One nice aspect of being in the Pacific time zone is that I often get to wake up to exciting news. I don't have to bite my nails while awaiting exciting announcements - like you East Coasters do. The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito is thrilling. When I heard the news, I wanted to pick flowers. Anyhow, I'm now wondering ... Has there ever been a Supreme Court so filled with intellectual heavyweights?
Once you drop Souter, everyone on the Court is an intellectual powerhouse. I don't care for Breyer's judicial philosophy or his paternalism (more on this later), but he's an undeniable genius on regulatory issues. Justice Stevens is a powerful analytical thinker, and Ginsburg is everyone's favorite federal courts and gender rights wonk.
Justice Kennedy gets a lot of flack from conservatives, but I think the quasi-humanist element of his jurisprudence is unique, interesting, and needed. Love them or hate them, but there's no rational argument that Scalia and Thomas lack intellectual prowess. Roberts, if he's half as good a justice as he was an advocate, will be remembered as one of the greatest Supreme Court justices of all time.
And now they're going to add Alito! These are very good days to be alive.