Predictions For 2005
1. At least one more state will legalize gay marriages, while at least five will ban them. I don't think California will be the one, rather I suspect that the Minnesota courts will do the deed. And Texas will most assuredly be one of those which formally outlaws such marriages through a constitutional amendment. My longshot prediction in this regard is that a federal court, probably somewhere in the Ninth Circuit, will declare that gay marriage bans contradict the Equal Protection Clause, leading to new momentum for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
2) Chief Justice Rehnquist will submit his resignation, likely on January 21, to be effective upon the confirmation of his replacement. While much speculation will center upon the elevation of Justice Thomas to the center seat, it will not happen. He will instead seek to move Scalia to the Chief Justice position, and will nominate a sitting state supreme court justice to the high court. My longshot prediction is that the appointee will be California Justice Janice Rogers Brown, whose appointment to the DC Circuit has been blocked by the use of parliamentary tactics by the Democrats.
3) Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle will prove the old adage that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if he wants it to. The ham sandwich in this case will be Tom DeLay, and it will come close to the end of the year, shortly before DeLay has to file for the 2006 primary. Facing the potential for a strong primary challenge and a trial during the fall election campaign, DeLay will announce his decision not to run for reelection. My longshot prediction has the Texas Legislature stripping the Travis County DA of its authority to investigate breaches of ethics laws, and invest that power in the office of the Texas Attorney General , where it rightly and logically belongs.
4) Hillary Clinton will announce her candidacy for reelection to the Senate, promising not to seek the Democrat presidential nomination and to serve out her term. Few observers of American politics will believe her. My longshot prediction is that early polls will show her locked neck-and-neck with George Pataki, but defeating Rudy Giuliani.
5) This year will see the death of Pope John Paul II. His successor will be a conservative cardinal, who will continue to follow the course set by the current pontiff. He will not be a European. My longshot prediction is that he will not take the name John Paul III. My even longer shot prediction is that he will select either Leo or Benedict.
I asked my darling wife, who views the world through a very different set of lenses, to give me her five predictions. Her response was... interesting, and truly not intended to mock the suffering of those touched by natural disasters.
I only have one to share with you. The hurricanes... the tsunamis... Goob as president. I figure when the rapture comes and all of you people are still here you'll say "Shit! We were on the wrong side."
Uh... yeah. We'll see who is right a year from now.