Rehnquist Retirement Looks Imminent

Numerous websites are reporting that Chief Justice Rehnquist has informed the White House of his intent to retire at the end of this term. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the White House has been busy interviewing potential nominees and quotes anonymous White House sources on the short list:


The White House has focused on several nominees with established conservative records: Judges J. Michael Luttig and J. Harvie Wilkinson of the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Court of Appeals, and Judge Samuel Alito of the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals.

The official said the administration also has considered judges Bush has nominated to the federal appeals courts, including John Roberts of the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C.; Michael McConnell, of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Court of Appeals; and William Pryor, of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Court of Appeals.

Of those nominees, Luttig, Alito and Roberts have emerged as leading contenders, sources close to the White House said. But Wilkinson remains very much in consideration, the administration official said.

The article also notes that AG Alberto Gonzales is also still a possible nominee, but he is being "held off to the side" because, while President Bush would like to name a Hispanic to the court and is personally close to Gonzales, they know his nomination would anger the religious right and be viewed as too moderate to replace Rehnquist.

More like this

This morning's Washington Post reports that advisers close to the White House think that the short list to replace Rehnquist on the court does not include Michael McConnell: White House officials have prepared for the prospect by culling long lists of possible candidates, poring through old cases…
The Washington Post is reporting that President Bush has narrowed his list of candidates and will announce a nominee to replace Justice O'Connor in the next few days. And that's not all: As Bush interviews his finalist or finalists, the White House has kept secret his paring-down process. Some…
The latest development in the Harriet Miers confirmation fight is this ridiculous talking point from the White House, via James Dobson: Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about were highly qualified individuals that had been…
This is interesting. J. Michael Luttig, a leading conservative judge and scholar who has often been mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee and would certainly be on the short list for the next vacancy should it happen before 2008, has resigned from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He will…

I don't know if I should be amused at the political insanity that is coming, or anxious because of the seriousness of choosing another Supreme Court justice and chief justice. Ill have to buy popcorn and Prozac.

By Joshua White (not verified) on 23 Jun 2005 #permalink