Brief of the Week May 11, 2009

IF BUSH WHITE HOUSE HAD REALLY KNOWN SOUTER: Had the chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush been able to foresee what David Souter would be like on the Supreme Court, would he have tried to dissuade the 41st President from naming the New Hampshire jurist to the high court back in 1990? “Of course,” John Sununu told HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi last week. “I would have fought much more aggressively for Edith Jones [the Texas U.S. District judge who was one of the runners-up for the appointment that went to Souter]. Former New Hampshire Gov. Sununu, now Republican chairman of the Granite State, recalled to Gizzi how Souter (whom he had earlier named to the state supreme court) “was interviewed by [Bush White House Counsel] Boyden Gray and [Assistant Counsel] Lee Lieberman, both fine conservative lawyers. Both are not gullible lawyers either. Based on their interviews with him, as well as his record as state attorney general and as a judge of the superior and supreme courts, we thought we were appointing a true conservative and that his appointment was the correct thing to do.” Sununu added his belief that “For the first six-to-eight months on the Supreme Court, he was the Dave Souter we had known in New Hampshire as a strict constructionist judge. Then, I’m convinced he caught ‘DC-itis.’ He started hearing nice things about himself from liberals and then drifted away from being the Souter he was to the liberal justice he is now.” When Gizzi asked if Sununu had stayed in touch with Souter or been at social events with his fellow Hamsphireman, he replied: “No.”