by Steven Ertelt
July 6, 2005
Copenhagen, Denmark (LifeNews.com) — President Bush on Wednesday expanded on the kind of person he would pick to be the next justice on the Supreme Court, replacing outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As he has in the past, Bush said he would not have a litmus test for a judge, but pro-life groups expect him to pick a pro-life nominee.
"I’ll try to assess their character, their interests," Bush said of a potential replacement.
"I’ll pick people who, one, can do the job, and people who are honest, people who are bright and people who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not use the bench to legislate from," Bush added.
White House officials said President Bush reviewed documents about more than a half dozen potential nominees on board Air Force One on the way to Denmark for the meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Although he was initially expected to select a nominee next week, the president said Tuesday he may take two to three weeks to sift through materials about several potential jurists before making a final decision.
"I will take my time," Bush said Wednesday. "I will be thorough in my investigation."
Bush also expanded on comments he made to USA Today on Tuesday in defending Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from criticism from pro-life groups who worry about his views on abortion.
While a member of the Texas Supreme Court, Gonzales ruled on a handful of occasions that teenage girls could have abortions without telling their parents. The teens were using a judicial bypass provision of the state parental notification law, meant for abusive situations.
"I don’t like it when a friend gets criticized," Bush said. "I’m loyal to my friends."
The president urged members of the Senate to act "in a dignified way" in what is expected to be a very intense political battle once Bush names a nominee in the coming weeks.
President Bush is expected to meet with a group of Republican and Democratic senators on Monday at the White House to get input from Congressional leaders on the selection.
Bush has said that he will conduct final interviews himself after narrowing down a short list of final possibilities. He hopes to have a new justice confirmed by the time the Supreme Court reconvenes for its next term in October.