The latest hot topic in the blogosphere is speculation about the impending resignation of Supreme Court Justices. Bill Kristol writes in the Weekly Standard that it’s Sandra Day O’Connor who will be the first to resign and President Bush will nominate Alberto Gonzales to the Court. Hugh Hewitt, in an interview with Kristol yesterday on his radio program, said that Chief Justice William Rehnquist would resign on Monday. (Hat tip: Confirm Them)
Now, I realize this may all be idle speculation. But think for a minute about the tremendous political battle that would take place in the Senate if there was a vacancy or two on the Court to be filled. Given the Democrats behavior thus far on judicial nominees and with the President’s other appointments (particularly John Bolton as UN ambassador) it is fair to assume that those compromising senators will suddenly decide that "extraordinary circumstances" exist and being filibustering whomever the President decides he wants to elevate to the Court.
The question then becomes what happens next. What will Democratic Senators who must run for re-election in 2006 (particularly Hillary Clinton who has her own presidential ambitions to consider) do with the President’s nominees? Will they toe the party line and join fellow Democrats in filibustering nominees even if means political death at the polls next year? Or will they run the risk of infuriating their base to play ball with Republicans and avoid the nasty confrontation of a lengthy confirmation battle?
It should be fun to watch.