As a lifelong Chicagoan who has worked the streets as a police officer and walked the halls of all the criminal courts in Cook County, I did not think I was capable of being surprised considering all the bizarre things I have seen in this City. Boy was I mistaken!
As I write this article, my baseball team, the one that didn’t participate in a parade downtown recently, just traded away the most dominant pitcher to ever don a White Sox uniform in my 48 years as a fan. In addition to his skills Chris Sale was young, healthy, cheap (relatively speaking) and under team control for several years. When I heard the names of the players the Sox received in return, I was sure that a couple of them played on Clemente High School’s city champion baseball team in the late 1980’s. Of course the trade pales in comparison with the most futile franchise in the last one hundred years winning the World Series weeks ago. Sorry about the harsh characterization of your club Cub fans, but this is all us Sox fans have left. And if things could not get any stranger, Donald Trump was elected President. Fact truly is stranger than fiction.
Regardless of your politics, no one can deny that the upcoming four years will be great theatre. Political experts have weighed in on the most likely changes which will occur during the Trump presidency. The affordable care act is likely to be repealed. Public works and infrastructure programs will likely increase. Immigration policies will be strengthened. Outsourced jobs may be brought back to our country. These are just some of the changes being discussed by the legal experts who were obviously caught off guard with the stunning Trump victory. The most significant change however may lie in the future of the Supreme Court. Trump will have a vacancy on the Supreme Court to fill come January. There is potential for other appointments which could reshape the court for years to come. The following four names seem to be on the Trump’s short list of selections and all are considered conservatives.
Justice Don R Willett of the Texas Supreme Court. Willett served as a legal advisor to George W. Bush during Bush’s time as governor and President. He is only 50 years old so he could have a long-standing stay on the court if selected. He is said to be a strong proponent of individual liberty from religious freedom to property rights to the ability to earn a living free from unreasonable government restraints. Judge Diana Sykes of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Sykes is viewed as a solid conservative Federal judge who has also served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. If her name sounds familiar it is likely because she wrote the majority opinion in the 2011 case about Chicago’s ban on shooting ranges. Judge Sykes chided the city for arguing that a restriction on access to gun training did not have Second Amendment implications. Judge Federico Moreno of the U.S District Court for the Southern District Florida. Moreno, 64, is an experienced judge widely seen as competent and nonpartisan. He was born in Venezuela and attended Notre Dame University and the University of Miami School of Law. He would be the first immigrant to sit on the court since the 1960s. He is a former practicing criminal defense attorney in Miami and a one-time federal defender. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court. Larsen clerked for Justice Scalia in the mid-90s and spoke at his memorial service this year. She also worked for a now retired judge who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. She also advised George W Bush’s administration as a deputy assistant attorney general in the turbulent year after the September 11 attacks.
A vacancy will be filled shortly and it will most likely be a conservative pick. This one selection will not tip the ideological scales; however the potential for other appointments could reshape the court for years to come. The aforementioned judges seem to be the most logical selections to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Scalia; however with the way things are going I would not be surprised if Judge Judy is chosen. I wonder if she can pitch?