President Obama may, very possibly, be asked to accept the retirement of a senior Supreme Court justice early into his term of office. A vacancy on the high court involves a momentous decision that will impact generations to come. Since this is a lifetime posting, it is arguably the most important personnel choice any president can be called upon to make. The new President is urged to continue being as cautious and circumspect as he has been throughout his career.
However, following are the appropriate responses to arguments likely to be advanced by the political opposition and a few well intentioned, but timid, supporters regarding one potential candidate. The President will demonstrate great courage by rejecting false negatives when considering this superbly qualified candidate.
A nominee first advanced, then dropped, from consideration for a high government posting by a former President because of political opposition should not be avoided, even if it costs some political capital.
A candidate who has expressed, taught, and written of a fairer playing field for minorities and others, beyond the currently accepted parameters, should be seriously considered.
The new Chief Executive can put forward a candidate whose law theories he himself once taught at the University of Chicago School of Law, despite the possibility some might find this compromising.
Caution should be exercised in considering any candidate associated with a university not strongly grounded within the dominant social mores of the country. The Ivies, especially Harvard, are not to be dismissed due to the possible taint of elitism.
Should not the fact that a candidate teaches at Harvard as did her father and also her husband be cause for serious attention?
A nominee of mixed racial ancestry will avoid the possibility of personal bias. This goes doubly if her mother also happens to be Caucasian.
So, ignore caution, Mr. President, take the political risk. Be our hero. Make your first nominee to the United States Supreme Court Professor Lani Guinier, the first black woman given tenure at Harvard Law School. Take the heat and do not pick a lesser candidate as a safe choice.