–Unattended diary alert! I’ll have to disappear sporadically throughout the day – please feel free to use this as an open thread for all things Supreme Court related if the need arises.

Today is Supreme Court day!

Ten commandments, internet file sharing…. and speculation that Rehnquist could resign today.

I don’t have anything intelligent to say about the cases which will be decided, but I am interested in the question – “Are we going to spend this summer in a confirmation fight?”  

So in a ‘just in case’ kind of a way … some of the potential replacements are:

Samuel Alito. He was appointed to the appeals court by the first President Bush, Alito served in the Justice Department during the Reagan and Bush administrations. He gets rave reviews from lawyers for his legal acumen and has written some controversial opinions, including one on abortion reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. (In that opinion he supported state restrictions.)

Michael Lutig. He has been on the appeals court for 14 years and is one of the most conservative judges in the country. He is extremely plugged in politically, having served in top jobs in both the Reagan and first Bush administration. He wrote the decision striking down the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

John Roberts. He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist, deputy solicitor general, and head of the appellate section for the firm of Hogan & Hartson. He has argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court and won 25. Pro-choice groups would likely oppose his nomination because as deputy solicitor general, Roberts wrote briefs urging the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Harvie Wilkinson is the former chief judge of the appeals court in Richmond on which he sits. He is a respected conservative, a former top official in the civil rights division of the Reagan Justice Department and a former clerk to Justice Lewis Powell. He is almost as conservative as Judge Luttig, but the two have exchanged unusually sharp words in their opinions. He was recently reversed by the Supreme Court – his view of absolute presidential authority in an enemy combatant decision was too extreme for Rehnquist.

Emilio Garza. He has served for 14 years on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, earning a reputation as a staunch conservative and foe of Roe v. Wade. (He called RvW “inimical to the Constitution”.)

Or… horror of horrors, Alberto Gonzales.

Each of these bios quote directly from an NPR article here with additions by me.

Sorry this diary has absolutely nothing relevant to say, I just wanted to get it up, and provide a forum for discussion.
Please talk amongst yourselves….

Update [2005-6-27 7:15:51 by zander]: Slate has a great look at the Shortlist.

They have included Michael McConnell, who I believe is an unlikely candidate by virtue of being a respected and well-liked academic, who has previously been called “Bush’s most distinguished nominee”. Yea – right.

And also Edith Brown Clement. Glancing over her record right now, I’m tempted to say that she just doesn’t sound adequately evil to be a serious contender….

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