Larry Solum just posted his thoughts on the recess appointment of Charles Pickering to the federal appellate bench.
On this blog, I tend to follow US foreign policy and the election, so I'm not quite sure what to make of this apparently major (and unprecedented?) political move. Pickering was filibustered by the Democrats in the Senate, so they are not going to be happy about this. Yet, I cannot see them filibustering all Bush's judicial appointments (that would be an open war with no winners). However, I can see them lowering the bar some and filibustering a few less controversial candidates.
Why would Pickering want the job for a year?
As someone with a sabbatical forthcoming next year, I have thought long and hard about how willing I'd be to uproot my family and move somewhere for an academic term or two. There are lots of social costs for my family, who now have many deep roots in the community, and a year is not a long time to accomplish much when moving and adjustment are factored into the equation.
I'd think that even an appellate judge would face adjustment issues. Would a recess appointed judge be kind of like a strike-breaking umpire? In baseball, those guys were never fully accepted by their cohorts on the diamonds.
In any case, after weighing everything, I've concluded that it would probably be worthwhile to leave town for a year -- or even for a semester, plus a summer.
So...if anyone knows of something good, let me know. That means I want time to research and write -- not teach.