450 Maple Avenue East * Vienna, Va. 22180 * 703-938-9626
October 26, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Charles Orndorff 703-938-9626
STATEMENT OF HOWARD PHILLIPS,
CHAIRMAN OF THE CONSERVATIVE CAUCUS
CONCERNING SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENTS
News about the health condition of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist requires us to consider possible political implications:
1. Should Chief Justice Rehnquist resign at a time when the Republicans continue their majority hold on the U.S. Senate and a re-elected Arlen Specter becomes Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is likely that Specter would use his influence to persuade the President not to name an anti-abortion replacement for Chief Justice Rehnquist.
2. Should Senator Kerry be elected on November 2, Chief Justice Rehnquist will surely give consideration to an early resignation so that President Bush could choose a replacement and nominate that replacement, using his recess appointment authority, in the same manner as he used it with respect to Appellate Court Judge William Pryor. Bush, prior to January 20, would still have the opportunity to send his proposed court nominee to the Senate for its early action.
3. If President Bush is re-elected, whether or not Rehnquist determines to resign in December will depend in large part on whether the Republicans hold their majority in the U.S. Senate. If they do not, there would likely be strong consideration of an early resignation, permitting a recess appointment by President Bush and possible early action by the Senate during December while the Republicans are still in control.
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