Senators Suggest Politician For Supreme Court Seat


Key U.S. senators are pressing President Bush with the age-old idea that someone with political experience rather than a sitting federal judge replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. Conservative interest groups are not warm to the prospect. The Associated Press reports that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said after meeting with Bush and other senators yesterday that if justices “had a little more practical experience and didn’t work so much within the footnotes and the semicolons, you might have a little different perspective, and I’d like to see that added to the court.”

Some justices themselves “see a number of benefits that could come to having somebody from outside the judicial monastery,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist never served as a judge before he was named to the court. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada suggested Republican colleagues Judd Gregg (N.H.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mel Martinez (Fl.) Mike DeWine (Ohio), and Mike Crapo (Idaho). Said Wendy Long of the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network about naming a politician to the high court: “You don’t want somebody who confuses politics and law and who thinks that his job as a Supreme Court justice is to make political decisions and not apply the law.”


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