Bush Contemplating Supreme Court Replacements

What a chilling thought:Expecting a Vacancy, Bush Aides Weigh Supreme Court Contenders.

Bush aides already are having discussions about replacements for Chief Justice Rehnquist in the event he retires at the end of this term. They are also preparing for the possibility of more than one vacancy: John Paul Stevens is 82, Chief Justice Rehnquist is 78, and Justice O'Connor is 72.

Who's on deck right now?
In almost all of the possibilities, officials said, Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel and a longtime legal adviser to Mr. Bush from Texas, would be a candidate. Mr. Gonzales would be the first Hispanic member of the Supreme Court. Mr. Bush's top aides, notably Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, are described as keenly aware that this would provide a political bonus for both him and the Republican Party, which has been aggressively courting Hispanic voters. "I don't think there's any question the president would turn to him," said a senior administration official who knew details of the informal but high-level discussions.
Also under discussion is Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, the chief judge of the very conservative 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Va., and Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., a federal appeals court judge in Newark, who used to clerk for Scalia and is referred to as "Scalito." Here are some of the other possibilities:
Judge J. Michael Luttig who also sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court. Justice Brown, a black woman, wrote the majority opinion in 2000 interpreting the state's referendum against affirmative action in a way that delighted conservatives. Another candidate is Judge Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans who is noted for sharp conservative opinions. ....Also mentioned has been Larry D. Thompson, the deputy attorney general, who would give the court two black members.

Packing the Supreme Court with conservatives will be one of Bush's longest lasting legacies. The judicial and criminal justice systems will change markedly. Protections we have taken for granted since childhood will disappear.

There will be no reason for every child over the age of 9 to be able to recite Miranda warnings or know a cop has to have a warrant if they want to come in the house or search. They won't know these things because they won't have seen them a hundred times on tv on the cop shows. They won't be referred to on the cop shows since there won't be any more Miranda or 4th Amendment rights to speak of--the exceptions to these principles will become the rule. Exigent circumstances, good-fath exceptions, the inevitable discovery doctrine, just wait till you see what they will think of next.

Since the Justices are appointed for life, we fear we won't see the pendulum swing back again in our lifetimes. What a legacy to leave our children.

If there is one reason not to back a third party candidate who can't possibly win over a Democrat who can, this is surely it.

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