Clerquette's pal Kash, over at ATL, has either been doing some online betting (not that there's anything wrong with that) or watching Fox News. Or both. Either way, she tipped this blogress off to an actual bookmaking site that is busy tabulating the odds on various contenders for the title of "Obama's 1st Nominee for Associate Justice."
Wondering whether to put your money on Judge Sotomayor or Cass Sunstein? General Kagan or Janet Napolitano? Kathleen Sullivan or Dean Koh? Or perhaps you just returned from a trip to the moon on the Russian space shuttle, and haven't had a chance to catch up up on the news, in which case you might be wondering whether you should wager on feeder Judge Merrick Garland ... or Michelle Obama. Well, dear reader, head on over to www.paddypower.com, which provides the odds on the afore-mentioned potential nominees and nominettes, as well as popular (and not so popular) 'candidates' Wardlaw, Sears, Castillo, Patrick, and Hillary Clinton. Inexplicably, Jennifer Granholm does not appear in the virtual starting gate, though paddypower indicates that the odds for other candidates are available "on request."
At the moment, paddypower has Judge Sotomayor in pole position. Interesting. Clerquette loves the presumable mathematical precision behind paddypower's odds, especially since the ability to achieve "mathematical precision" is not within her tastefully decorated wheelhouse, so to speak. Nonetheless, this blogress can't help wondering what goes into these calculations. After all, dear readers, how does one determine a value for "empathy," which is at the top of POTUS's list of "turn ons"? No: really ... how does one quantify the E-factor?
Odds aside, this article by Neil Lewis makes a compelling case for Judge Diane Wood, of the Seventh Circuit. According to the article, Judge Wood was nominated to the bench (by President Clinton, in 1993) due in no small part to the ringing endorsement of Senator Paul Simon, who described her as "a reliable progressive who would be cerebral enough to go up against the court's two formidable conservatives, Judges Richard A. Posner and Frank H. Easterbrook." In other words, Judge Wood, who is, incidentally, a member of The Elect (OT '76) offers a "counterpoint" to the jurists seated to her ideological right, and (according to former Chicago Dean Geoffrey Stone) "would not be intimidated by any of the Supreme Court's conservative voices," like, oh, for instance, Nino's. Said Stone, "Diane is a serious and accomplished scholar who has demonstrated the ability to go toe to toe with Dick and Frank,” who “can be intimidating figures.” See Diane engage in spirited intellectual debate. See Dick shrink.
So, to summarize: Judge Wood has the ability -- which may elude definition, but is essential nonetheless -- to take on a spitfire like Justice Scalia. As several example in Lewis's article illustrate, she also seems to have the E-factor, and on at least one occasion showed actual sympathy toward a litigant caught in the whirling storm drain of an immigration proceeding. Those are two qualities that, in this blogress's humble opinion, may push Judge Woods closer to the top of the Leaderboard. But the icing on the cake - the hat trick, if Clerquette may mix sports metaphors - may be Judge Wood's parenting. Yes: parenting. Specifically, Judge Wood's daughter is quoted as having said that, "on family road trips, the children did not ask 'What state are we in,'" but rather"Which circuit are we in." Two words, dear readers: family values.