Quietly, quietly behind the scenes the Supreme Court boiler is building steam waiting for a release. Anticipation builds with rumors now circulating that the Chief Justice’s health is only getting worse. As of this afternoon, he is in the hospital with a fever.
Here are the latest bullet points on the Supreme Court saga. Let’s just cut out the “sources say” business because everything below is what various previous sources (including my own little deep throat source) are telling me.
- The White House is expanding its search of possible nominees, including looking off the federal bench to the state level and off the bench altogether. The staff is focusing on both female and racial minorities for the O’Connor pick.
- Senator Reid has, in private, conceded that the Democrats are going to lose this fight, but they intend to (A) fight like hell to save face with their base and (B) work out the best possible solution with the White House on who the nominee will be. In other words, the Dems want to make sure the conservative who is appointed is reasonable, but they intend to also clean the floor with him to show the base they aren’t kids getting spanked by the Republicans, though that is what is happening.
- Even prior to his hospitalization, the White House is moving forward with its judicial picks to find someone to replace the Chief Justice. Michael Luttig and John Roberts are both getting a thorough review. The White House wants to make sure the Chief knows his Court will be left in good hands, should the Chief want to go on and get off the bench.
- Three-quarters of Washington says the Stevens rumor is garbage. The other quarter is right.
- John Cornyn looks to be a favored compromise pick. His name has circulated privately between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats want to fight like hell against any nominee, but doing so against a Cornyn pick would further break down collegiality between the Republican majority and Democratic minority in the Senate. Several folks in the White House have started mulling this idea with some seriousness.
- The judge who was removed from the list, just might work his way back on. Conservatives close to the White House are doing all they can to put him back on and might be successful, but the odds are stacked against them.
That’s all I’ve got.