July 4, 2005


Speculation on Contenders Begins Despite Entreaties (ELISABETH BUMILLER, 7/04/05, NY Times)

The lights were on in the office of Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, through the holiday weekend as she prepared final dossiers for President Bush on the handful of leading contenders to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

From her second-floor quarters in a corner of the West Wing, Ms. Miers, formerly Mr. Bush's personal lawyer, also telephoned members of Congress and asked them to avoid pressuring the president by publicly promoting or opposing specific people for the bench.

Despite her warning, members of both parties raised the possibility on Sunday that Judge John G. Roberts Jr., 50, of the federal appeals court in Washington might emerge as one of the top contenders to succeed Justice O'Connor, the court's frequent swing vote.

The argument in his favor, they said, was that he was possibly less conservative than the other contenders and so less open to attack from Democrats who would object to a strong conservative succeeding Justice O'Connor. Mr. Bush also knows Mr. Roberts personally, an administration official said.

That he knows and likes the Judge is an obvious point in his favor, but if Mr. Bush is picking someone specifically because they are perceived as somewhat moderate he'll go with Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 4, 2005 8:40 AM

Any recommendation by The New York Times should be an automatic disqualification.

Haven't registered at the Times. Are "members of both parties" named or are they the usual fictitious characters who live in the newspaper's pages?

Posted by: David at July 4, 2005 9:21 AM

Roberts is too comfortable inside the beltway for my taste-- I would rate him the most likely candidate to succumb to the (Linda) Greenhouse Effect.

Posted by: Dan at July 4, 2005 10:54 AM

Elisabeth Bumiller - How can two simple words when strung together make steam come out of my ears? Curious, that.

Posted by: erp at July 4, 2005 11:15 AM

Is it permitted to post a link the NYT stories through my

Posted by: erp at July 4, 2005 11:16 AM

Bush ran on promises concerning the Court. Promises have consequences, as do breakings of promises.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 4, 2005 11:30 AM


not about matters as arcane to the public as judges.

Posted by: oj at July 4, 2005 1:55 PM

After Kelo, things may not be as arcane as they seem. Remember that tens of millions find Roe quite objectionable, even if they don't understand the mess of pottage underneath it. But they know raw judicial power when they see it.

The public won't remember Griswold (to be sure), but they know that a penumbra has nothing to do with the "general welfare" of the Republic (if only in their guts).

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 4, 2005 4:43 PM


If the judge selection issue is not as arcane as it seems after Kelo, why are both sides enjoined in this fight because of issues having absolutely nothing to do with Kelo?

Namely, a Roe v Wade decision which will NEVER be overturned (nobody wants the resulting civil unrest that would result from such a decision)?

Posted by: Brad S at July 4, 2005 5:31 PM

Brad S.

If Roe v Wade is overturned, the result would be that the individual states could vote to make abortion illegal. Doubtful that much would change in all but a few states. There will be civil unrest resulting from that? Not I think.

Arcane? Then why has the appointment of conservative judges been such a motivator of the Christian Right in recent elections.

Posted by: h-man at July 4, 2005 6:18 PM

Kelo and Roe are of a piece -- blatant disregard for the written words of the constitution.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 4, 2005 6:29 PM

OJ: I believe that GWB is a man of his word and that he will appoint justice who is a strong originalist like Thomas and Scalia.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 4, 2005 6:33 PM

ERP: Some how when I think of Elisabeth Bumiller, I want to laugh.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 4, 2005 6:42 PM

I have no idea what she looks like - I have never seen her picture at a press conference - is she ugly and pushy like Helen Thomas or bold and brassy like Norah O'Donnell?

As for brains, well, we know about those.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 4, 2005 10:33 PM
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