by Steven Ertelt
September 21, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senate leaders met with President Bush Wednesday morning to discuss possible nominees for the next open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. They gave the president about a dozen names of possible candidates and one senator said he hoped Bush would wait on the next nominee, but he doubts that will happen.
Bush met with the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and the top two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. While they provided him with a list of names they liked, the president didn’t make known his current short list of possible nominees.
Talking with reporters outside the White House following the meeting, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, a pro-abortion Republican, said he expected the next nomination to be more contentious than John Robert’s. He also hoped President Bush would wait until political observers could see how Roberts will decide controversial issues before naming another nominee.
"The president was noncommittal," the Pennsylvania senator said, according to an AP report. "The body language was not very positive."
Bush is likely planning on announcing his next selection for the high court after the Senate votes on Roberts next week. The Senate is expected to confirm Roberts to become the next chief justice replacing Chief Justice WIlliam Rehnquist, who recently passed away.
The next nominee will replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The senators did not mention the names they suggested to Bush, but the president is reportedly looking at a handful of pro-life women and Hispanics who serve on federal appeals courts.
Some of the potential nominees include Judges Priscilla Owen, Edith Brown Clement, Edith Jones, Emilio Garza, Janice Rogers Brown, Michael Luttig, Harvie Wilkinson, Michael McConnell, and Samuel Alito.
Disagreeing with Specter, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist urged the president to appoint a new member to the court within the next 10 days, on the heels of the Senate vote on Roberts.
"I believe we can do it by Thanksgiving, if that nomination comes quickly enough," Frist told AP about when the next nomination could be confirmed.
Should President Bush nominate any of the 10 pro-life appeals court judges that were held up by filibusters in the Senate, Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who will vote against Roberts, said he would consider that a "poke in the eye with a sharp stick." Such a nominee may be subject to a filibuster again.