President Bush Will Meet Senate Leaders on Next Supreme Court Pick

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 19, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Will Meet Senate Leaders on Next Supreme Court Pick Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 19, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Following the same process he used to select John Roberts, President Bush plans to meet with Senate leaders on Wednesday to discuss his next Supreme Court pick. Bush used meetings with key senators to receive input and support before naming Roberts to the high court.

On Wednesday, the president will meet with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid, Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter and ranking Judiciary Democrat Pat Leahy.

The discussions will focus on a replacement for outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Roberts’ nomination was intended to fill her seat, but Bush upped his appointment to the Chief Justice position when William Rehnquist passed away.

Now, Bush has to find a replacement for O’Connor, but, unlike Roberts, that person will not be approved in time for the court’s next term, which begins in October. O’Connor will stay on until the Senate confirms a new justice.

Specter told the Associated Press he hopes the president will name someone like Roberts.

"I hope that we’ll have somebody who is modest like Judge Roberts says he is, someone who will promote stability so there are no sharp turns," he said.

Leahy, appearing with Specter on CBS’ "Face the Nation," said he expected Bush to have specific names of potential nominees at the White House breakfast.

Political observers expect Bush to name either a woman or a minority — perhaps the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. Some of the potential names include a list of pro-life advocates serving on federal appeals courts, such as Judges Edith Clement, Emilio Garza, Samuel Alito, and Priscilla Owen.

"I think the president, with four of us there, may well get some response on what we think about those names," Leahy said.

A vote on Roberts’ nomination is planned for Thursday and political observers say he will at least receive a 10-8 party-line vote but they believe a couple of Democrats may join Republicans in supporting him. Roberts is expected to be approved by the full Senate next week and may not be subject to a filibuster by abortion advocates.

Although they oppose Roberts, key pro-abortion groups are not launching serious bids to stop his nomination. Instead, they are holding onto cash planned for extensive television campaigns and are likely going to focus their efforts on the next nominee.