Friday, December 03, 2004


Rehnquist’s Shadow

Supreme Court Appointment Could Derail Entire Agenda

The talk of the town these days is the pending power grab by Majority Leader Frist to ensure smooth sailing for Bush's Supreme Court and other appointments. Apparently having 195 of 200 or so appointments approved by the Senate (a 97.5% success rate) is not good enough to save the democratic tradition of the filibuster.

But the underlying concern is that Justice Rehnquist will step down in January or February and the fight will be on not only for a new Chief Justice, but also filling a vacancy on the court. Republican oriented trade associations and lobbying shops are worried that if this is the first fight out of the gate, it will be massive and poisonous, resulting in diminished chances that other priorities like tort reform, healthcare and tax reductions will even see the light of day. Bush and Co. may want to reshape the courts, but it could come at a heavy price.

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