Today, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced she will resign from the high court to take care of her ailing husband. This creates a vacancy that frankly I wasn't expecting. Everyone looked for Chief Justice Rehnquist to resign, but the swing vote moderate O'Connor resigned, which by the way will probably put off Rehnquist's resignation for at least 8-10 months.
Justice O'Connor is consistently the swing vote, creating many 5-4 decisions on social issues. She has voted to uphold Roe v. Wade and other reproductive rights, and recently wrote the dissenting opinion in the Emminent Domain case the court ruled on.
Let me go into my "Pretend President" mode, and say that if I were Bush (thank God I'm not), I would appoint a moderate just like O'Connor. But, knowing Bush....
Well, let me list the potential nominees:
1-Judge Samuel Alito (NJ)
2-Judge Danny Julian Boggs (KY)
3-Judge Janice Rogers Brown (CA)
4-Senator John Cornyn (TX)
5-Judge Frank Easterbrook (IL)
6-Miguel Estrada (NY)
7-Judge Emilio Garza (TX)
8-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (TX)
9-Senator Orrin Hatch (UT)
10-Judge Edith Jones (TX)
11-Judge Alex Kozinski (CA)
12-Senator Jon Kyl (AZ)
13-Judge Michael Luttig (VA)
14-Judge Michael McConnell (KY)
15-Theodore Olson (IL)
16-Judge Richard Posner (IL)
17-Judge John Roberts (DC)
18-Larry Thompson (GA)
19-Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson (VA)
Now, my top choices, out of this group, would be Kozinski, Wilkinson, Thompson, or Hatch. Kozinski is a libertarian, Wilkinson is extremely bright and a great questioner, Thompson is extremely qualified, and Hatch is likable and smart.
Unfortunatley, the President may pick someone ridiculous like Janice Rogers Brown, Miguel Estrada, or Alberto Gonzales.
More to come.