Monday, July 11, 2005

President Bush's Nominees

Fred Barnes writes:

PRESIDENT BUSH NEEDS TO KEEP two facts in mind as he looks to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor (and, should he step down, Chief Justice William Rehnquist). The first is that he can win confirmation of almost any conceivable nominee for the High Court, screams of protest by Democrats and hostile media coverage notwithstanding. The second is that he has a promise to keep. Since he began running for the White House six years ago, he has declared endlessly his intention to select judges who interpret the law rather than create it--in a word, conservatives. On this, he has never equivocated.

The number 55 (or 56 if you count Vice President Cheney's vote in the event of a tie) looms large. The Senate majority of 55 Republicans limits Democrats to three possible means of blocking a conservative nominee. 1) Through a procedural maneuver like a filibuster, or by demanding documents they know the White House will never release. 2) By discovering an ethical lapse in a nominee's past. 3) By spooking the president with disingenuous calls for an O'Connor clone, or by claiming every potential conservative nominee is outside the mainstream. None of these is likely to work.

To see why, read the whole thing.