The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Post Miers Supreme Court Nomination Odds
Following up on yesterday's surprisingly timely post, now that Miers has withdrawn, let's see what the landscape looks like for the new pick.

I think it's likely that Bush has learned a lesson and will go with a known quantity, so I'd be very surprised if he picks someone not on this list. If my friend Bryce is right, this was one of Bush's potential plans all along... now he can get Luttig on there. That may be true. Since he 'tried' to nominate a woman, he may now feel authorized to throw up a white man. Or potentially he'll get to nominate the first Hispanic SC justice.

One interesting wrinkle here is that there were rumors that people took themselves out of the running because the confirmation process is so tough. In fact, his nomination of Miers leads me to believe that it's likely that a number of the top women (Jones, Clement) asked not to be nominated. It's possible that even MORE people will take that path after what happened to Miers. So the big question is, who on this list will ask not to be considered? If it's 3 or 4 or 5 of them, things could get interesting.

Post Miers Odds:
Emilio Garza 6:1. If he sticks to women and minorities, I think this is most likely.
J. Michael Luttig 7:1. If Bush bows to the right wing, this is the guy. They love his deferral to executive power in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
Edith Clement 15:2. Slightly more moderate than Jones. Was confirmed 99-0.
Sam Alito 8:1. Dissented in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (right wing likes that).
Edith Jones 8:1. Some abortion rulings that will satisfy the right wing.
Michael McConnell 11:1. Similar to Luttig. Conservatives would like this.
Sonia Sotomayor 12:1. A consensus pick. Princeton & Yale. Bush I & Clinton both nominated.
Karen Williams 14:1. Too unknown?
Reena Raggi 15:1. If he's looking for a woman with a resume, this would be a solid pick.
J. Harvie Wilkinson 15:1. Confirmation would have some hair from both sides.
Alice Batchelder 15:1. Only if some of the others have said no.
Edward Prado 18:1. Potentially too moderate, but the Senate approved 97-0. If Bush picks him, then Bush doesn't want Roe v. Wade overturned.
Consuelo Callahan 20:1. Too inexperienced. Only 2 years as a judge.
Sen. John Cornyn 22:1. Perhaps more likely than this because would be confirmed easily.
Priscilla Owen 24:1. Is GWB willing to go up against a filibuster?
Janice Rogers Brown 25:1. Same as above.
Larry Thompson 25:1. Too unknown?
Sen. Jon Kyl 28:1. Long shot.
Maureen Mahoney 30:1. Long shot. SC litigator. Never been a judge.

ps. Harry Reid is already out trying to capitalize on this. Saying that Bush is beholden to the right wing.

Update 3pm: I'm swapping my top two above. I now think Garza is the frontrunner. And I strongly think it will be either Garza, Luttig, Clement, Alito, or Jones.
posted by CB @ 9:10 AM  
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  • At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Bryce said…

    My guess is that you will see a more definitive conservative, but not somebody so far right as Luttig. I'm guessing that Edith Jones will be the replacement. Bush will continue to feel obligated to pick a woman and/or minority.

    I'd be surprised if he went with Luttig because he would spark a pretty strong negative reaction from senate democrats. Bush doesn't want too much of a battle right now.

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger CB said…

    He's in a tough spot. He's going to piss off someone. The right must be smiling at the moment, because they think they're gonna get their guy now. But you're correct - Bush might not be up for a battle. So what to do, what to do.

    I have a hunch that Jones is one of those that took her name out of the running first time around. Perhaps they can convince her to come back in.

  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with Colin that Jones must not have wanted this much scrutiny. I think Bush really does have to find a moderate; if it's an extremist, especially since Roberts set such a high bar, Democrats and centrists will unite against him or her. Sotomayor seems like a safe choice - a consensus pick, which, given all the troubles the Republicans are in, could give them a safe road back to redemption. Roe could very easily still be safe a year from now.

  • At 3:55 PM, Blogger CB said…

    I think Sotomayor is wishful thinking on our part. Some conservatives have labeled her a "judicial activist" (see her Wikipedia entry), which is a four letter word to Bush. Unless she can convince him in private meetings (which she couldn't get anyway), that she adheres to constructionism (which she probably doesn't), she'd got very little chance of having Bush ever say her name. If he did, she'd probably be confirmed, but he wouldn't.

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