July 14, 2005
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Posted by Victor Fleischer

Light blogging the next few days as I head off to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for a reunion with Judge M. Blane Michael and 10 years worth of clerks.  MBM was one of the first Clinton judges, and legend has it that when asked in his confirmation hearing whether he had any judicial experience, he replied that he once took first place in the county fair chicken-judging contest. 

(The judge is hardly a hillbilly, having attended NYU Law and having worked at Sullivan & Cromwell.  But he can play the role; he did grow up without running water.  The senators loved it.)   

These days, Judge Michael is on the short list for the Supreme Court. 

Well, he's on a short list.  Senator Byrd's short list.  The Charleston Gazette reported yesterday that:

President Bush called Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. — a frequent critic of his administration — on Tuesday to discuss the pending vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. ...    

Bush has talked with several senators about a potential replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who announced plans to retire on July 1. In addition, Chief Justice William Rehnquist has thyroid cancer, and his potential retirement has been a subject of speculation for months.

During his conversation with Bush, Byrd suggested two names for consideration: M. Blane Michael, a judge on the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general of the United States.

I love Byrd.  I'm sure either MBM or Dellinger would please the conservative base.

And for any smart law students out there looking for a great appellate clerkship ... I can't promise you that MBM will take O'Connor's seat, but he's a great judge, a superb writer, a wonderful man, and I have never had a better boss. 

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