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Friday, July 01, 2005

It's O'Connor, not Rehnquist

(But will he be next?)

Here's the Washington Post article on her retirement.

Although Bush says that "he and his advisers would also consult with members of the Senate,"
and that there should be a "dignified process" in the Senate "characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote," judging by his history of picking nominees who cater to his religious fundamentalist base who want to turn America into a Theocracy, there's a good possibility that he'll pick someone guaranteed to meet the definition of "extraordinary circumstances" that the "Gang of 14" will use for a filibuster. Personally, I'd still like to see Candidate Frist invoke the "nuclear option," and have this settled once and for all.

Tom Knapp of the Knappster Blog had made a prediction a few days ago of a recess appointment, but now he thinks that O'Connor deliberately worded her resignation to preclude the possibility of that, as she said that "she will leave before the start of the court's next term in October, or when the Senate confirms her successor." He thinks that she wants to "safeguard" the Seat 'against someone who's "unacceptable" with respect to overturning Roe v. Wade.'

I'm prepared for a big fight -- it'll help the White House and Frist (along with Rush, Hannity, and the other purveyors of the party line) to continue to accuse the Democrats of "obstructionism" (isn't that what an opposition party is supposed to do?) and divert attention away from failures in Iraq and Afganistan, continued profligate spending and massive mounting debt, reverse Robin Hood income re-distribution and corporate Welfare.

Who knows...maybe Bush will take the smart road nominate someone who won't be inclined to reverse Roe, thereby keeping the status quo, but who will be a protector of the Constitution in other ways. This way, when Rehnquist does retire, he'll be able to nominate an anti-abortion justice, arguing that it will still keep up with the status quo.

My definition of "settled once and for all" regarding judicial filibusters:
I thought that when the original battle was happening, and I still think, that when it comes down to a vote on the "nuclear option," Frist and co. will find that they don't have enough votes to overcome a veritable Senate tradition.

I'm all for the bicameral legislature envisioned in Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, wherein one half writes legislation and needs a 2/3rds majority to pass it, and the other half's sole function is to accept or veto it, and a veto would require only 1/3rd of the membership.

I agree with Gary Nolan (former Candidate for the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential nomination): Gridlock is good.