White House officials have assured select conservative leaders that they will not nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, according to a conservative familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussions....
The White House told conservatives this? Or did conservatives tells the White House?
Shouldn't the lead sentence be more like this?
Select conservative leaders have assured White House officials that they will not nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor...
Yeah, that's more like it.
By the way, I predicted an Edith Jones pick back on July 4, but I didn't have a good reason for rejecting Edith Clement. (The Hill seems to think Bush will pick one or the other.) I wrote, "I can't find much in her record on abortion, and Bush's Christian-right puppetmasters won't let him pick anyone who isn't rock-solid on this." Well, here's this at RedState.org:
Update [2005-7-18 22:54:6 by Erick]: One more piece of news. Starting this past weekend I started receiving emails from people, some who I could verify and some not, trying to spin me that despite Clement's record, she is a conservative. There were enough emails from enough of a variety of people to make me think something was up. I might be reading too much into it, but it is interesting that a number of people are starting to talk about Clement the enigma as Clement the conservative.
There it is -- the secret fourth branch of government: right-wingers assuring one another, or not assuring one another, that a potential nominee engages in Correct Thinking. Bush won't nominate anyone who hasn't survived this process.
UPDATE: From someone at Free Republic last night:
I just walked out of Santorums Office in Harrisburg, PA. I heard this, "We have an acceptable nomination for the Court".
No clue who it might be. Watch the news tomorrow.
If that's legit, I guess it means Bush has taken well to the obedience training.
UPDATE: AP is betting on Edith Clement. But read this:
Known as a conservative and a strict constructionist in legal circles, Clement also has eased fears among abortion-rights advocates. She has stated that the Supreme Court "has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion" and that "the law is settled in that regard."
Unless she's convinced the religious right that she had her fingers crossed behind her back when she wrote that, I have to believe that disqualifies her. My money's still on Jones.
UPDATE: A new post from RedState.org:
...Third party sources who would be among the first to know are saying that there is every indication that Clement is the pick. In fact, we are beginning to see conservatives get on board and shift from Edith B. Clement having too thin a papertrail to her being "with us."
No one knows how Clement would vote on the ultimate issue -- is abortion a medical procedure subject to state regulation or a constitutional right. I am told that, with the pressing issues currently headed to the court, i.e. partial birth abortion, parental notification, 24 hour waiting periods, the Solomon Amendment, etc. -- conservatives do not need to worry about Clement...
I have been told by multiple parties that, though we know little about Judge Clement's leanings on social issues, we should make no mistake that her family background is conservative and that her husband is a "loyal" conservative. Also, I've gotten a few emails and phone calls from a few particular people who would know who all say that we should trust the President on this pick....
I love the way right-wingers just say to one another flat-out, "Don't worry, she's the Manchurian Candidate."
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Again from RedState.org:
Something has happened in the past ten minutes. I've had
My money is on Clement still, but it is interesting how, by the time I've finished writing this post seven people have IM'ed to say it is Jones, not Clement.
Reminds me of the Novak generated Rehquist retirement frenzy of two weeks ago, but with more credible people participating this time.
That's exactly what I've been thinking is going on. And I think Bush is childish enough to really take pleasure in fooling all the smartypantses this way.
ONE MORE UPDATE from RedState.org:
...John King at CNN is saying that he is getting "pushback" from "those closely involved in the process" that he should "not go there" on Clement. She is in the final three, but we really will not know who it is until 9pm tonight.
Update [2005-7-19 16:2:29 by Erick]: Within the past hour, staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee have begun steering people away from Edith Brown Clement.
...and now ABC says it's not Clement.