16 September 2005

Looking Beyond Roberts

What kind of person will be the next nominee after Roberts is confirmed? Some good analysis from Election Law includes the following:

I now expect the President to nominate neither a Brown nor a Gonzales for the O’Connor seat, but rather to choose a woman or minority much like Judge Roberts. The model is to pick someone with impeccable legal credentials (Brown and Gonzales both qualify) whom the president trusts as strongly conservative (this eliminates Gonzales) but who lacks a public record of strongly conservative statements or judicial opinions (this eliminates Brown). The Roberts experience shows that such a nominee is not easily defeated...

The blog points out, however, that some on the far right can't see past abortion, and want a nominee with a proven track record against Roe v. Wade.

Such a nominee could bring us back to the filibuster vs. nuclear option drama that gave the media an orgasm earlier this spring. What would bring about a Democratic filibuster and how would it play out? The Legal Theory Blog suggests that Dems would probably filibuster a clearly anti-Roe nominee, and the GOP would have to decide whether it can corral 51 votes (including Cheney) to bust an anti-anti-Roe filibuster.

Bush may also use an anti-abortion nominee to shore up his base if his approval numbers continue to plummet. The media would of course forget about actual problems and masturbate on the nomination fight. But such a strategy may backfire, since polls consistently show the majority of Americans don't want Roe overturned. But the majority of Americans don't vote, either.

For more on the nomination, visit the professional commentary at the SCOTUS Blog.


TravisG said...

There's little doubt in my mind that Bush (okay, Rove) will attempt to trigger the nuke-yoolar option. They believe they can win in a media circus environment. However, as the Schiavo case illustrated, they sometimes overestimate public support for their hardest-right policies.

WestEnder said...

Fair point. The GOP might get bitten by the hand that's been feeding it (money and votes) for years now. It could get ugly.