Re: His Accidency?

Slate's blog on legal issues.
May 2 2008 11:48 PM

Re: His Accidency?

Professor Sam Bagenstos kindly responded to my post on Brennan's "accidental" rise to the Supreme Court:

There are certainly elements of the mistaken-identity story that are true, but I don't think Regnery is right that Brownell thought Brennan was a conservative. Herbert Brownell is widely acknowledged as having been largely responsible for President Eisenhower's appointment of so many liberal (at least on race) judges in the South. See, e.g., his obituary

Advertisement

Good point. But Sam's disagreement may be less with Regnery than it is with my paraphrasing of Regnery. He wrote that "New York liberal Republicans were desperate to stop [Eisenhower's "first choice," John Danaher] who, they knew would try to return the Court to its constitutional place." 

The key, though, was that Brownell wanted someone who, while closer to the center than Danaher, would meet Eisenhower's requirement that the nominee be a "judicial conservative."

That said, as much as I enjoy Regnery's version, I'm not yet convinced that it's actually accurate (or, as I suggested in my first post, it may well be "too good to be true"). In Pursuit of Justices , David Yalof is severely critical of that account, relying in part on Brennan's biographer's review of Brennan's files. By contrast, Regnery cites only an article in Chronicles magazine hardly a first-rate digest of historical research.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 10:41 AM Taylor Swift Just Went to No. 1 on iTunes Canada With Eight Seconds of Static 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.