Thursday, September 29, 2005
BTW, if anyone has taken this SCOTUS quiz mentioned at NRO (a really lousy quiz, telling in that it has essentially NOTHING about judicial philosophy or temperament in its list of questions): I did a little experiment. Lots of people are apparently getting Priscilla Owen as the answer to this quiz. I wondered about that. So I thought I'd see what would happen if I answered the questions honestly.
1. How important is rallying the base in the choice of a nominee? (A: unimportant)
2. Does the nominee have to be a titan in their field? (A: unimportant)
3. How important is it that the nominee be a sitting judge? (A: unimportant)
4. An active Republican? (A: unimportant)
5. How about the nominee's age? (A: unimportant)
6. Hispanic? (A: unimportant)
7. A woman? (A: unimportant)
8. A non-Hispanic minority? (A: unimportant)
9. Likely to be confirmed without a fight? (A: unimportant)
10. Someone with no paper trail? (A: unimportant)
11. "Star quality"? (A: unimportant)
12. My favorite sitting Justice is (Well, I couldn't answer "unimportant" even if I wanted to, which I don't, so I tried each of the conservative choices offered: Roberts, Thomas and Scalia)
Roberts: Priscilla Owen
Thomas: Priscilla Owen
I was beginning to think there was a pattern, but no:
Scalia: Edith Jones
On the other hand, if you choose Anthony Kennedy as your favorite Justice, you also want . . . Priscilla Owen.
If, by the way, you specify that the nominee NOT be a woman, then you STILL get Priscilla Owen if your favorite Justice is Kennedy or Thomas. You get J. Michael Luttig if your favorite Justice is Roberts.
But what's truly bizarre: if you DON'T CARE if the nominee is a woman, and your favorite sitting Justice is Scalia, then the algorithm spits out Edith Jones. If on the other hand you SPECIFICALLY DON'T WANT A WOMAN, and your favorite Justice is Scalia, guess who the machine says you prefer?
I guess Edith Jones is a bit more feminine.
Anyhow, whatever algorithm they are using is heavily weighted towards Priscilla Owen, even if it isn't a "pick Priscilla Owen whatever they answer" machine.