Though the U.S. Supreme Court ended its session last Thursday without a single justice announcing his or her retirement, smart politicos know that it's never too early to start planning for a vacancy on the bench. Let's face it: Some of those judges are so old, they knew God before he had a book deal.
Here at Dog Playing Poker, we firmly believe that the business of judicial succession is too important to be left to a chicken outfit like the United States Government. So we spent some time last week brainstorming a short list of potential replacements. And the first name we came up with was that of Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the universally adored Iraqi information minister. Think about it. When it comes to handing down judgment, nobody can slay a room like this guy. Through thick and thin, he's always shown complete, unwavering dedication to the text in front of him -- a crucial quality for a job in which analysis equals reality. We'd positively kill to see him in a position that involved the issuing of majority -- or, better yet, dissenting -- opinions. ("There is no such thing as illegal downloading. It is a foolishness. The justices who ruled against Kazaa are all trapped outside the firewall of a bestiality site, with their infernal capitalist credit cards disintegrating in their hands and their stinking boxer shorts pulled down around their infidel ankles. They are retarded. May God roast their stomachs in hell's chat room.")
In the info minister's further favor, he's currently out of a job, so he could start anytime the call of duty arrived. Plus, he was named "Stupidest Person in the World" at last month's World Stupidity Awards, which means that Clarence Thomas could finally enjoy a moment out of the spotlight.
The second candidate we hit on was Judge Reinhold. Hey, he's already a judge, right? (At least, he is by our standards.) Twenty-one years on, the Reinmeister is still most famous for his co-starring role in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" -- a role, remember, that saw him drive a pregnant Jennifer Jason Leigh to her appointment at an abortion clinic. Thus, we have every reason to believe that his presence on the Court would prevent a feared overturn of Roe v. Wade. On the flip side, his most famous scene in that film had him masturbating to the mental image of a topless Phoebe Cates. So maybe he's not the first guy we'd like to have hidden beneath a long robe and seated behind a chest-high podium.
Perhaps, we reflected, we needed to be closer to the selection process. It might be wiser to nominate someone local, whose work we know and admire. And Will Walker, proprietor of Will's Loch Haven Pub, is one of the most sagacious, fair-minded people we've ever met (which either says some wonderful things about him or some terrible things about us). There was only one problem: We didn't know enough about Walker's legal background to validate a full endorsement. So we phoned him at home early one afternoon to fill in the blanks. What follows is an actual transcript of our (unannounced) call.
Orlando Weekly: Will, is there anything in your past that might bar you from serving on the Supreme Court?
Walker: You mean legally?
OW: Yes. Or ethically or morally, for that matter.
W: (Pauses, considering) No, no. I think I'm golden.
OW: OK, good. We're of course not allowed to ask your positions on specific issues. But we can ask you to explain the overall standards you've applied in handing down past rulings. As a barkeep, for instance, how do you decide when to cut somebody off?
W: If they're bothering anyone around them. If they're all to themselves, normally, they're all right.
(Pay dirt! From Walker's unspecific yet telling response, we inferred that he would chart a judicial course opposite to that of defeated '87 nominee Robert Bork, who believed that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy. In Walker's words, we instead perceived an overriding respect for the right of citizens to comport themselves however they desire when they are "all to themselves"Ã a view nicely in keeping with the Court's recent rejection of Texas' anti-sodomy law. We pressed further.)
OW: Do you consider yourself a strict constructionist or a broad constructionist?
W: I just woke up. That's awesome. I'd say, "broad constructionist."
OW: Great! Finally, what changes could we expect to see to public life with you on the Court?
At this point, Walker expressed regret for his sleepy state, saying that he could "really come up with something good" if given more time. He begged the privilege of e-mailing a response, which we happily granted. From that request, we surmised that Justice Walker (a) would always avoid rushes to judgment; and (b) would take the lead in court cases pertaining to technological matters like e-communication.
Mere hours later, we received what amounted to Walker's first written brief. Ignoring our earlier qualms about philosophical prejudgment -- and showing a distinct willingness to legislate from the bench -- he enumerated a handful of changes he would bring to the cultural landscape if appointed. First was the outlawing of childbirth without an official permit ("No explanation needed"); second was a call for the legalization of drugs.
"Why should we punish the stupid for the profit of our government?" he reasoned. "I've also never met someone in trouble for drugs `who` stopped after they were off probation." No, no; we're sure you haven't.
Finally, the nominee-to-be expressed a Ric Kellerian emphasis on personal choice over corporate culpability. "If you sue McDonald's because you are fat," he wrote, "you would be slaughtered."
A mad-cow remedy for nuisance litigation? The end of procreation on demand? You can't say he's a slave to public opinion, that's for sure. Nor can you call him a slacker: "That's all just the first day," he clarified.
Frankly, we're ready for a little judicial overreaching that wee-wees on both sides of the ideological fence. So bring on the Walker campaign, we say. Besides, Ruth Bader Ginsburg never got us a good deal on domestic brands.