The Note: The Streaming Note

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

John Roberts for Chief Justice:

The New York Times' Robin Toner has a must-read on how Democratic activists want to see backbone and toughness in standing up to the President and for principle – and thus "no" votes on Roberts. Don't miss the Gordon Fischer cameo!!! LINK

The new Mistress of Understatement -- Maura Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times – writes "The division between…Leahy ..and…Reid …underscored that Democrats have been unable to devise a unified strategy on the nomination…." LINK

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg emphasizes Democrats "deciding" to focus on the O'Connor seat and Ralph Neas damning Pat Leahy's soul (or something like that). And Sen. Feinstein is sick and tired of being asked how she'll vote. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Bravin and Cummings find some needles in the haystack of Judge Roberts SJC questionnaire.

As USA Today and others report, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) is concerned "about the balance of power on the court" and urged the President yesterday to delay naming Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement. And the White House said, in effect, "no way, Jose, erh, Arlen." LINK

"Conservatives widely assumed that Leahy and Schumer (D-NY) were two of the surest 'no' votes in the Senate, and Leahy's split betrayed the disarray Democrats are facing after Roberts skated through confirmation hearings last week," the New York Daily News says. LINK

The Hill has Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) joking yesterday after Sen. Patrick Leahy's announcement that he would vote to confirm John Roberts, "Now that Senator Leahy's for him, I may have to be against him." LINK

USA Today's editorial board lines up behind John Roberts, saying he "came off as the best politician in the room" at his confirmation hearings last week. LINK

But/and Ralph Neas calls Roberts "a dangerous bet," in USA Today's opposing view. LINK

The O'Connor seat:

Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times plays the name game, listing Gonzales, Hinojosa, and Garza (Hispanic male division); Brown, Owen, Williams, and Callahan (female division); and Thompson and Young (African-American male division). LINK

With everyone she talks to convinced that white men need not apply, Bumiller writes, "The strategists said that staff members like Harriet Miers, the White House counsel, had been in contact with several contenders, but that Mr. Bush was not thought to have begun formal interviews."

The Washington Post's VandeHei and Babington report that "a top White House aide said Bush plans to announce O'Connor's replacement next week, shortly after the Senate votes on Roberts's confirmation." LINK

A Republican in "close contact" with the White House said the choice to replace O'Connor would be "as conservative" and that white men are in play.

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