No woman has ever vacated a seat on the Supreme Court. Every woman who has ever served on the Supreme Court is currently on the Supreme Court. We have yet to discover the extent of the political feeling that a woman must be replaced by a woman.
While Bush would consider replacing one of the court's two women with its first Hispanic justice, neither Roberts nor Luttig for O'Connor would be politically correct.It's funny that members of minority groups should be thought to be exchangeable with women. I suppose there's an idea that it isn't right for the Court to consist almost entirely of white men, and the one thing you cannot do is move any closer to that extreme. But if we're concerned about representation, women are more than fifty percent of the population, and there are some important legal issues that have a special impact on women. For only one ninth of the Court to be female, after so many years of two ninths, should disturb us, unless we cast the notion of representation aside altogether. Equating a Hispanic man with a woman should be regarded as kooky. But it is really a smokescreen. Look, I'm doing a first! Sorry, that irks me.
Accordingly, White House judge-hunters are looking for a woman. They have interviewed Appellate Judge Edith Brown Clement (5th Circuit, New Orleans), a conservative who flies under the radar. She was confirmed as a Louisiana district judge in 1991, seven weeks after her nomination by the first President Bush, and was confirmed as an appellate judge in 2001, two and a half months after George W. Bush named her.
Clement would be subject to far more scrutiny as a Supreme Court nominee. So would any other conservative named by Bush, though Democrats may have exhausted scrutinizing Gonzales.
Either replace a woman with a woman or don't talk about representing groups on the Court.