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Busy day yesterday in SCOTUS-land. Not for soon-to-be-Chief Justice Roberts, but the person whose fanny will fill the O’C seat.
Here’s what we’re hearing. Alberto Gonzales is still very much in play. As reported here earlier, he was in Florida yesterday for a speech before police chiefs. During a Q & A session that followed, his comments about his admiration for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist could be perceived as either pandering of the first order, or generous humility. People we speak to, who work and have worked for Gonzales, say he really has no burning desire to be on the court, not in the same way others have. But if asked, he probably wouldn’t turn it down.
In that regard, a White House source says that one of the arguments put forward for Gonzales as a nominee is that people who really know him (the President, Karl Rove), know him to be a reliable conservative who would be less likely to go wobbly in the crunch. That sounds fine, but who knows? Certainly not the base.
As for other nominees, the list appears to be dwindling. According to Capitol Hill sources, a list of potential nominees that was floated late last week had five names: Edith Hollan Jones, Emilio Garza, Alice Batchelder, Karen Williams, and Michael Luttig.
The name to focus on is Williams, who currently sits on the 4th District bench. In the past 24 hours, her name appears to have taken on the same kind of airborne quality as that of Larry Thompson’s two weeks ago. It may be lifting off because of real momentum or just hot air.
Williams is known to be reliably grounded, bright and talented.
Either way, this is the parlor game of the moment in Washington.