Rick Hills is proposing a professorial non-aggression pact for judicial nominations of law professors.
Law profs agree to support any academic appointment to the federal district or appellate bench, full stop. Left law profs will endorse, say, Professor Doug Kmiec for the Ninth Circuit when a Republican occupies the White House [but Kmiec endorseed Obama -- JHA]; Right law profs will endorse, for instance, Dean Elena Kagan for the D.C. Circuit when a Democrat occupies the White House.I'm ready to sign on (even though -- or perhaps because -- I'm quite sure I'd never be a direct beneficiary. But I'd also go Rick one better, and suggest that law professors begin urging an overall de-escalation of judicial nomination fights. In particular, it would be nice if law professors stopped providing intellectual ammunition to Senators and activist groups who wish to dress up their ideological attacks on qualified judicial nominees. In my opinion, the purpose of Senate confirmation for judges (as for ambassadors and many other positions) is to prevent against cronyism, not second-guess the President's ideological preferences.
So, I will support Prof. Hill's non-aggression pact, but I will also support well qualified nominees of either party to the federal bench, irrespective of their ideology. While I suspect I'd prefer McCain's nominees to Obama's, I think the senate should act promptly whomever sits in the White House, and should confirm those who have the objective qualifications to be federal judges or justices.