Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Are Conservative Constitutionalists in Trouble?

I'd like to think that Bill Kristol is worrying too much about Bush's next Supreme Court nominee, but he's been correct too often (including predicting that O'Connor would retire before Rehnquist) for me to take much comfort. Kristol's latest piece assesses the elevated nomination of Judge Roberts for Chief Justice by arguing that "in one fell swoop, the president deprived himself and his supporters of the easiest argument for his next nominee: that surely a reelected conservative president is entitled to replace a conservative justice--Rehnquist--with another conservative." Now Bush is in the more difficult situation of replacing a less conservative justice -- O'Connor -- with a more conservative one. Additionally, Kristol fears that Bush loyalist John Cornyn may be laying the groundwork for an Alberto Gonzalez nomination.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) also fears that Bush may be on the defensive in the wake of criticism regarding his response to the hurricane. An editorial today hopes that he will remember to select someone "in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas."


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