Obamas going to pick a Supreme Court nominee this year. This will be the first time we are going to have a justice picked by a non-asshole since the 90Ã??Ã?Â¢??s. Besides just a non-asshole, its the first time a president will pick a justice based on their credentials, instead of their insane right wing leanings and destructive business loving opinions. In all seriousness, if Justices Roberts and Alito could actually go down on corporations, they would. So this is a big deal. That's why I think Obama should pick a gay woman. That doesnt make sense after everything I just said, does it? Like I give a shit.
Lets go gay. Lets show the right wing what it feels like to watch an Alito take a seat on the bench. At least we can watch the right wing freak the fuck out and Senators filibuster for no other reason than because there might be a gay person on the bench. Its a win-win. Do we have a gay woman who is qualified? Of course. Her name is Kathleen Sullivan.
Sullivan graduated from Cornell in 1976, did a little Oxford Scholar action for a couple of years, then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981 (cough, cough, Obama, Harvard, cough). Harvard law professor Larry Tribe brought Sullivan on to work with him on a Supreme Court case and was quite impressed.
"Her sense of the most persuasive way to cast the issues and her rhetorical command were remarkable for any lawyer, much less a student. It was clear to me that I was dealing with the most extraordinary student I had ever had."
Sullivan went on to clerk for Judge James Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She worked for a couple of years in Boston for a law firm and was then recruited by Harvard as a professor where she taught, ahem, Constitutional Law. At the same time, she was working it as a lawyer.
She was co-counsel with Tribe for the Georgia ACLU in Bowers v. Hardwick, an unsuccessful 1986 challenge to GeorgiaÃ??Ã?Â¢??s sodomy law as a violation of privacy rights, and in Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, a successful 1984 defense of HawaiiÃ??Ã?Â¢??s land reform act against a taking clause challenge. Sullivan was the last attorney, following in a long line that began with James St. Clair and Professor Alan Dershowitz, to represent Frederick Wiseman in the "Titicut Follies" case, which has long been the basis of HLS federal litigation course. The case involved a gag order on a 1967 film about Bridgewater State Hospital; the gag order was finally lifted in 1991, when the judge decided that the subjects of the film would no longer be recognizable. Sullivans roster of cases also includes Anderson v. Green in which she made her second solo appearance before the Supreme Court in 1995, arguing on behalf of the right of newly entered poor mothers in California to receive AFDC benefits at the same level as longtime California residents. Sullivan says she won by virtue of mootness, and that the case is back on the Supreme Court docket this year.
Sullivan moved to Stanford Law School in 1993, where she became dean in 1999. In 2004, she stepped down as dean to become the director of the new Stanford constitutional law center. Oh, and she is the Stanley Morrison Professor at Stanford Law School. She is super qualified for the position. Oh, and she represented Mitch McConnell at one point. You know, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, also known as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Id love to watch Republicans mount a campaign against a supremely qualified lawyer who once represented their Minority Leader. Its like a gift from God.
For Republicans it would come down to one thing: Her sexuality. And the time for this battle has come. Lets watch our insane religious lunatic lawmakers try to take on an openly gay litigator who is far better than any of them.
A 1983 case Tribe and Sullivan worked on together involved defending the city of Bostons policy of giving hiring preference to Boston residents on city construction projects. "Im not sure I would have won without her," says Tribe, noting that he and Sullivan had a formidable opponent in Susan Estrich, who helped to represent the other side. "This was Susans first exposure to Kathleen, and Susan was immediately impressed by what a powerhouse we had in our midst." Estrich recalls having felt confident that her side would likely win the case, until she received a daunting reply brief coauthored by someone named Kathleen Sullivan: "I turned to my research assistant and said, Who the hell is Kathleen Sullivan? I vowed never to be on the other side of this woman again. And I havent been. And I wont be."