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"Imminent" Rehnquist Resignation?


Typically, I am not one to chase rumors floated by columnists, especially on a day like today, but there is word coming from Robert Novak that Rehnquist's retirement is coming soon:

Bush is by far the bigger obstacle in the way of a conservative court. While Kennedy's ploy presents a temporary problem, Bush's stance could be fatal. The right's morale was devastated by the president's comments in a USA Today telephone interview published on the newspaper's front page Tuesday: ''Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine. When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it.''

Bush is a stubborn man, who sounded like he might really nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the face of deep and broad opposition from the president's own political base.

Adding to the tension is word from court sources that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. That would enable Bush to play this game: Name one justice no less conservative than Rehnquist, and name Gonzales, whose past record suggests he would replicate retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on abortion and possibly other social issues. Thus, the present ideological orientation of the court would be unchanged, which would suit the left just fine.

Recall that Novak, along with William Kristol, were correct in forecasting the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Will Novak be correct again? With Rehnquist's health questions lingering, it seems logical.

Can you imagine two concurrent nomination battles, plus a peripheral battle over the Chief Justice appointment? The horror! The drama! The intrigue! The machinations! The battle to replace Rehnquist + O'Connor, although both relatively conservative, would make the current political climate look like Wiggle Time.

A double nomination opportunity for Chimpy McPretzel! Nan Aron's head just might explode.

Oyez oyez and oyez, Will Franklin judicialcizes at WILLisms.com.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Imminent" Rehnquist Resignation?:

» Mark in Mexico linked with Rove tells Novak Rehnquist to retire

» Danny Carlton (aka Jack Lewis) linked with Around the Blogosphere

» WILLisms.com linked with Rehnquist Retirement Rumors.

Comments (7)

What in the world will we e... (Below threshold)

What in the world will we ever do when Robert Novak retires?!? I mean, the guy is like some unofficial spokesperson of...of...well, he's obviously the guy that many in intelligence go to with a lot to say.

Surely Rehnquist is prime for retirement...it's probably just a matter of weeks if not days given his delicate health.

And the Democrats will continue to "go to war" with the United States about the Supreme Court while the rest of us will continue to go to war with terrorism. Maybe that should now include some Democrats.

Hmmm.Frankly it's ... (Below threshold)


Frankly it's a foregone conclusion that Bush is going to screw over conservatives. It'll be interesting to see if conservatives suckup yet another f-ing insult or finally tell the GOP to go F itself.

I disagree that it is a for... (Below threshold)

I disagree that it is a foregone conclusion. Bush, unlike his father, is an ideological conservative, not a country club East Coast establishment Republican. And I also take issue with the "Gonzales is Spanish for Souter" stuff. It's possible that Gonzales would be a stealth liberal, but it's really not all that probable.

Bush has to nominate an ext... (Below threshold)

Bush has to nominate an extremely conservative individual with highly respectable academic talents and then work moderate from there. I was surprised, as was Novak, at the remarks by Bush about Gonzales -- if for the only fact that I'd never considered not being enthused about Gonzales as a Supreme Court nominee as "attacking" any friend of President Bush. Seemed a strange statement, is my point (and I don't think Gonzales should be appointed if for the important reason that there are far more competent individuals available and waiting and ready for the Judiciary, and, Gonzales as friend to the President seems a questionable basis for a nomination, also as Novak points out).

Novak's take on the issue is quite similar to my own, for what it's worth.

Will... I really don't like... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Will... I really don't like that you refered to George H W Bush as a "Country Club East Coast establishment Republican". . . I really think he is a wonderful man! I do have some concerns about him hanging out with Bill Clinton so much Lately! BUT... He has much dignity and leaves much for the rest of us to desire!...So you are in big trouble mister!

When asked by one reporter ... (Below threshold)

When asked by one reporter Friday if any speculation about his resignation is true, Rehnquist said: "That's for me to know and you to find out."


He also considered saying "Joemamma" and "I'm rubber and you're glue..." but dismissed both nearly as quick as his other choice, "I'll see you at Disneyland!"

I know you are but what am ... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I know you are but what am I...






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