This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Replacing Justice John Paul Stevens with a Thomas/Scalia/Alito clone could move the court more dramatically to the right than any Supreme Court appointment in the past half century. The balance of the court on issues like religious freedom, affirmative action, gay rights and flag burning could switch. Hence the importance of the next president's selection of a new justice.
Judge Mike Wolff suggested a Hispanic - it's about time. More women - can't we have more than one. Or maybe just nominating a friend, like FDR did in nominating Robert H. Jackson. Jackson not only was the Nuremberg prosecutor but also one of the most respected and influential Supreme Court justices of the 20th Century.
Judge Wolff also makes an interesting and not entirely facetious point when he says a new justice should be smart but not too smart. The justices who are too smart make such fine legal distinctions that legal precedents can easily be distinguished away.
-What do you think of Judge Wolff's ideas?
-How important is the Supreme Court as a presidential campaign issue?
-What would you like to see in a new justice?