One of President Obama's short-list candidates to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court is Diane Wood, who has sat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago since 1995. Her record, it is said in the story, "reflects a mainstream liberal jurisprudence, tempered by a respect for precedent and a narrow focus on the facts at hand." If you're not clear on what "mainstream liberal jurisprudence means," this is what she says on that whole "living Constitution" issue:
She said of the framers of the 1789 document, "There is no more reason to think that they expected the world to remain static than there is to think that any of us holds a crystal ball," she wrote. "The only way to create a foundational document that could stand the test of time was to build in enough flexibility that later generations would be able to adapt it to their own needs and uses."
Nothing in that likely to make conservatives move to the edge of their seats and get ready to jump up and shout, is there?
During her time on the appeals court, she has been a dissenting voice in two big (for us, anyway) Indiana cases. In one dissent, she argued that Hoosier taxpayers had legal standing to challenge the legislative prayer practices in the General Assembly. In another case, she dissented from the opinion upholding the constitutionality of an Indiana statute requiring women to wait 18 hours and get counseling before having an abortion. No John Roberts, she.