The Only Supreme Court Editorial You Need to Read:
Lots of editorials and opinion pieces are being penned about the future of the Supreme Court these days, and it occurs to me that all of this writing is terribly inefficient. We could condense most of the different editorials and opinion pieces into a single essay, with one caveat: you just need to insert the proper words depending on whether the authors are liberal or conservative. Here is that single essay, with the bracketed sections containing the word or phrase to insert for liberal authors followed after the slash by the word or phrase to insert for conservative authors.
The Future of the Supreme Court
July 7, 2005
The Washington [Post/Times]

  The retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor presents a major opportunity for President George W. Bush. It is essential to our Nation that he choose her replacement wisely.
  Although nominated by Ronald Reagan, Justice O'Connor turned out to be surprisingly [enlightened/unprincipled]. Her jurisprudence was [pragmatic/random], which tended to frustrate [conservative wingnuts/believers in a written Constitution]. While Justices Scalia and Thomas voted to [turn back the clock/ follow the Constitution], Justice O'Connor frequently voted in a way that was quite [reasonable/result-oriented].
  News reports speculate that President Bush may nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Jr. to replace Justice O'Connor. If so, it will be a major [relief/disappointment]. While Gonzales has a proven record of loyalty to the President, he does not appear to be a [nut/conservative]. He [may not/ may] vote the right way in many cases, but [he is as good a nominee as we're likely to get/ I doubt it].
 Other individuals often named as possible nominees to replace Justice O'Connor are much [worse/better]. Nominating an [extreme/actual] conservative like J. Michael Luttig would signal to all Americans that the Constitution is [on life support/back].
  The conservative base has made its position loud and clear: it wants Bush to nominate a strong conservative to the Supreme Court. He should [ignore/listen to] them. The stakes are too high to do otherwise. The fate of our Constitution, and our Nation, hangs in the balance.
Brilliant. My favorite was "turn back the clock/follow the Constitution."
7.7.2005 10:34pm
Stephen Aslett (mail):
As a [liberal/conservative] who [does/does not] appreciate political satire, I thought that piece was [great/terrible]. If only the VC had more contributors like [Orin Kerr/Eugene Volokh], then this blog would be [even better/going to hell in a handbasket].
7.7.2005 10:39pm
MV (www):
Posts like this one are what keeps me coming back to this site. Great work.
7.8.2005 2:46am
John Tabin (www):
What a [(brilliant/stupid)/(stupid/brilliant)] editorial! I predict that the entire [left/right] half of the blogosphere will [(praise/condemn)/(condemn/praise)] it with one voice.
7.8.2005 4:42am
MRE (mail):
Clever clever!
7.8.2005 10:33am
The Plumber (www):
Hilarious. Thanks for the chuckle.
7.8.2005 11:34am
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
Stephen Aslett gets my nomination for comment of the week, above.

Of course, as a more thoughtful liberal (I hope), I try to find a better defense for O'Connor than simply tarring opposed opinions on the Court as paleolithic and unreasonable. I think they're sometimes _wrong_, but not just because they look backward or not forwards or not left or not abroad.

Still, an excellent skewering. I disagree that the fate of the nation is in the balance on this nomination - that's for the next one, or the one after that - but then, I didn't write such an op-ed, did I?

Again, nice work, Orin.
7.8.2005 11:49am
Keith Hilzendeger:
Don't worry, Eh. The next time there's an opening on the Court, the fate of the nation will again hang in the balance. And then all Orin will need to do is change the date and names in his editorial.

7.8.2005 1:16pm
Andy Treese (mail):
Well done. "Mad Libs" editorials are sure to follow - look for them at a convenience store near you!
7.8.2005 2:59pm
Bart Motes (mail) (www):
I think Orin Kerr would be well advised to read Eugene Volokh's Academic Legal Writing and choose more balanced and less inflammatory phraselogy in his writing. Here, of course, the point is the inflammatory phraselogy, but the bias is revealed in the reverse: so we get "conservative wingnuts/believers in a written Constitution" where conservative wingnuts are what the (presumably liberal weinie) writers call good earnest "believers in a written constitution." Cut me some slack.
7.8.2005 5:39pm
Absolutely brilliant!!!! Your best post yet, Orin.
7.8.2005 5:51pm