Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Very Afraid

Since the word came out that Miriam might be Chief Justice, people have been asking if that is at all possible.  In a word: Yes.

There is no rule or law that limits the choice of Chief Justice to those who are already on the Court.  The appointment of the Chief Justice from among the incumbents is tradition but not law.  So too is the appointment of the most Senior Associate Justice to succeed the Chief Justice; this was notably not followed by Marcos when he bypassed former Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee twice.  

In the United States, Chief Justice Earl Warren was appointed directly as Chief Justice without sitting on the Bench;  so too the current Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts.

Perhaps the question about Miriam in relation to the prospect of being Chief Justice is not whether it is possible but how probable it is.  Again, in a word:  Quite.  Probable, that is.

The last question that should be asked about Miriam being Chief Justice is, “should we be afraid? “ In a word:  No.  We should be VERY AFRAID.