Friday, September 30, 2005


It now looks as if President Bush will wait a few days before announcing his nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor:

The White House has slowed the announcement of President Bush's next pick for the Supreme Court to bask _ at least for a few days _ in John Roberts' confirmation. Women and minorities remain atop what is said to be a narrowing list of candidates.

Bush initially was expected to name his second nominee to the nation's highest court soon after Roberts was sworn in as chief justice on Thursday. White House advisers now say the announcement probably won't come until next week.

Advocacy groups on the right are expecting Bush to name a rock-solid conservative to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Liberal groups are making a last-minute push for a moderate conservative. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, say if the president sends up any of the nominees they filibustered _ including federal appellate judges Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Hispanic lawyer Miguel Estrada _ they will fight to the bitter end.

And Bush's own "short list"?

"It's not that long," was all White House press secretary Scott McClellan would give up in the way of hints on Thursday.

Outside observers suggest the list has been narrowed to about five or six candidates, federal appellate judges and perhaps a few people who have never worn a judicial robe.

Mentioned most frequently in recent days are U.S. appeals judges Owen, Karen Williams and Alice Batchelder; Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan; White House counsel Harriet Miers; Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and PepsiCo attorney Larry Thompson, who was the federal government's highest ranking black law enforcement official when he was deputy attorney general during Bush's first term.

Others mentioned less frequently include federal appellate judges J. Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, Samuel Alito, Michael McConnell and Consuelo Callahan.