martha Coakley? She’s been “tough on crime” in the Rethuglican tradition (advocating fierce crackdowns on disturbances to the public order such as the Aqua Teen Hunger Force LED Graffiti-Terrorists, and punitive sentences for accused sexual predators except possibly those employed by the keepers of such order). And it would infuriate the “Independent (TP)” Scott Brown voters, even (especially) those who’ve already fallen out of love with He-Who-Drives-A-Truck.
As long as President Obama doesn’t nominate Mitt Romney… and I’m sure there are Sensible Centrists already promoting that travesty; the only question is whether Richard Cohen or Thomas Friedman will get the first thumbsucker into print… I’m prepared to find something positive. But if we’re going to play “In A Perfect World… “, my nomination would be Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Margaret H. Marshall:
Marshall was born in Newcastle, South Africa, the daughter of a steel executive. She attended University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and was a leader of students who opposed the racist apartheid system. Marshall led a student organization for three years called the National Union of South African Students, which was dedicated to ending oppressive minority rule and achieving equality for all South Africans…
She moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1964 and attended Harvard University (earning a master’s degree in education in 1969) and Yale Law School. In 1984, she married then-New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis…
From 1976 to 1989, she was an associate and a partner in private practice at the Boston law firm of Csaplar & Bok. From 1989 to 1992, she was a partner in the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart. Also from 1991 to 1992, she was President of the Boston Bar Association, the oldest bar association in the United States. From 1992-1996, she was General Counsel to Harvard University.
Marshall was appointed to be an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1996 by Republican Governor William F. Weld. She was named as Chief Justice in September 1999 by Republican Governor Paul Cellucci, to begin her term on October 14, 1999. She is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court, the oldest appellate court in the Western Hemisphere, and the first to serve as Chief Justice in its more than 300 year history.
In the course of her term, she has written over 200 opinions. Marshall wrote the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that declared that the Massachusetts Constitution does not permit the state to deny citizens the right to same-sex marriage.