by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush is almost ready to make a decision about his next nominee for the Supreme Court and he may make an announcement about it as early as Monday. That would follow on the heels of a strong bipartisan vote in favor of his first choice, John Roberts, to become the high court’s next chief justice.
The Senate confirmed Roberts on a 78-22 vote Thursday and was sworn in at a White House ceremony later in the day.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday morning that the president had completed his consultations with the Senate on the next nominee and was close to making his announcement.
"We have completed our consultations with the United States Senate," he said, adding that Bush or his advisors talked with more than 80 senators in recent weeks, including all of the members of the Judiciary Committee.
"He has been going through a very thorough and deliberate process. He has been doing his homework and he recognizes that like the first one, this is an important decision and one he takes very seriously," he said.
President Bush was thought to be ready to announce the next pick today or yesterday, but McClellan said that wouldn’t likely come until next week.
President Bush is believed to be considering a woman or a minority for the next justice and political observers say he’s choosing from a group of mostly pro-life appeals court judges, though he may select someone who isn’t on the bench.
Abortion advocates have already threatened to more strongly oppose or even filibuster a nominee who won’t uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortions.
"We must continue our fight against any nominee who poses a threat to our fundamental freedoms, including the right to choose," NARAL president Nancy Keenan told supporters in an email alert Friday.
Keenan said the Supreme Court would "eviscerate the protections of Roe v. Wade case by case" with Roberts as Chief Justice and another pro-life judge joining him. However, even with a new pro-life jurist, the court would still favor upholding Roe by a 5-4 margin as it currently backs the abortion case 6-3.
The next nominee will replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Roberts replaced pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who passed away, and started his first day on the job today preparing for the Supreme Court’s next term starting Monday.