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In a little under two hours, all the speculation about Bush’s next judicial pick will come to an end, but for the moment speculation is running wild. Edith Clement appears to be out for the moment, and ABC is standing by their statement that she will not be the nominee. Edith Jones is another strong possibility at this point. Michael Luttig and John Roberts are also being looked at very closely. RedState is starting to lean towards Roberts at the moment.
For political nerds, this is like the Kentucky Derby… more as the night develops.
UPDATE: Word from the White House: the pick will be a “real surprise”, and the White House staffers are being told the name of the pick now. Something tells me we’ll get a heads-up shortly…
Judge John G. Roberts Jr. is Bush’s pick for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
The Associated Press is now confirming John Roberts is the Bush pick for the Supreme Court.
Roberts is a mainstream conservative, he’s already survived the nomination process for the second most powerful Court in the country (the DC Circuit Court of Appeals), and his jurisprudence seems solid based on the cursory examination I’ve been able to do. Roberts’ nomination will be controversial – any conservative’s nomination will be, but he stands a good chance of getting through the fillibuster deal reached a few months ago.
At National Review‘s Bench Memos Blog, Jonathan Adler says that Roberts is close to the “Platonic ideal” for a SCOTUS nominee – and based on his biography that seems quite possible. I think that conservatives will be happy with this pick.
It looks like NARAL, the Alliance for Justice, Ralph Neas, and the other usual suspects are going bonkers over the Roberts pick. To borrow a quote from Mr. Burns, eeexcellent…
Bush speaks in just a few minutes. Naturally, I’ll be live-blogging it between sips of a wonderful Aussie Shiraz…
President Bush is speaking from the White House, with Roberts at his side.
Roberts looks a little uneasy with all the attention – hell, who could blame him? Bush seems quite pleased with this pick.
8:06PM CST: Bush has gone through Roberts’ impressive legal and personal credentials. Bush is putting some pressure on the Senate to proceed with a prompt and fair confirmation before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October. I have a feeling that the Democrats won’t dare fillibuster him – he’s got to many bipartisan bona fides for that, and the Gang of 14 will likely support him.
8:08PM CST: Roberts had a chance to speak – he comes across well on camera, which will help. First impressions are important, and he seems to come across as someone who has the right demeanor for a member of the Supreme Court. Roberts is a bit of a cipher, but he doesn’t seem to be a Souter – if anything he’s a solid and intelligent conservative jurist.
Bush has an excellent pick here.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds notices the same thing I did – Bush seemed to be quite happy with Roberts, and Leahy and Schumer seemed to just be going through the motions in their counterpoint speech to Bush. I have the suspicion that they do know that Roberts has the support of the Gang of 14 and cannot be easily filibustered or painted as some kind of extremist radical. Not that they won’t try to sink him, but I think that to do anything even resembling a filibuster will make The Deal null and void and risk a nuclear option – and the Democrats won’t be able to swing public opinion to their side on this issue. Roberts seems to me to be a virtual lock unless he has some particularly bad skeletons in his closet – and the chances of that happening after the vetting process seems slim. We’re not only getting a solid conservative and a sharp legal mind, but one that will sail through confirmation. Absolutely brilliant.
UPDATE: Blogs for Bush has a linkload of reactions on Roberts.