Jan Crawford is blogging that the Bush administration is preparing for the loooooooong shot chance at replacing a third Supreme Court justice, the one who could strip Justice Kennedy of his swing vote power and make the Supreme Court firmly conservative.
Word is Bush wants to try the woman or minority thing again, but now that he knows stealth option Harriet Miers won’t satisfy the people who were promised more Scalias and Thomas’, all-stars (and lightning rods) Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown will likely be warming up in the bullpen having been called up from lower federal bench.
But for Own (woman!) and Brown (women! and black!!) to have even the slightest hope of becoming the next Supreme Court justice, they would need strong and persistent support from Senate Republicans. And if by any chance you need more convincing that the Senate GOP lacks many a spine, this ABC News report paragraph defines the Senate GOP perfectly:
Either (Brown or Owen) could have been a likely replacement for O’Connor in 2005, but leading Senate Republicans told the White House not to nominate them because they were seen as too controversial at the time. Now that both are on the federal bench, the White House has put them back on a working short list.
Or…now that Democrats control the Senate, confirming either Brown or Owen would be close to impossible. Not only will Senator Ted Kennedy get to slander judges again because they have a better understanding of the Constitution than that bloviating drunkard, but he’ll get to do it as a member of the controlling party.
Ever since justices began dropping off the Rehnquist court I’ve strongly rooted for Janice Rogers Brown, whose streaks of libertarianism as part of her strong conservative jurisprudence will most often agree with my palate.
But the ‘once a poor black woman from a poor black sharecropper’ card will only work for so long before the Senate Republicans would actually have to defend her strong judicial record. We all know how inept Republicans are at defending anything…and that was when they were the majority.
But I digress into a fantasy of another Supreme Court battle that’s unlikely to happen under Bush’s watch. Liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, at the ripe and healthy age of 87, only has to hang on for one more year. Some speculate Ginsburg will go to0, but I don’t see her stepping down after only 13 years of service (a short tenure for the Rehnquist/Roberts court) and being the third most junior justice.
But justices are unpredictable. We could very well see another vacancy very soon, something President Bush really needs if he wants to be remembered as a success of any kind by a base getting shorter and shorter everyday.