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Friday, July 01, 2005

Fingers crossed for Tacha....

The news out of Washington today was a bit of a shock for some -- Justice O'Connor's resignation was not what most expected, but there had been rumblings for years that she was thinking about leaving, particularly after her health problems a few years back. But now it looks like her husband's illness was the primary factor.

While many folks are now extremely anxious about who Bush will put forward, I for one have have high hopes that the White House will make a wise choice and select Deanell Tacha, Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill the vacancy. Randi noted that her name came up on a news segment on possible nominees. It would be a smart move politically, for Tacha is a longtime Republican from the heartland and anyone who knows her will likely sing her praises.... I don't think she could be labelled either liberal or conservative -- so most might see her as moderate. What she is is very smart and very competent....

Randi and I knew Deanell at the University of Kansas where she was on the law faculty and served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs during the early 1980s. Randi worked for Deanell for a couple of years, and as someone involved in faculty governance at KU at the time I had some opportunity to cross her path a time or two before she left for the bench. But even then it was not uncommon to run into Deanell at the supermarket with her kids in tow shopping for dinner (small towns are like that).

Born and raised in Kansas, with a law degree from Michigan, Deanell's appointment probably had as much to do with her family's long time GOP activism and friendship with then-Senator Bob Dole as anything else. But this is at least one instance where wisdom and political appointment match up, for Deanell is as sharp as they come. She would make a great appointment -- so oddly enough fingers are crossed in the Dubnick household for a GOP appointment to the Supreme Court....


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