Recent reports suggest that Judge Edith Brown Clement of the Fifth Circuit is about to be nominated by President Bush as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Profiles of Judge Clement are available here, here, and here.
Judge Edith Clement -- who goes by "Joy," as noted by Wonkette -- is a bit of an unknown quantity. Is Judge Joy Clement going to elicit cries of "Happy Happy Joy Joy!" from the conservative base of the Republican Party? Or is Judge Clement simply "Justice Souter in a dress"? The jury is still out. (Click here for a spirited debate among conservatives concerning Judge Clement's bona fides.)
What is A3G's take on Judge Clement? To be fair, A3G needs more information -- please email her ASAP with juicy tidbits about Judge Clement. A3G's initial reaction: Judge Clement is kinda boring, a far cry from such spectacular judicial divas as Judge Edith H. Jones (5th Cir.) or Judge Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Cir.), two other possible SCOTUS nominees.
As noted in her OLP bio, Judge Edith Clement was a maritime lawyer for about 15 years. In 1991, after nomination by the first President Bush, she became a district court judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She served as a district judge (including a stint as chief judge) for 10 years before her 2001 elevation to the Fifth Circuit. YAWN!
To be sure, Judge Clement appears to be highly competent. As noted here, "[a]s a district court judge, out of more than 1,300 opinions she authored, only 17 were reversed, partially reversed, vacated or even remanded." Her undeniable competence may explain the 99-0 vote to confirm her to the Fifth Circuit.
But competence isn't everything. Sure, substance is important -- but what about style? Is Judge Clement fabulous enough to sit on the highest court in the land? Stay tuned...