Hours after learning that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor would
retire, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont held a press conference and talked
about the importance of President Bush’s consulting Democrats before naming
“Speaking of the Constitution — excuse me just a moment,” the top Democrat
on the Senate Judiciary Committee was saying when he got interrupted by a
staffer for an important phone call.
It was Mr. Bush on the line to discuss the new Supreme Court opening.
Mr. Leahy and other top Senate Democrats, who will gather at the White House
today for discussions about an O’Connor replacement, have said Mr. Bush is
off to a good start consulting them.