The early CW
on this move by Bush:
President Bush nominated Judge John G. Roberts Jr. today to replace Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, whose death late Saturday opened a second vacancy on the Supreme Court and a new front in the ideological battle over the judiciary. . . . The Republican leadership in the Senate signaled that it would almost certainly alter its schedule for the confirmation hearings for the seat being vacated by Justice O'Connor, providing time to honor Chief Justice Rehnquist and acknowledging the extraordinary political climate in Washington after Hurricane Katrina. . . . . Some Democrats had already been pressing for a postponement in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and they used the chief justice's death to press their case for a delay at least until after the funeral.
"Out of respect for the memory of Chief Justice Rehnquist and in fairness to those whose lives continue to be devastated by Katrina, the Senate should not commence a Supreme Court confirmation hearing this Tuesday," the Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said in a statement Sunday afternoon. "A brief postponement will not disadvantage anyone." But Republicans, sensing the Roberts confirmation within their grasp, initially resisted, saying opponents were seeking to drag out the confirmation with hopes of derailing it. They argued that Chief Justice Rehnquist, who once kept the court open during a blizzard that shut down every other government building in Washington, would want the hearings for Judge Roberts to go on. For conservative backers of Judge Roberts, any delay poses a danger, giving opponents more time to raise questions and mount opposition. Even Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, the only member of the Judiciary Committee representing a hurricane-affected state, said there was no need to postpone.
But White House officials said that they were not concerned by a delay, and that there was still time for the hearings to be completed, votes to take place in the committee and on the Senate floor and to have Judge Roberts sworn in by the start of the new term.
Here's my quick take - a vote is a vote. So Chief Justice or Associate Justice, Roberts is unacceptable. That said, now he is Rehnquist's replacement, not O'Connor's. This sounds stupid I know, but it is very important for framing.
We now have to, more than ever, reveal Roberts' true views - to fully demonstrate that Roberts' is Rehnquist's heir, not O'Connor's.
In short, Social Conservatives have gotten their nominee - his name is John Roberts. For replacing O'Connor, Bush must pick a Justice like O'Connor, not Scalia, Thomas or Rehnquist.
Update [2005-9-5 10:34:27 by Armando]: