Who Is The Judge?

&#8220Short of John Roberts getting a sworn affidavit from Jesus Christ or personally overturning Roe v. Wade with a baseball bat and machine gun, some very vocal people on the right will not be happy with him&#8221

Sadly, real life and work duties collided to prevent issuance of SCOTUS gossip earlier. For those of you having cold sweats, shakes, and other symptoms of withdrawal, I apologize. Now, on with the nothingness.

Nothing is exactly what I have. Tonight I talked with a very good source not in the White House, but close enough to it to know what is going on. He’s one of those third party group guys who has been involved. What he says follows up on and equates to what others inside and outside the White House have told me today, but he has more depth.

“I have no clue who the nominee is,” he says. “In fact, no one I have spoken to inside or outside the White House really knows who it is. We all feel more comfortable with who it is not than with who it is — and I’m pretty sure it is not Gonzales.”

He says to remember that, since the summer, “the White House has perfected the art of the screw up. The sheer incompetence of the staff to convey a message and consult anyone has been stunning. Sure, people are spoken to, but there is poor follow up, bad communication, and so much secrecy now that they are screwing things up. It is no longer the Bush Administration, it is the Bollix Administration. But, they also know how to misdirect. God, I hope August and September have been misdirections.”

He says it is not really incompetence, but “a youthful arrogance that translates into incompetence.” He says that has a lot to do with how the Joy Clement “disaster” went down.

The source goes on to explain that he disagrees with Manny Miranda’s statement that the Social Conservatives have not been as clear as the Business Conservatives with their wants. “Look, unless the President is deaf, he has heard the base. Remember, it is the social conservatives who were out going door to door, not the business conservatives. He knows he owes them and he needs them. But, there is some noticeable frustration.”

An example of that frustration, he says, is the reaction in some corners to Judge Roberts’s nomination. “Short of John Roberts getting a sworn affidavit from Jesus Christ or personally overturning Roe v. Wade with a baseball bat and machine gun, some very vocal people on the right will not be happy with him and are marginalizing the rest of us.

“We all know the litany: Brown. If not Brown, Jones. If not Jones, Garza. If not Garza, Alito. If not Alito, Luttig. Here’s a hint. It will be none of them. The first four have been too vocal on abortion. Luttig has been sabotaged by the Chamber and others because they don’t think he would side with them on some key issues stemming from federal regulations. The President is not going to name anyone who has specifically written that Roe should be thrown out. It’s not going to happen and people should deal with it.”

So, who does he think it will be? “Senate staffers, White House staffers, and outside groups have been mentioning with more frequency Karen Williams. There is also Batchelder and Sykes, but I think Sykes is too young. I don’t think it will be Corrigan. Sandra Day O’Connor is rumored to have told the President that, from her own experience, she thought coming from the state courts to the Supreme Court without going through the appellate level was and is too much. Whether she told him that or not, again rumor. But, she did say that in an interview too. That would rule out Cantero and Corrigan.”

He did name one wild card, Judge Boggs. “Age is not going to be a factor. Harvie [Wilkinson] was not rejected because of his age. Boggs is over 60, but he definitely comes from a different walk in life.” [Ed. Note: I have no freaking clue who Boggs is, so maybe he’s the nominee].

So, to recap: no one knows anything and the parlor game continues. I’ll be in Washington tomorrow, so I’ll see some sources up close and personal. Oh, the source also agrees with the media that the announcement will be Friday, not Thursday.

Everything he says meshes well with all the other people I have talked to. Everyone is more comfortable with who is not on the list than with who is on the list.

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Erick Erickson

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