Monday, September 05, 2005

Technical Difficulties

Sorry for the slow start to things this morning; Blogger's been having some "issues." But it seems to be back to normal now, finally.

So, here's what we know this morning. President Bush nominated Judge John Roberts this morning to follow William Rehnquist as Chief Justice, meaning that his nomination will have to be formally returned to the Senate and there will be a "short delay" (WH Press Secretary Scott McClellan's words) in the confirmation process. Bush urged the Senate to confirm Roberts before the start of the Court's term on October 3.

Coverage of the Bush statement from the AP, CNN, and the WaPo. Bush said of Roberts "He's a man of integrity and fairness and throughout his life he's inspired the respect and loyalty of others. John Roberts built a record of excellence and achievement and reputation for goodwill and decency toward others. in his extraordinary career." Roberts said "I am honored and humbled by the confidence the president has shown in me. I am very much aware that if I am confirmed I would succeed a man I deeply respect and admire, a man who has been very kind to me for 25 years."

Aside from the O'Connor scenario which I suggested yesterday (and I guess that could still happen although I don't see it in the cards), making Roberts CJ seems like the smartest political move Bush could have made right now. Roberts has stong support in the Senate, and will be confirmed without much difficulty after hearings that I think will be contentious but civil.

Now the question becomes, who should/will Bush pick for the second vacancy. Conventional wisdom (which makes sense in this case) suggests that Bush is reviewing the nominees he's already considered - the Post mentions Al Gonzales, former assistant attorney general Larry Thompson, and judges Edith Jones, Edith Clement, J. Harvie Wilkinson, Michael Luttig, Emilio Garza and Priscilla Owen. Of those, Clement, Wilkinson, Gonzales or Thompson would be the easiest to confirm, as they are considered less ideologically extreme.

We may know in the very near future.


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