July 19, 2005 · Cass Sunstein
In an extremely short time, everyone seems to have concluded that Judge Edith Brown Clement will be nominated to the Supreme Court. This is clearly an informational cascade, in which almost everyone is responding to the statements of others, who are responding in turn to the statements of others, etc. (Compare the frenzy over the supposedly definite resignation of Chief Justice Rehnquist — also an informational cascade, including many people in high positions in the media and government.) A tentative hunch, though, is that everyone is right on this one.
If the President does choose Judge Clement, the most obvious point is that he’s chosen someone without much of a record. Other candidates include, for example, Michael McConnell, Michael Luttig, Frank Easterbrook, Mary Ann Glendon, and Edith Jones, all of whose views are much easier to find. The choice of someone without much of a paper trail — if that’s what we’re going to see — would be extremely interesting.