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Key Lawyers in a New Administration:
The ABA Journal takes some guesses at what lawyers might take the lead in a new Administration. Their guesses for a McCain Administration are here; their guesses for an Obama Administration are here.
anonn:
They described Sunstein as a libertarian? Wow.
10.21.2008 3:24pm
Oren:
It's too bad Gates has explicitly refused to stay on as SecDef -- he has proven himself to be effective, competent and is widely respected across the board (even the NYT did a fairly gushing article on him a few months back).
10.21.2008 3:27pm
Oren:
Also, no Tatel for SCOTUS?!
10.21.2008 3:30pm
John M. Perkins (mail):
Keating would be a good Homeland Secretary for both parties. Keating is tough and fair. Keating was "supposed" to be Bush's first AG till Ashcroft was defeated in his Senate race.
10.21.2008 3:30pm
SeventhForEver:
I'm surprised Judge Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit wasn't on McCain's SCOTUS list.
10.21.2008 3:31pm
A.S.:
So, Obama may nominate for Solicitor General Kathleen Sullivan, who "now chairs the national appellate practice group at Quinn Emanuel and is licensed to practice in California, Massachusetts and New York"? I guess she finally was able to pass the California bar, huh?
10.21.2008 3:38pm
Confused:
Obviously most of the people on both lists are "names"... but I'm really confused about some of them being where they are. I realize this is all speculation, but some of them don't pass the most basic "wtf?" test.

For example, Viet Dihn as Solicitor General? I had no idea he was really that much of an appellate advocate. Or a Supreme Court nominee (Lillian BeVier) who is almost 70 years old?

Also, was Sonia Sotomayor really considered a Supreme Court nominee by a Republican administration?
10.21.2008 3:39pm
Nunzio:
To be expected, but still disappointing, that there's no overlap anywhere on the two lists.

I guess these are only the lawyer's lists.
10.21.2008 3:42pm
byomtov (mail):
I'd be surprised if Romney was interested in being Sec of Commerce. I'm also dubious about Portman at Treasury. I think that job will require someone with much more economic and financial market expertise than he has.
10.21.2008 3:45pm
Anderson (mail):
The articles also discuss possible SCOTUS picks:

Elena Kagan: As dean, she managed to steer Harvard Law's first-year curriculum from a 130-year-old case law approach to a more modern problem-solving model.

Just what the Court needs -- out with the dusty old "case law," in with SOLVING PROBLEMS! Isn't that what justice is supposed to be about?

(Conservative snark, I know, but I know no party lines in my quest for sarcasm.)
10.21.2008 4:21pm
David Warner:
Interesting that in ABA land, Republican = Corporate, Democrat = Public Interest. No wonder Palin was so immediately infuriating - always a pain updating old mental categories.

That's said, there's clearly energy, talent, and broad perspective on the bench they envision for Obama.
10.21.2008 4:40pm
josh:
Would like to see Sunstein on the short list for the Court
10.21.2008 4:47pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

John M. Perkins (mail):
Keating would be a good Homeland Secretary for both parties. Keating is tough and fair. Keating was "supposed" to be Bush's first AG till Ashcroft was defeated in his Senate race.


Keating was my governor back then. He lost out because he was too much of a loose cannon during the Bush-Gore election snafu. Whether he stands a chance of being in either cabinet depends on how short people's memories are.
10.21.2008 5:12pm
Constantin:
Obama better give his buddy (and speechwriter) Deval a job, because the way he's running Massachusetts, he's going to be looking for work in two years.
10.21.2008 5:18pm
krs:
A.S., you are correct. And annoying.
10.21.2008 5:29pm
Anderson (mail):
Besides California's, A.S., what states' bar exams have *you* passed -- all on the first try, of course?
10.21.2008 5:31pm
krs:
As for people being left off of lists, the articles just list 1-3 candidates each... I don't think they claim to be exhaustive.
10.21.2008 5:31pm
Zywicki (mail):
I think Portman is planning to run for governor of Ohio.

Isn't Meg Whitman the obvious choice for McCain's Sec. of Commerce? But I guess she's not a lawyer. Would she be chief of staff or something like that instead?

Idon't think Lillian BeVier is actually a plausible candidate for the Court but it is great to see her get some recognition. It is a shame that she never got the opportunity to be on the 4th Circuit.

I've also heard the suggestion of Fred Thompson or even Rudy Giuliani for AG.
10.21.2008 5:40pm
The Cabbage (mail):
I've also heard the suggestion of Fred Thompson or even Rudy Giuliani for AG.

Instapundit keeps pushing Randy Barnett
10.21.2008 5:47pm
Hans Bader (mail):
The McCain lawyers are a much more ideologically diverse lot than the Obama ones.
10.21.2008 5:54pm
krs:
I think Portman is planning to run for governor of Ohio.

Given her experience running Naboo, I think she'd be good at it.
10.21.2008 6:03pm
Snaphappy:
Viet Dinh? Hah! Everyone knows McCain is on record as hating and professing to forever hate "the gooks."
10.21.2008 6:39pm
PLR:
The spectre of Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham at State and Defense is obviously designed to induce those few ABA members who can tolerate McCain to go running in to pull the Obama lever.

Gotta love the irony of suggesting a Kagan on the Supreme Court though. Would the Kagans (you know, the real ones, not this anonymous chick) protest such an appointment?
10.21.2008 6:55pm
David Warner:
krs,

"Given her experience running Naboo, I think she'd be good at it."

Portman (Natalie) actually spoke here in Cincinnati headlining a support Obama rally. Opening band?

The Breeders.

Guess the Decembrists were booked. Of course the Breeders are an Ohio band, so it's just self-mockery.
10.21.2008 6:59pm
Terrivus:
These articles always come out right before a presidential election... they are silly parlor games played by journalists and insiders who keep floating the same names over and over and over. They are the equivalent of an Entertainment Weekly "100 Best..." list -- lazy journalism and not to be taken seriously.

That said, random asides:

1. For Tatel or Merrick Garland not to be on any Obama SCt short list is a crime, but in a Democratic administration, there's only room for one white male nominee (Waxman).

2. I'm so tired of seeing A.B. Culvahouse's name at the top of Republican lists. Let's summarize his two most notable feats: (1) handling Robert Bork during his nomination, which was a total bomb; and (2) handling McCain's running mate process, which has turned out to be not quite a bomb, but certainly does not merit an A by any measure. This guy is the Bob Shrum of Republican operatives -- everything he touches goes to hell.
10.21.2008 7:11pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
What is wrong about snarking about Sullivan failing the CA bar?

If she is such a " constitutional scholar with the ability to find clarity in complex legal concepts", she should be able to pass any bar on the first time. Its not impossible, merely difficult.

Maybe someone who passed on the first try would be better qualified.



(BTW, Ohio on the 1st time, never took another)
10.21.2008 9:02pm
frankcross (mail):
Bob, because of what she has done since. If someone demonstrated years of achievement at a high level, it's silly to judge them based on their SATs, or their bar passage. You should judge them on their adult record.
10.21.2008 9:28pm
therut (mail):
Waxman and Holder scare me to death. They are dangerous to my liberty.
10.21.2008 9:59pm
therut (mail):
Estrada and Cumo are dangerous to my liberty. Hutchinson is just dull.
10.21.2008 10:02pm
MarkField (mail):

Maybe someone who passed on the first try would be better qualified.


Does this mean I have your support?
10.21.2008 10:43pm
Anderson (mail):
The Breeders.

Man, they used to ROCK. Kim Deal's been treading water for a few years though.

Re: Sullivan. For those of you who honestly don't know, con law is its own little domain ... it's entirely plausible that someone could be a great con law scholar and have only a glancing familiarity with more "practical" areas that feature much more heavily on bar exams.
10.21.2008 11:08pm
Oren:

Instapundit keeps pushing Randy Barnett

Only in my dreams.
10.21.2008 11:28pm
Waldensian (mail):

Or a Supreme Court nominee (Lillian BeVier) who is almost 70 years old?

You've obviously never met Lillian BeVier. She and I would probably disagree about the color of an orange, but I've never met anyone smarter, or anyone who would make a better judge. It's a crime she didn't get put on the Fourth Circuit.

And for her, 70 is just getting started. I've got $20 that says she outlives McCain by 5 years.
10.21.2008 11:32pm
Cold Warrior:
I like the Lillian BeVier suggestion. But I think her strong identification with the Federalist Society may doom her with the Senate, where we're probably looking at about a 58+ Dem majority.

You have to wonder exactly how much research went into this, however. By statute, the Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services must have business experience. The Obama list mentions Stanford Law Prof Mariano Florentino Cuellar as a possible choice. Taking a quick look at his bio, while he is trained (Ph.D.) as a political scientist as well as a lawyer, and while he appears to otherwise be highly qualified in immigration law, he doesn't appear to have any business experience.

Which makes me wonder whether these lists are really anything better than a bunch of VC bloggers and commenters could have thrown together ...
10.22.2008 12:09am
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Bob, because of what she has done since. If someone demonstrated years of achievement at a high level, it's silly to judge them based on their SATs, or their bar passage. You should judge them on their adult record.


It was the July 2005 exam.

Pretty ""adult" to me but maybe she is a child genius.
10.22.2008 11:40am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
BTW, I'm just joshing about the qualified bit but people landed pretty hard on A.S. for his comment for no good reason.
10.22.2008 11:42am
Anderson (mail):
but people landed pretty hard on A.S. for his comment for no good reason

I've had smart, nice friends who did well in law school and flunked the bar the first try, and making fun of them didn't seem very classy. I don't see how that changes just because I'm not acquainted with Ms. Sullivan.
10.22.2008 11:58am
JosephSlater (mail):
There's some good stuff on the new Breeders CD, "Mountain Battles." But frankly, I always preferred Belly and the Throwing Muses.
10.22.2008 4:49pm