The Note: Found in the Flood

Kathy Kiely's USA Today news analysis ends with this "news": "Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Bush aides asked her about Edith Clement, a judge on the U.S. appeals court that covers Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Clements' [sic] lack of controversial writings on abortion could make her an appealing candidate. . . 'She would be very high in my book,' Landrieu said." LINK

The Wall Street Journal says "Bush aides search for Roberts-style woman to succeed. . . Justice O'Connor; Attorney General Gonzales,. . . and. . . Larry Thompson. . . are also contenders. But pluralities of women and Hispanics [in the NBC/WSJ poll] say Bush should disregard diversity and consider only 'the best person.'"

John Roberts for Chief Justice:

Timeswoman Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes, "Judge Roberts's unflappable performance during three days of questioning has clearly put Democrats in a quandary. Some say a strong vote against his nomination could prod the White House into naming a centrist to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a crucial swing vote. Others say that supporting the Roberts nomination could make Democrats appear reasonable, giving them more credibility to oppose the next nominee." LINK

And then Sen. Clinton immediately gets to work at debunking those theories with this priceless quote: "'I have found it is very difficult for Democrats to influence this White House on anything, and so I don't count on them paying attention to our legitimate concerns,' Mrs. Clinton said, adding, 'They will do what they think is in their interest, however they define it.'"

The Los Angeles Times Reynolds and Simon cover similar turf with Sen. Dick Durbin wondering how to use the Roberts vote to maximize Democratic sway over the O'Connor replacement while Sen. Hillary Clinton says that the Roberts vote is about "speaking to the larger American public and speaking to history" given that she has "found it very difficult for Democrats to influence this White House on anything." LINK

They have conflicted Democrats pondering a winning vote strategy against Roberts -- seemingly knowing that they've already lost. Read it to see how Democrats are already talking about how they want to send a message about the next nominee.

"Over three days of testimony, between declining to answer questions on specific cases and legal issues, Judge Roberts made clear that his approach to interpreting the Constitution is more varied and flexible than the originalism subscribed to by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia," writes Adam Liptak of the New York Times. LINK

The New York Times' Toner and Kirkpatrick report on the expected party line vote in committee and question how many Democrats will vote for Roberts' confirmation on the Senate floor. LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer seems to think Roberts will move the Court to the left but he's okay with that. LINK

John Roberts for Chief Justice: PFA handicaps the committee vote:

The good people at Progress for America LINK, a conservative group that supports John Roberts as the next Chief Justice, have baked up a tasty memo that was stealthily "obtained" by The Note and virtually predicts that every Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee will "almost certainly" vote against President Bush's Supreme Court pick.

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