by Richard W. Painter (former White House Ethics Counsel - (2005-2007)
The best option in this situation is for the president to nominate a consensus candidate. The president should choose someone like Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whom President Reagan later nominated.
Judge Garland is just the kind of candidate we would have advised President Bush to nominate if he had been in this situation. A proven moderate, he has enjoyed widespread Republican support in the past. As a former prosecutor, he is often sympathetic to the prosecution in criminal cases. He has aggressively and thoroughly prosecuted terrorists. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who is an expert on the Constitution as well as the confirmation process, admires him. Judge Garland is exactly the type of person who might have been chosen by the Bush administration if a Supreme Court nomination had been submitted to a Democratic-controlled Senate. Like the Kennedy nomination in 1987, a Garland nomination is a good way for a president to get the job done.