Tuesday, July 19, 2005

While We Wait

[Note: I'm updating this post as we go, newer updates at the bottom]

Today is shaping up to be an interesting waiting game, to see whether a Supreme Court nominee is announced ... or not. Bob Franken just reported on CNN that their reporters are getting hints that word might come sometime today, probably in the afternoon. He predicted that when Bush appears with Australian Prime Minister John Howard today, the questions from reporters will be on the Supreme Court nomination, and not on Karl Rove. That will take place just after 11 this morning, so something to watch for. A shift in focus is exactly what the White House is looking for right now - will the press corps bite?

The Washington Post and CNN (and presumably others) confirm the word from last night that Senator Specter was at the White House for what the Post calls "a last minute, unannounced visit to the White House last night to meet with the president." CNN a few minutes ago was running coverage of Specter and Karl Rove in the parking lot speaking as Specter got into his car.

Edith Clement seems to have become the heavy favorite among the predictors out there; I'm not going that far out on a limb, since I have absolutely no way of knowing for sure. But I will say, it would not surprise me if Clement is the nominee.

I'll try and keep track of things today as they come in, and will be reporting back if anything substantive or particularly telling appears. For now, I would recommend this WaPo op/ed from this morning: it is written by several leading stem cell researchers and urges senators to stay focused on meaningful action on stem cells and not get distracted by speculative alternatives.

[Update: A bit more, from ABC's "The Note" today: "[T]he buzz this morning is all about Judge Edith Brown Clement. There is no official comment or confirmation from anyone who really knows, though some folks in a position to be among the first told are starting to tell us that she is the pick. We can report, based on independent sourcing, that she sat down privately with President Bush at the White House within the past few days. It is entirely possible that all this buzz is wrong and that Clement was, in fact, interviewed and NOT chosen& and was informed about not being chosen ... which fed all this ... But that is NOT what the buzz sounds like to our veteran ears. At this writing, no one else is known to have been interviewed, although, as the President himself said, not everyone would require such a meeting." -- 9:25 a.m.]

[Update: The AP offers this, which begins "President Bush is close to making his first nomination to the Supreme Court, and Washington was abuzz with speculation Tuesday about Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. There was no word from the White House on when Bush would disclose his selection but officials familiar with the process said it appeared an announcement was imminent."

The piece goes on to note of Clement (who was confirmed to the appeals court 99-0 back in 2001) "Known as a conservative and a strict constructionist in legal circles, Clement also has eased fears among abortion-rights advocates. She has stated that the Supreme Court 'has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion' and that 'the law is settled in that regard.'"

Drudge, for what it's worth, has a picture up of Clement over the headline "BUSH'S CHOICE?"

We might know that very soon. -- 9:46 a.m.]

[Update: Ed Henry on CNN just said he spoke with Majority Leader Bill Frist a bit ago and asked if he thought the nomination was coming today. Frist replied "I don't know, but I don't think so." An indication of something, but maybe just that Frist is out of the loop. Henry said that Cheney just smiled and said "Good morning" when asked about timing of an announcement. -- 10:09 a.m.]

[Update: Watching this story expand is getting to be almost as interesting as watching the Rehnquist rumors was a couple weeks ago. Fascinating. Nothing new in the last few minutes, but stay tuned. -- 10:28 a.m.]

[Update: Nothing really new yet, although Bush is about to go in front of cameras so maybe we'll learn 'something' then. But, I wanted to recommend a couple places where people are posting all sorts of links and updates on this possibility, since I can't possibly collect them all myself. This thread at dKos and this one at RedState have lots of comments to read, and from them you will also be able to gauge some of the liberal/conservative reaction to this rumored choice. This is not to say I agree with anything anybody's saying at either place, I'm just offering them up. I will say, so far, that some of the comments at both have surprised me, for different reasons. -- 11:56 a.m.]

[Update: I'm going to put new posts up on the main page. -- 1:11 p.m.]


At 10:00 AM, Blogger chris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger chris said...

When Drudge uses a question mark, then you know it's gonna happen for sure. /snark

But seriously, it must be a slow day for Drudge if he's going with speculation about speculation about speculation instead of the much more reliable speculation about speculation.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous William Swann said...

Thanks for the roundup, Jeremy. I saw an article about this, but having all the various info gathered in one place is helpful.

It's interesting that Edith Brown Clement was the most prominent second name, in addition to Alberto Gonzalez, that got mention and favorable comments recently in the centrist part of the blogosphere. I obviously don't know enough about her yet, but I have this general sense that Bush is headed into promising territory with this pick.


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