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Sunday, November 05, 2006 

Rumors are Fun

Confirm Them has recently posted some interesting links about the Supreme Court and possible personnel changes. First, a link to an article from Human Events...
For the past several weeks, there has been a rumor circulating among high-level officials in Washington, D.C., that a member of the U.S. Supreme Court has received grave medical news and will announce his or her retirement by year's end. While such rumors are not unusual in the nation's capital, this one comes from credible sources. Additionally, a less credible but still noteworthy post last week at the liberal Democratic Underground blog says, "Send your good vibes to Justice Stevens. I just got off the phone with a friend of his family and right now he is very ill and at 86 years old that is not good."
As stated, these rumors are nothing new. However, one can't help but wonder. The article goes on to talk about the importance of the Senate and why the Republicans must hold it in the midterm elections. If they lose it or hold a one or two vote majority, any future Supreme Court vacancy will result in a confirmation battle the likes of which we haven't seen since Bork.

Some of the discussion in the Confirm Them comments brought up an idea that popped into my head as soon as I read the DU post: this is an effort to get every Democratic vote to the polls as possible. Scare them with the threat of a looming Stevens retirement. The more I think about it, the less I buy it. I may not have my finger on the pulse of Democratic America, but I think most of them are pretty motivated to vote Tuesday. This kind of rumor mongering wouldn't be necessary.

US News and World Report also has a blurb in its Washington Whispers section concerning this...
No Vacancy? No Problem

President Bush isn't looking very far for his next conservative pick to the U.S. Supreme Court: His top two candidates work just 12 blocks away in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Insiders say Judge Janice Rogers Brown, appointed in June 2005, tops the list, followed by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, appointed in May. Also up: Peter Keisler, whose nomination to the D.C. court is pending. So there's no vacancy, you say? With apologies to Justice John Paul Stevens, 86, it's his seat they hope to fill.
Judge Brown would be an incredible pick. She is also tough enough to get through the kind of confirmation battle that would ensue. I think that Judge Kavanaugh is great, and I totally supported his nomination to the DC Circuit. However, he didn't do well in his confirmation hearing. He was just too nervous. And that was when very few people were watching. Keisler is an excellent choice as well, but he really should have some time on the bench first.

The Brown rumor has been repeated by the Chicago Sun-Times also...
Tipsville . . .
Sneed hears Justice Ginsburg may not be alone for long. President Bush is reportedly eyeing Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit should he have a chance to replace Chicago-born Justice John Paul Stevens, 86.
I think that the White House may have been saving her for this. Many people wanted her to be nominated for either previous vacancy, but Roberts and Alito (and Miers... shiver) were picked instead. I think that part of the reason had to do with a taint from her DC Circuit confirmation battle. The Democrats could have painted her as an extremist yet again. Now, it's different. She's had time on the DC Circuit. She hasn't done anything crazy or loopy or whatever the Democrats thought she would do. She's been an excellent judge. A decent appeals court record and a tough personality is exactly what the White House needs for a future nominee.

Depending on the results of Tuesday's election, things might get very interesting at the Court by the end of the year.

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