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Saturday, July 02, 2005

And then there were eight

Much to a lot of people's surprise, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Court on Friday (CNN: O'Connor to resign from Supreme Court). Prior to the Justice tendering her letter to the White House, last week's chatter focused on a possible retirement by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. That will come later.

Now the fun starts. The president has said he will select someone "that Americans can be proud of." Proud of? Interesting choice of words. Pride is a feeling. As a citizen, I don't usually feel pride for a judge or public official. I think, can they do the job, or not. I think, are they qualified, or not.

The process: The president, upon advice from his advisors will submit a name to the Senate. The Senate judiciary committee will hold public hearings where they get to question the nominee and anyone else they deem can make a contribution to the process. Whether the committee approves the nominee or not, the matter goes to the full Senate. Now, for even more fun, a filibuster can occur. To break a filibuster, the reining party could, in theory, invoke a cloture. If and when the nominee is approved by the Senate, they can be sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States.

The president is going to pick someone whose politics and beliefs are in line with his own. The president will see this as opportunity to save the soul of the nation on certain moral issues, like abortion. The president will undoubtedly attempt to spend some of his political capital in this process.

Hey big spender, spend a little political capital on all of us.

Posted by Marie at July 2, 2005 11:33 PM