Obviously, the big news today is the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, creating the first Supreme Court vacancy in eleven years. This is somewhat shocking, as Chief Justice William Rehnquist was the favorite to create the next vacancy.

It's also worrying, as the O'Connor retirement could result in drastic changes, including loss of reproductive choice, blurring of the separation of church and state, indefinite detainment of foreign nationals and US citizens without any form of due process, the loss of affirmative action, etc.

It is important now that we contact our Senators and President Bush, urging them to choose a concensus candidate... one that both sides can agree upon. As this appointment will affect the balance of power on the Supreme Court, if Bush chooses an arch-conservative, there will be a battle like most of us have never seen. But, as Orrin Hatch tells us, a concensus candidate will avoid that situation. From Hatch's biography...

I told him [Clinton] that confirmation would not be easy. At least one Democrat would probably vote against Bruce, and there would be a great deal of resistance from the Republican side. I explained to the President that although he might prevail in the end, he should consider whether he wanted a tough, political battle over his first appointment to the Court.

Our conversation moved to other potential candidates. I asked whether he had considered Judge Stephen Breyer of the First Circuit Court of Appeals or Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. President Clinton indicated he had heard Breyer's name but had not thought about Judge Ginsberg.

I indicated I thought they would be confirmed easily. I knew them both and believed that, while liberal, they were highly honest and capable jurists and their confirmation would not embarrass the President. From my perspective, they were far better than the other likely candidates from a liberal Democrat administration.

In the end, the President did not select Secretary Babbitt. Instead, he nominated Judge Ginsburg and Judge Breyer a year later, when Harry Blackmun retired from the Court. Both were confirmed with relative ease.

Bush should ask himself the same question. Does he want "a tough, political battle over his first appointment to the Court?"

Of course we all know the answer.


Blogger NoTONoEagles said...

Help Mommy, there are Liberals! underneath my bed!!! (No, seriously, that's the name of the book...) Don't believe me? The dang thing's on Amazon, not some hippie-press bullcrap ;) Anyway, thought you might enjoy, pinko ;)

10:26 AM  

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