Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bush Court Pick: Speculation

The annual end-of-June media ritual of Supreme Court speculation never really ended from last year, but as we draw closer to the end of the Court's term in a couple of weeks, we should all be prepared for a renewed flood of "who will it be?" articles from the mainstream media's prognosticators. Today in the Washington Post, Peter Baker argues that (should a seat on the Court open this month), President Bush faces a decision: appoint a "reliable conservative," or promote Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Hispanic who is viewed with concern by many on the right.

The Post quotes "outside advisors to the White House" as saying top candidates currently under consideration for any Court seat are federal appeals court judges John G. Roberts and J. Michael Luttig, along with Gonzales. It's unclear exactly who those "outside advisors to the White House" are, though - that's a rather broad definition (heck I advise the White House from "outside" all the time!). Seems as though Baker's basically saying "people who might know who the White House is thinking about."

No two lists of potential candidates emanating from the media over the next few weeks are going to be the same, and unless we start seeing on-the-record statements from high-level administration officials, I'm going to take all of them with a grain of salt. If a Court retirement occurs (and it might not), we'll know soon enough who the nominee will be ... and then the real fun begins.


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