Friday, July 01, 2005

More Odds

Who will President Bush nominate to replace Justice O'Connor?

3:2 Someone age 57 or younger
2:1 A woman
4:1 An Hispanic
5:1 A reasonable person
12:1 Senator Conryn
15:1 Alberto Gonzales
20:1 Janice Rogers Brown
115:1 John Bolton (ok, I admit this one is a joke)

My prediction/analysis -- Judge Edith Jones, a Reagan appointee on the 5th Circuit. The early names being bandied about clearly came from a list of possible Rehnquist replacements, and I think once the Bush Administration takes some time, they'll want to name a woman, given that the Court is now down to one. Judge Jones is considered fairly conservative, but I don't know of any controversy associated with her.

I have little doubt that Bush would like to name an Hispanic, an unrepresented group that he has actively courted. The most likely Hispanic nominee is Judge Emilio Garza of the Fifth Circuit. Ultimately, however, I think Bush will hold off here, on the likely correct assumption that Rehnquist will be gone very soon.

Regardless of who Bush selects, I don't think he'll go with a controversial candidate, i.e., someone who's already got a target on his/her back, e.g., Alberto Gonzales -- the Administration is now on record as saying that it would reach out to Democrats as well as Republicans in the Senate in making the decision, and if it is sincere on this matter, then this is a given. That's not to say he won't aim for a conservative, just not one that will engender a big fight.

Senator Conryn is mentioned as a former member of the Texas Supreme Court, and because the Senate historically has had little reluctance to confirm one of its own.

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