Bench Memos

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A Hill vet e-mails:

The White House should expand the pool of possible candidates to fill either the O’Conner or Rehnquist to current or former GOP Senators. The Senate is one of the last exclusive clubs in the world. It is highly unlikely that the “club” would reject one of their own, and even more so that it would subject a former colleague to a filibuster. While it is true that back in the late 1980s the Senate did reject former Senator John Tower’s nomination to be the Secretary of Defense; but the reason was the “extraordinary circumstances” of his personal life – drinking and womanizing — that Senators found very troubling, and not befitting of the highest office in the Pentagon. However, the Senate did give Senator Tower an up-or-down vote on his nomination.

Among the list of current and former GOP Senators that should be considered for Supreme Court vacancies: Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a former member of the Texas Supreme Court; Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee; former Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Michigan), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-founder of the Federalist Society; and former Senator John Ashcroft, who was recently Attorney General under President George W. Bush. All of these gentlemen are known conservatives, who would bring to the Supreme Court a keen recognition of the Congress’s role to legislate and the Court’s role to interpret the law. More importantly, Senate Democrats would find it almost impossible to filibuster a former colleague.

ME: I actually don’t think a Cornyn, for instance, would get too much of an easier time–Harry Reid’s recent reaction when asked by reporters about what senators he’d consider made that clear. Still, all we’re doing is guessing right now, so might as well pile on…


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