In "Napolitano an unusual option for high court," by reporter Erin Kelly, Hessick said Republicans may resist if President Barack Obama nominates the Homeland Security Secretary to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Napolitano is reportedly on Obama's short list of potential nominees.
"There's a chance that she'd be seen as too political because she's held elected office and now she's an Obama appointee," Hessick said.
Napolitano, who has never been a judge, also may be viewed as too risky because, unlike federal judges who have avoided divisive issues during Senate confirmation hearings, Napolitano has taken public stands as governor and attorney general. For example, she is on record as supporting abortion rights.
"She can still come back and say, 'I was governor then, and I was making a policy choice, and as a justice I would have a different hat on and would be interpreting the law'," Hessick said. "But there are plenty of people who would not believe that."
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Hessick teaches Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, the Supreme Court in American Politics and Judicial Remedies. Before joining the College faculty in 2008, he served as a law clerk for Judge Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Judge Reena Raggi of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hessick spent a year as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General for the United States, working on a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and then worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.