Bush Will Announce Tonight......

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Tue Jul 19 14:18:58 MDT 2005


Bush to announce court choice at 9pm ET tonight.
Speculation centers on female judge from Louisiana

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush settled on a nominee for the 
Supreme Court on Tuesday and the White House made arrangements for 
a nationally televised prime time announcement.

"I'll let you know when I'm ready," he said at a midday news 
conference where he declined to tip his hand.

That only intensified speculation on his choice for the first 
opening on the court in more than a decade and a replacement for 
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The announcement was set for 9 p.m. ET from the East Room of the 
White House. The nominee's family was expected to be with Bush and 
the candidate.

One list that circulated was top-heavy with the names of women. 
Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans 
was among them.

Another female candidate thought to have been under consideration 
was Edith Hollan Jones, who also serves on the 5th U.S. Circuit 
Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Bush said he had considered "a variety of people, people from 
different walks of life."

The tension was palpable in the West Wing of the White House; 
after a day of intense speculation, White House press secretary 
Scott McClellan walked into the press briefing room and said 
bluntly: "The president has made a decision and will be announcing 
his nominee to the Supreme Court at 9 o'clock."

McClellan said the American people expected that the Senate 
confirmation process would be a dignified one.

Other names that have been mentioned are:

Maura Corrigan, a judge on the Michigan Supreme Court

Cecilia M. Altonaga, a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern 
District of Florida

Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law School professor

Karen Williams from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 
Richmond, Virginia

Janice Rogers Brown, recently confirmed by the Senate for the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Priscilla Owen, who was just confirmed for a seat on the 5th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals.

Other possible candidates are conservative federal appellate court 
judges Samuel Alito, J. Michael Luttig, Michael McConnell, John 
Roberts Jr., Emilio Garza and J. Harvie Wilkinson III; and former 
deputy attorney general Larry Thompson.
Bush had said ever since O'Connor's July 1 announcement that he 
wanted to move with some speed and that he wanted the new justice 
to be seated before the court begins its fall term in October.

The dynamic might have changed a bit when Chief Justice William H. 
Rehnquist last week put out word that he had no intention of 
stepping down and that he would continue on the court despite his 
battle with thyroid cancer. Nevertheless, with Congress nearing a 
summer recess and then a busy September, some time pressure was 

Though Washington was abuzz with speculation about Clement, the 
president ignored a question about what he thought of her.

"I guess the best way to say it is, I'll let you know when I'm 
ready to tell you who it is," the president said. He jokingly 
acknowledged that he was trying to dodge the question.

"I'm comfortable with where we are in the process," the president 
said. He said he has considered a variety of people from different 
walks of life, some of whom he knew before and some he had never 

"I do have an obligation to think about people from different 
backgrounds that have shared the same philosophy, people who will 
not legislate from the bench," Bush said. He spoke at a press 
conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

At Clement's office in New Orleans, a man who identified himself 
as a law clerk said the judge was not available. "That's what I've 
been instructed to say," he told a caller who asked if she were in 

In anticipation of a selection, officials said the White House had 
contacted selected Republican senators they hoped would serve as 
advocates for the nominee in media interviews in the initial time 
following an announcement. Democrats scoured the rulings and 
writings of leading contenders, including Clement, a 57-year-old 
jurist who was confirmed on a 99-0 vote by the Senate when she was 
elevated to the appeals court in 2001.

White House officials have refused to discuss the names of top 
prospects being considered as a replacement for the departing 
O'Connor, who was the first woman appointed to the court.

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