Bush has a key weapon with which to beat any reluctant groups into submission -- the truth. "This is the greatest jurist of our time," he can say. "How can you oppose him? Such opposition could only be based on crass politics."
And he'll be right.
The social-conservative folks probably won't like it, but I think it's a great idea. Almost as good as Justice Volokh -- though I think that Eugene's skill at consensus-building makes him a natural choice for Chief Justice, not Associate Justice.
UPDATE: Stephen Bainbridge is one of those social-conservative folks who don't like the idea much. My response: Would you prefer another Souter? Because in the real world, that's probably the choice.
Certainly, Judge Posner is the most qualified man for the job on credentials and intellectual accomplishment alone, moreso even than, say, Ken Starr or Laurence Tribe or his Seventh Circuit colleague Frank Easterbrook. My sense is that this would make Posner an attractive candidate if Bush faced the need for a compromise a down the road. But I have no doubt that Posner would not be his first pick, particularly due to his age.
I'd like to mention three others: Alex Kozinski of the 9th circuit; Miguel Estrada, whose nomination to the DC circuit was filibustered to death by Senate Democrats, apparently for being Hispanic and conservative; and Janice Rogers Brown of the DC circuit, also filibustered for years, again apparently for being a conservative and a minority, but recently confirmed.
I like Kozinski a lot. With Eugene Volokh, and Posner, that makes three.
MORE: Reader David Gulliver emails:
At my law school, the professors are nearly unanimous in their outright disdain for Posner. With this kind of “support,” how can I not love the guy? I am a social conservative and I would absolutely support the President if he nominated Posner for Chief Justice. I think many other social conservatives, given the opportunity to learn more about Posner from a well-informed source, would rally around him, too.