Monday June 20 2005
KENNEDY "RULES OUT" CLARENCE THOMAS FOR CHIEF JUSTICE:
Interesting comments from Senator Ted Kennedy on the Supreme Court in this little-noticed Bloomberg News article from Friday:

Kennedy, 73, said he believes that the consideration on Rehnquist's replacement should be more than just "replacing one right-winger for a right-winger." Still, the Senate debate on any Rehnquist replacement would "clearly" be much different than the discussion about a nominee who would tip the ideological balance of the court.

"It's clear it's going to have a significant impact" on the Senate debate that "Rehnquist is leaving and not" one of the court's moderates, the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview.

He added that he thinks that two sitting justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, "would be completely troublesome" as nominees. He ruled out any possibility of Thomas being selected, while acknowledging that Scalia might be harder to defeat.

Yet he suggested that Bush would tap a younger conservative jurist who could serve for many years. "I do think it will be a younger, more aggressive" nominee who "will be a force on the court," Kennedy said.

Intriguingly, Kennedy said that of the three oft-mentioned, younger appeals court judges who are candidates for the chief justice slot - J. Michael Luttig, John Roberts or Michael McConnell - one would be acceptable. "I'm not going to get into which one" because that would be "the kiss of death" for that person, he said.

Get all the latest news and commentary on the impending high court battle at our new RCP Supreme Court Resource page.

THE DEAN DIVE: There's been a lot of talk about President Bush's sagging poll numbers, but not so much talk about this:

Howard Dean Favorable Ratings
Poll
Favorable
Unfavorable
+/- Diff
Fox News (6/14-15)
23
41
-18
Rasmussen (6/13-14)
25
40
-15

There's no trend on the Rasmussen poll but on the FOX poll Dean's favorable rating is down ten points since the beginning of March and his unfavorable rating is up nine.

THE DUKE: The stench emanating from Randy "Duke" Cunningham's real estate dealings is strong, foul stuff. Give credit to Josh Marshall for pushing this story on the web and to the San Diego Union-Tribune for its straight-up coverage of the blossoming scandal.

Cunningham continues to insist the deal was "aboveboard" and his office issued a statement Friday saying the Congressman was "working on a comprehensive statement that will address issues that have been raised recently."

It's hard to imagine an innocent explanation for Cunningham's cozy and profitable relationship with defense contractor MZM Inc., but in the interest of fairness we should wait to hear what he has to say. Meanwhile, the natives back home are getting restless.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If it is Dick Durbin in trouble, then something is wrong." Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) showing just how clueless some on the left can be. - T. Bevan 7:30 am Link | Email | Send To A Friend

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