SCOTUS watch: Pam Karlan

Posted on 13 May 2009 at 3:07pm

It’s become a courtesy if not a policy to replace one minority Supreme Court justice with another (not that there’s much of a track record). Thus, Clarence Thomas succeeded Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Meiers (tried to) success Sandra Day O’Connor, etc. And presidents even defer a little as to the perceived politics of a candidate (though some go for outright doctrinal reversal).

With David Souter stepping down from the High Court at the end of the term, there is constant speculation that Obama will go for another minority — woman, Latino/a, even openly gay. (Unofficially, “openly” would be the only real change in the current post-holder, if you get my meaning.)

One proposed nominee is Standford Law professor Pam Karlan, who is lesbian. Karlan was one of my professors when I was in law school at the University of Virginia, so I have a few opinions there. But I’ll only share them if she’s the nominee — no need droning on for no reason. I mean, any more than I normally do.

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