Blogs > Cliopatria > Karl Rove's Dream

Jul 3, 2005 8:22 pm

Karl Rove's Dream

When are three fights better than one? When it's a Supreme Court nomination up for grabs. Let me back up.

If I understand Karl Rove, he is hoping the phone will ring and at the other end will be the Supreme Court clerk announcing a second resignation from the bench.

Having one resignation is good. But it gives him little freedom to maneuver between the competing interest groups that have a stake in a new justice. A second resignation would give him just the freedom he needs. And if that second resignation turns out to be William Rehnquist's Rove will be in Supreme Court heaven. For then he would have 3 confirmation fights on his hands. And three is what he needs.

Imagine. He could elevate Scalia to chief justice, appeasing the hard right while also picking another hard right-winger to repalce Rehnquist. Those two moves would buy him enough credibility with the right that he would be able to put his friend Gonzales on the bench, winning the hearts of Hispanics--and giving cover to moderate Republican senators who otherwise might be reluctant to vote for more hard right nominees.

Rehnquist is not much of a politician. But if he thinks about the politics of the situation, he'll have the clerk make that phone call.

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