Democrats do not have to worry about such considerations. What they want are judges who will produce the kinds of results that their political base wants -- especially on such issues as abortion and affirmative action. The next best thing is to be able to scare off the Bush administration by threatening a filibuster if the president nominates someone whose top priority is upholding the law, someone in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas.
When the next vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court, the Bush administration will face the choice between nominating someone who believes in the rule of law or nominating another "moderate" to avoid a filibuster by the Democrats. But there may be a way out of that dilemma.
What if the administration could find someone who is not merely an advocate of judicial restraint but someone with a strong record of having unabashedly practiced it? And what if it would be someone who would present real political problems to the Democrats if they filibustered or launched a smear campaign?
California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown has been a very tough advocate of applying the law as it is written. When her fellow justices have gone the judicial activism route, her scathing and brilliant dissents have punctured their pretenses without mercy. Moreover, she has shown herself to be as knowledgeable as she is tough-minded.
Why would the Democrats have to hesitate before launching a filibuster against her nomination? Because Janice Rogers Brown is a black woman. That shouldn't matter but the Democrats are the ones who have always made such things matter. Now they would be hoist by their own petard.