Associate Justice Al Gore? An Exciting Thought For The Progressive Base!

Ed Schultz suggested tonight on his MSNBC talk show that former Vice President Al Gore is part of the speculation as a possible choice for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to replace Justice John Paul Stevens.

The selection of Gore certainly would fire up the progressive base, but at the same time, it would anger conservatives, Republicans, talk radio, and Fox News Channel, and therefore it would be a major challenge to these groups, who would, assuredly fight “tooth and nail” to prevent his confirmation.

However, the argument is that President Obama would have a better chance this year to make a bold choice for the Supreme Court, since it is certainly expected that he will not have 59 Democrats (including two independents) in the Senate after the midterm elections this fall.

Gore would bring a distinguished record as a Congressman, Senator, Vice President, and the winner of the popular vote for President in the 2000 election. He has become the center of the environmental crusade in the past decade, but has become a lightning rod for his critics, including Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and others in Congress who deny what he has said and written about global warming and climate change.

Gore would be an exciting and dynamic choice, and could be expected to serve for 15-20 years at the least, considering his age of 62. Were he to serve on the Court, he could become a real leader of the liberal bloc and have a greater impact long term than if he had been President.

That certainly is what can be said about others who served on the Supreme Court and were involved in Presidential politics. Former President William Howard Taft served as Chief Justice from 1921-1930, and Charles Evans Hughes served as an Associate Justice before he ran for and lost the Presidency in 1916, and then he served as Chief Justice from 1930-1941.

Certainly, there is an argument for a “politician” to serve on the Court, and if one is looking for that description, the list is long of possible candidates–Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (now Homeland Security Secretary), Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, former NY Senator Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State), Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The impact of Governor Earl Warren of California (Chief Justice from 1953-1969) and Senator Hugo Black of Alabama (Associate Justice from 1937-1971) make a good argument for a “politician” as the list above suggests, but the most intriguing of all is the thought of Al Gore on the Supreme Court, sitting on a body that includes five members who were involved in Bush V. Gore (Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy backing Bush, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer backing Gore).

What a dramatic moment it would be if Chief Justice John Roberts were to swear in Associate Justice Al Gore! 🙂

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