Call Me Tony Kennedy


The Atlantic's "Voices" team is in a 1-1 deadlock on whether Elizabeth Warren is the right choice to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Megan McArdle has come down hard against Ms. Warren and her qualifications (with various come-back-hard replies in the comments section, here, etc). Joshua Green has just weighed in with a declaration that by selecting Elizabeth Warren, the Obama Administration would be "doing the right thing."

As the Court's swing vote, I declare myself in favor of Elizabeth Warren's appointment. 

It is so ordered.

(After the jump, explanatory note for readers outside the United States.)

Note for non-US readers: Justice Anthony Kennedy has succeeded former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as The Most Important Person in American Jurisprudence, by setting himself up as the coveted swing vote in the Supreme Court's endless 5-4 splits. Therefore a person who aspires to maximize his or her own personal leverage over the law dreams of being Anthony-Kennedy-at-this-moment.

"It is so ordered" is the way these rulings end.

Also, (Chief) Justice Sullivan, in obiter dicta, has indicated his support for the appointment.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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