Since word is already dribbling out among my friends, I thought I should let you know here: I’m closing down this blog in the next few weeks to start up a new one at the White House as their official law blogger. I’ll have the opportunity to both expand the scope of my writing and serve my country at the same time. As blogging gigs go, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Turkewitz goes on to tell how he came to the attention of the White House during the Sotomayor confirmation hearings came to the attention of White House Counsel Bob Bauer:
Bauer also told me that during the vetting his office did, they particularly liked my analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision in Philip Morris v. Williams as well my thoughts in the judicial recusal issues raised in CBC Distribution. For reasons that still escape me, he actually liked what he saw and asked if I would consider coming aboard.
But he also noted that my posts regarding the torture-endorsing John Yoo , or the mockery of democracy that took place with Bush v. Gore, might rankle a few people from the other side of the aisle, and that this job might not be for the squeamish. In other words, while they liked my writing style, they knew that my presence in the administration might raise an issue or two and that the fit, while good, wasn’t perfect.
But, in the end, they’re apparently willing to take the risk.
My first thought is this; given the rancor that was raised during the health care debate about tort reform, is it really politically wise for the White House to hire a medical malpractice attorney as their official legal spokesperson to the world ? It seems like they’ve just handed yet another issue to the Republicans for the fall elections at at time when they can’t really afford to do so.
I can see the commercials now — Upset about the high cost of health care ? Blame Eric Turkewitz, Barack Obama’s buddy and the official White House “Law Blogger.”
More importantly, as Patrick points out over at Popehat, Turkewitz has a blogging history that will clearly embarress the White House
[I]f Turkewitz’s past is any indicator, you can forget about changing the tone in Washington, or any hint of civility. The next time the administration (or perhaps Turkewitz himself) disagrees with a court, can we expect the mockery and hostility that led Turkewitz to denounce a past Supreme Court nominee as “error-riddled” and an “embarrassingly silly hypocrite”?
If you think Justice Alito was upset when Obama called out the Supreme Court at the State of the Union, just wait for the reaction when Turkewitz rails against SCOTUS for it’s decision in the Chicago Gun Case in June on the White House website. I doubt Chief Justice Roberts will be inviting the President over for coffee after that one hits web.
For a White House that is supposed to be both tech-savvy and politically-savvy this strikes me as an incredibly stupid idea.