Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 16, 2006
BLOG: Quick Links 5/16/06
*Some days, the bear eats you.
*Laurence Tribe pens an op-ed for the Boston Globe entitled "Bush stomps on Fourth Amendment". (Via Bashman). You have to wait until the third paragraph to discover that the "stomping" in question is permitted by a 1979 Supreme Court decision, and that Prof. Tribe's argument is really that the Supreme Court should overrule its prior precedent, not that Bush is somehow flouting the law and the courts.
*Baseball Prospectus finally has HACKING MASS standings up. My team is currently ranked #21 out of 1,427. And BP's Kevin Goldstein is souring on Andy Marte.
*Today's Day by Day is pretty amusing.
*A devil's theory of J. Michael Luttig: There's been a lot of ink and pixels spilled debating why Fourth Circuit judge and Supreme Cout short-lister J. Michael Luttig decided to leave his life-tenured job to become General Counsel at Boeing. The decision became doubly interesting with the announcement (detailed on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal) that Boeing has reached a tentative settlement of criminal charges with the Department of Justice.
As is often true of these things, the answer is probably a bunch of reasons. Clearly, Judge Luttig will make more money at his new job, likely multiples of his $171,000 salary as a federal appellate judge, and his kids are reaching college age. Other proffered explanations - Judge Luttig didn't really love the solitary life of an appellate judge, he was frustrated by his clashes with the Bush Administration over the Jose Padilla case, he figured out that after Roberts and Alito the next Bush SCOTUS nominee couldn't be another white male and would likely not be the #1 guy on conservative wish lists, etc. - may also have much truth to them.
But here's another thing: Judge Luttig is young enough, at 51, to bide his time a bit. Boeing is heavily regulated by a Senate committee chaired by John McCain, who has been a critic of the company, and the new GC will have as part of his job the task of mollifying Senator McCain. Which will mean working with him personally. And McCain, of course, if elected president, will need to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court to keep the restive GOP base happy. Perhaps you see where I'm going with this: I think it is at least plausible that Judge Luttig, understanding the ways of Washington, considered among the factors in his decision that getting to know John McCain would be a surer path to the Supreme Court than continuing to write Fourth Circuit opinions.