White House Floats AG Replacement Names
Roll Call reports that White House Counsel Fred Fielding is floating a bunch of names to Senators for the replacement of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:
White House counsel Fred Fielding has been making the rounds in the Senate the past several days and met with Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday afternoon. Although Leahy would not comment on the meeting prior to speaking with Fielding, he did say that Bush's top legal adviser has reached out to numerous Judiciary Committee Senators to vet names and gauge feedback over possible nominees.
Aides in both parties say there are six names:
Former Solicitor General Ted Olson; former Attorney General Bill Barr; former Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger; D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Laurence Silberman; former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson; and Michael Mukasey, a former judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Larry Thompson has said he doesn't want the job, he's happy at Pepsico. As to the others:
Mukasey -- who was recommended by Senate Judiciary member Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) -- is considered a long shot. Democratic sources said Olson and Terwilliger, both well-known, strongly conservative Republicans, likely would run into significant opposition from Democrats...
Although members of both parties likely would be receptive to Silberman, aides in both leadership camps cautioned that because confirming him would open a seat on the crucial D.C. Circuit Court -- providing Bush a chance to nominate another federal judge to a lifetime appointment -- Democrats could end up blocking him. Nevertheless, a senior Democratic leadership aide said Silberman would "have a good chance of confirmation."
Why would a federal appeals court judge with a lifetime appointment give it up to be AG for a year and a half? I know Chertoff did to become HSA Director, but that wasn't at the end of Bush's presidency. What can Bush offer him? A Supreme Court slot if one opens up in the final months of his term?
Ted Olson, I hope, would not get confirmed. He's got a lot of baggage and is far too partisan. Paul Clement, whom Bush named as Acting AG, isn't on the list. My take: no good choices here, keep on searching.
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