"'The realpolitik of the situation is a president who is low in the polls, facing considerable difficulty externally with Iraq and internally with [Hurricane] Katrina will have more difficulty holding his party together than not,' [Douglas] Kmiec said. 'That will not augur well for a … conservative nominee.'" (This quote is doubly problematic, because it doesn't make much sense.)
The Los Angeles Times Savage explains why O'Connor's pledge to stay on is almost certainly meaningless because it won't stop cases from having to be reargued or ending in ties. LINK
The Los Angeles Times ed board likes the Roberts pick and/but says that Gonzales should be ruled out for the other chair. LINK
The O'Connor seat: the short list(s):
In this section we provide you with the names being floated throughout today's news stories and editorials. For your easier reading, we have listed the names alphabetically and, where appropriate, have indicated the tone of the mention as either positive (pos) or negative (neg). If the mention is neutral, we have just listed the name.
Los Angeles Times: Brown, Clement, Garza, Gonzales, Jones, Luttig, Owen, Thompson, Wilkinson
Wall Street Journal: Clement, Corrigan, Gonzales, Jones, Luttig, Williams
Wall Street Journal ed board: Alito (pos), Brown (pos), Jones (pos), Luttig (pos), McConnell (pos), Olson (pos), Thompson (pos), Wilkinson (pos)
New York Times: Clement, Gonzales, Jones, Luttig, McConnell, Owen, Wilkinson
Washington Post: Clement, Garza, Gonzales (reporter channeling conservatives generally: neg; Sen. Cornyn on the record: pos), Jones, Luttig, Owen, Wilkinson (neg)
USA Today: Alito, Brown, Clement, Garza, Gonzales, Jones, Luttig, McConnell, Thompson, Wilkinson
New York Post: Clement, Garza, Gonzales, Jones, Thompson
Roberts for Chief Justice: the politics:
The opposition: Outside liberal interest groups immediately reasserted their opposition to Roberts' confirmation. Democrats are seizing upon the nomination promotion as an opening to press (again) for more access to documents and a greater level of scrutiny. Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) would like to see whom the President nominates for O'Connor's seat before voting on Roberts. What the leverage is for all these "demands" remains to be seen.
Per the Washington Post's Peter Baker: "In elevating Roberts, Bush chose the candidate most likely to be confirmed in short order by the Senate, which was poised to ratify the appeals court judge for O'Connor's seat." LINK
The Washington Post's ed board positively reviews Bush's decision to nominate Roberts to replace Rehnquist. LINK
The New York Times editorial board uses the opportunity to ask for more information and declares that Roberts is not a "shoo-in." LINK
In contrast with the more combative Scalia, the Washington Post's Charles Lane sees the "mellower" Roberts as "an effective force for conservatism on the court." LINK
ABC's polling director Gary Langer reports on some poll findings that have been overtaken by events, but worth sharing nonetheless.
"Fifty-seven percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, completed last week, said the Senate should confirm Roberts as an associate justice. The survey was conducted before his nomination as chief justice, following the death of William Rehnquist."