Saturday, July 02, 2005

O'Connor Retires

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement yesterday, effective when a successor has been confirmed. While her retirement was somewhat expected, it was thought that Rehnquist would retire first. So now that there is an opening on the Court, who will be the next Supreme Court Justice? I frankly have no clue, but I will make this prediction: If President Bush nominates Alberto Gonzales, he will be confirmed within two months of his nomination. If President Bush nominates John Roberts or J. Michael Luttig or Samuel Alito, who were seen as the leading contenders to be nominated if Rehnquist stepped down, then the confirmation fight will drag well into the fall with a 50-50 chance that one of these three guys gets actually confirmed. I would also be shocked if Bush nominates Priscilla Owens or Janice Rodgers Brown even though they have strong conservative credentials and are women because they barely survived the nomination process to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the scrutiny is exponential more intense on Supreme Court nominees than Court of Appeals nominees. What ever happens, there will be a heaping helping of over-the-top political rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. Heck, I expect to hear a few Hitler analogies. Should be a fun summer.