The gravevine is buzzing…. If Justice John Paul Stevens retires, almost all the speculation on a successor has focused on Elena Kagan, Diane Wood and Merrick Garland. But here’s another name that could really disarm political opposition: Thurgood Marshall Jr. A board member of the liberal Ford Foundation and a former Clinton administration legal appointee, Marshall has at least decent credentials. And, from a purely PR/political standpoint, what Republican senator would dare oppose him? I doubt the Obama administration or congressional Dems really relish a fight this summer over contentious social/judicial issues that definitely do not play in their favor. Marshall might be their ticket for avoiding a fight. Republicans might grumble about him having a resume more fit at the moment for an circuit appeals court judgeship than the high court, but would they really put up a fight? Methinks not. The nomination could turn out to be the least publicly contentious one since that of Antonin Scalia, but this time to the benefit of liberals. The question is, does the Obama administration have the political smarts to see how such a nomination would play in its favor?
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