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Wizbang news flash: Bush to nominate Roberts to Chief Justice spot

Fox News and CNN are both reporting that President Bush is going to nominate John Roberts to succeed William Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(Updates to follow)

Update: I might have started this piece first, but Kevin hit the "Publish" button before I did. Oh, well...

This could throw a serious monkey-wrench into the Court. Justice O'Connor has announced her retirement, but conditioned it upon the naming of "her successor." Roberts was slated for that job, but now he's Rehnquist's succesor, not hers, so she could conceivably stay on the bench until Bush's next nomination is confirmed.

The sentimental favorite for Bush's second nominee has to be, at this point, Judge Edith Clement. not only was she was considered a finalist in the considerations when Roberts was chosen, she's a woman like O'Connor and she's from Louisiana -- that's two very compelling political arguments in her favor.

But I'm no veteran court watcher. I'll leave that speculation to those who pay better attention to such matters.


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Comments (4)

She's from Louisiana? But o... (Below threshold)

She's from Louisiana? But of course! This would make her immune from all criticism in the idiotic logic of politics.

"but now he's Rehnquist's s... (Below threshold)

"but now he's Rehnquist's succesor, not hers,"

I have to disagree, he's still O'Connor's replacement as associate justice and now Rehnquist's replacement as CJ. Seems like they are two different roles which both require confirmation. I think the Senate will have to vote twice to seat him in both positions.


Toby, I believe what this m... (Below threshold)

Toby, I believe what this means is that Roberts' nomination to succeed O'Connor is no longer operative. Since he can't be both Chief Justice and an associate justice, there's no point going through two confirmations.

Lord have mercy. Seriously, where do people get stuff like this?

Okay, I think I've figured ... (Below threshold)

Okay, I think I've figured out what Toby's got wrong. I think he mistakenly believes that one must already be a Supreme Court associate justice to be eligible for the Chief Justiceship. Not so.

Rehnquist was already on the Court before he was nominated to be Chief Justice, but that was actually less commonplace in history than putting a newcomer into that position. For example, former President William Taft was made Chief Justice without having previously served on the Supreme Court. Ditto Earl Warren and his successor Warren Burger (who preceded Rehnquist as Chief).






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