Miers’ failure may drive Bush back to bench

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week In selecting Miers, Bush bucked a three-decade trend of the White House’s picking sitting judges for the Supreme Court. It took little more than three weeks before Bush’s attempt to put Miers on the court blew up. “Why don’t you reach outside the – I think one senator said – the ‘judicial monastery?’ I thought it was an interesting idea,” said Bush, when he nominated Miers. Bush still believes in putting someone on the court from outside the judiciary, said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid being seen as publicly discussing internal deliberations. Yet having seen the difficulty of that approach, Bush now probably will turn to someone already on the bench or with constitutional experience, the official said Saturday. The current nine justices were judges before their appointments to the high court. Eight were federal appeals judges; O’Connor was an Arizona state appeals judge. But senators, who must approve a nominee, have said the justices themselves told them this year they want someone without judicial experience to serve on the court. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Harriet Miers’ failed Supreme Court nomination is driving President Bush back to a tried-and-true formula for filling a high court vacancy: tapping a federal or state judge with a solid conservative paper trail. To win confirmation, Bush’s nominee to succeed the retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will need support from conservatives that Miers lacked and backing from moderates to escape a filibuster in a partisan-charged Senate. That would push Bush back to names widely circulated before the selection of Miers, the White House counsel who never had been a judge. Topping the list are federal appeals court judges Samuel Alito and J. Michael Luttig, joined by Karen Williams, Priscilla Owen and Alice Batchelder, as well as Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan. “If you don’t want to do something that’s unorthodox, you look to the bench,” said Fred McClure, a lawyer in the counsel’s office for presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *