Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bush To Let Christian Right Name Next Supreme Court Justice

A late evening story to run in tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post reports that President Bush has deferred to the Christian right in making his next choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. According to the Post report, Bush is likely to name federal appeals court judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., but he could also select either J. Michael Luttig or Alice M. Batchelder, both federal appeals court judges.

As Bush met with his closest aides this weekend, including White House counsel Harriet Miers who withdrew her name from consideration this week, he reached out to conservative groups for support for the leading contenders. One group consulted, according to the Post, is the extremist religious group, Concerned Women for America, whose opposition to Miers contributed to the decision to withdraw her nomination. The Post reported: “Janet M. LaRue, the group's chief counsel, said it received a call from the White House on Saturday and liked what it heard. ‘Alito and Luttig have always been at the top of our list,’ she said in an interview. ‘We think either of them would be a supreme pick. There isn't a thing stealthy about them. They've got a long, proven record of constitutional conservatism.’"

The Post description of the likely choice, Alito, left little to wonder as to why the Christian right likes him. The Post said of him: “Alito, 55, studied at Princeton and Yale, and has sat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, based in Philadelphia, since 1990. Nicknamed "Scalito" by some who compare him to Scalia, the high court's prime conservative intellectual force, Alito has built a record as an incisive skeptic of liberal constitutional theory. He voted to uphold a Pennsylvania law that required a woman to notify her husband before an abortion -- a law rejected by the Supreme Court -- and wrote a decision upholding a city holiday display that included a creche and menorah as well as secular symbols.”

If Bush names one of the three candidates mentioned today in the Post article, Senator Harry Reid and Senator Charles Schumer hinted that the filibuster option may come into play. Reid has this warning for Bush: "I think this time he would be ill-advised to do that. But the right wing, the radical right wing, is pushing a lot of his buttons, and he may just go along with them."

No comments: