Newsweek floats a Bush administration trial balloon -- the Bushies once again want us to know that they are considering California Supreme Court justice Janice Rogers Brown for the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. (Her name was also floated last December in The New York Times.)
Why are we hearing her name again? Could it have moved to the front of the queue precisely because she was the only justice to express a dissenting opinion when the California Supreme Court ruled recently that a man is guilty of rape if he persists in intercourse with a woman for several minutes after she expresses a desire not to continue?
Undoubtedly Bush wants to put Democrats in the position of opposing an African-American woman with conservative positions (she has voted to restrict abortion rights and, as The New York Times reported in December, she "wrote the majority opinion in 2000 interpreting [California's] referendum against affirmative action in a way that delighted conservatives") -- but I also think Bush relishes the prospect that this issue will come up. The California decision was a Drudge headline at the time of the ruling, and conservatives (for instance, the phony feminist Wendy McElroy, author of Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attack on Women) see it as PC run amok. But there's been a surprising dearth of mainstream outrage at the ruling (presumably because ordinary people know that it would be extremely unpleasant to be an unwilling participant in a sex act for four minutes -- time it for yourself if you think it's an eyeblink).