Monday, July 04, 2005

o'connor replacement watch, day 3

Evangelicals are already pressing hard for a suitably "family friendly" (that is code for "unfriendly to anybody who doesn't see things exactly as we do, praise Jesus) nominee to the Supreme Court. How do they feel about Alberto "Souter" Gonzales as a possible selection? Family Research Council president Tony Perkins sums it up well: "Our position on Attorney General Gonzales is, he holds great promise as an attorney general."

The best bet for a relatively sane selection (short of body snatchers taking over the bodies of Bush and a couple of dozen GOP senators) is the much quieter pressure Bush will get from the true paymasters of the Republican party, business conservatives. Although O'Connor was quite moderate on social issues, she was a strong supporter of business during her tenure on the Court, and business interests don't want to risk losing that edge since many socially conservative jurists do not necessarily toe the corporate line on business/economic issues.

I also wonder whether social conservative/evangelist pressure on Bush will backfire. Like him or not, Bush is well known to be stubborn and to not respond well to being pushed around. He's also prone to making his own decisions on personnel that don't always accord with those of his advisors and backers, and to reward those loyal and close to him. You know, people like Alberto Gonzales. The wing-nuts just might push Bush to go with his gut and name his good friend Gonzales, scoring some points too for the first Hispanic on the Court.