Dear Mr. President, please appoint Elizabeth Warren to the Supreme Court before the end of the week.
Why Elizabeth Warren? She started waiting tables at the age of 13, a year after her father was driven into poverty by a heart attack followed by huge medical bills. She later taught children with disabilities. She was a Harvard Law Professor for almost two decades -- in fact, the only one there with tenure who had attended a public university. Her scholarly work is renowned; she is one of the most frequently cited law professors of all time.
She has been an indefatigable watchdog over the capital markets for almost a decade, going back to her extraordinarily valuable work on the Congressional Oversight Panel for the federal bailout program. She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even though the Senate Republicans wouldn't let her run it. She electrified the nation with her "you didn't build that" speech. And she has been a tireless and effective U.S. Senator.
Fourteen Senators and 17 Congressman have been appointed to the Supreme Court. So it wouldn't be the first time this happened.
One more thing: Senator Warren is an outstanding writer and communicator, something that the Supreme Court badly needs. (Justice Scalia recently attacked a colleague for a writing style "as pretentious as it [is] egotistic.") In my opinion, the two best judicial writers of my lifetime are Justice Hugo Black, a former Senator, and Judge Abner Mikva, a former Congressman. (I worked with Mikva; I know what I'm talking about.) Serving in either House of Congress is a very effective lesson in communication.
Would obstructionists in the Senate filibuster an Elizabeth Warren appointment, or vote against her? Maybe. But that seems like poor form against one of their own, for a place as clubby as the U.S. Senate.
And the President should appoint Warren right now, before the end of this week. That would make it a "recess appointment," and Justice Warren could take office immediately. The obstructionists in the GOP couldn't do anything about it.
One last reason why Elizabeth Warren should be on the U.S. Supreme Court:
She's earned it. She deserves it. And she'll be so, so good at it.
Rep. Alan Grayson