Given that Sandra Day O’Connor’s intent to resign has already been communicated to President Bush, time is running short for a new Justice to be confirmed prior to the start of the new Supreme Court session. Granted, while Justice O’Connor plans to remain on the bench until her successor is confirmed, it would be appropriate for the confirmation process to at least be near completion by the start of the new session on October 1st. Well, as the title of this entry indicates and Yahoo! News has just reported:
President Bush chose federal appeals court judge John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday as his first nominee for the Supreme Court, selecting a rock-solid conservative who has won broad support from both parties but still faces what could be a contentious battle over the direction of the nation’s highest court.
Bush offered the position to Roberts in a telephone call at 12:35 p.m. as he was hosting a luncheon for the prime minister of Australia, John Howard. He was to announce it later with a flourish in a nationally broadcast speech to the nation.
So, it is now “game on.” It will be interesting to see how the current controversy over Valerie Plame, the situation in Iraq, and this Supreme Court nomination get juggled around as the issue of the day.
My money is on the Supreme Court confirmation process winning the day, over the bad news coming from Iraq and Karl Rove’s unfathomable inability to say “no comment.” At least, that should be the case barring a massive casualty incident in Iraq or Afghanistan or terrorist strike with the continental United States.
Given that Roberts was unanimously confirmed to his current bench, I’m interested to see if this confirmation process will be contentious. Of course, any contentious issues should have been broached during the prior confirmation process. That said, those Senators opposed to Roberts (whether rightfully so or not) owe the American people an explanation for their prior vote in favor of the man’s current bench assignment. However, I’m not naive enough to believe that will be the case.
Everything is ugly in Washington these days and no one takes responsibility for prior inaction.
James Landrith is a Marine Corps and Gulf War veteran, libertarian, civil liberties activist and founder of Pious Pagan Publishing.