Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SCOTUS Nominee?

Here's an article that has some guesses on who Bush's SCOTUS appointee is going to be. Ready for some major filibustering and holding out, folks? =) I'm interested in hearing your opinions on the nominees suggested (or even on ones not suggested).

Bush To Announce Supreme Court Choice Tuesday

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush will announce his first nominee to the Supreme Court on Tuesday and Republican sources U.S. appeals court Judge Edith Clement has emerged as a leading candidate.

"The president has made a decision and will be announcing his nominee to the Supreme Court this evening at nine o'clock (0100 GMT)," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

Analysts say Clement, 57, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, is a conservative who may not be as controversial as some other candidates because she has no long record of judicial opinions available for analysis.

She won Senate confirmation by a 99-0 vote in 2001. But Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Richard Durbin said "a different standard has to be applied" for a Supreme Court candidate and predicted she would face "harder questions, more questions" than in 2001.

Republican strategists said Bush has been leaning toward picking a woman to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the high court and a moderate conservative who often controlled the outcome on hot button issues like abortion, affirmative action and civil liberties.

At a news conference with the Australian Prime Minister, Bush was noncommittal: "I have thought about a variety of people, people from different walks of life, some of whom I've known before, some of whom I had never met before."

"I do have an obligation to think about people from different backgrounds but who share the same philosophy -- people who will not legislate from the bench," Bush said.

Some Republicans have urged Bush to name a candidate who would mesh closely with his conservative agenda. Others have urged him to choose someone who could assume O'Connor's more moderate role as a key swing vote between the nine-member court's conservative and liberal wings.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee would oversee the confirmation process, has urged Bush to pick someone in O'Connor's mold for the lifetime appointment.

Republicans believe nominating a woman might help avoid a bitter partisan battle over Bush's choice for the court, which rules on many social issues like abortion and civil rights.

Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.


Republican strategists with close ties to the White House described Clement as the leading candidate.

"She's pretty untouchable," one of the strategists said, noting that she has attracted little attention for her judicial opinions, reducing the chances of a bitter confirmation fight over her writings.

Manuel Miranda, head of the Third Branch Conference, a coalition of about 200 conservative groups, said if Clement is the nominee, "the president is playing it safe."

"Edith Clement has practically no paper trail," Miranda said. "She is a conservative, and she would be acceptable... But she doesn't have a clear record on a number of issues, and has caused some concerns on religious liberty issues."

Some Republicans may be wary of filling the post with someone whose views are so little known. Bush's father selected Justice David Souter, who has disappointed conservatives and turned out to be far more liberal than expected.

Brad Berenson, Bush's former associate White House counsel, said Clement would "face a relatively smooth confirmation" process because she has the backing of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Landrieu was a member of the group of 14 senators -- seven Democrats and seven Republicans -- who signed a truce in May that averted a showdown over Bush's most conservative appeals court nominees that had threatened to shutdown the Senate.

That group may play a pivotal role in the Senate confirmation process and help decide if Democrats would be allowed to filibuster the nominee. According to their deal, filibusters would only be allowed under "extraordinary circumstances."

Clement was nominated by Bush's father to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court in Louisiana in 1991 and was elevated to her current job by the current Bush in 2001.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1948, Clement received her law degree from Tulane Law School in 1972 and worked as a private attorney in New Orleans from 1975 to 1991.

Another possible female candidate is Edith Hollan Jones, who also serves on the 5th Circuit. (Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Thomas Ferraro)


Blogger W. said...

For those interested in this topic, go to http://www.confirmthem.com/ for up to date info and background on potential nominees and the eventual one (once it happens).

12:05 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

The betting markets (tradesports.com) which have been remarkable good predictors in the past have Edith Clement as the front runner with a P ranging from .5 to .85. The Eugene Volokh has a post up on why this might be a bad instance for trying to use markets to predict at volokh.com, but I totally disagree with him (it seems the election of the pope would have faced the same problems but the predictive markets did quite well).

1:03 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Please ignore the 3 or 4 spelling/grammar errors in the previous post.

1:05 PM  
Blogger W. said...

The latest is Judge Luttig. See http://www.hughhewitt.com/#postid1817 and then see http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031779281450&path=!news&s=1045855934842.

If you want to listen to good political analysis of Court nominee, then go to http://www.hughhewitt.com/index.htm and listen live. Hugh, a colleague of Tom Bell at Chapman (though not a libertarian; he is a conservative) will be on from 3 - 9 pm today and will have all sorts of pundits on, both from right and left political persuasions. Should be good.

He is also on various radio stations. Just go to http://www.hughhewitt.com/pages/stations.htm to find out if he is on in your area.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Looks as if it's Roberts... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/19/AR2005071901518_pf.html

6:04 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Like I've been saying this whole time; those betting markets are crap.

9:51 PM  

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