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Senators Mentioned As Possible Justices

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050611/ap_on_go_co/senator_justice Senators Mentioned As Possible Justices By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 11, 2005
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      http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050611/ap_on_go_co/senator_justice

      Senators Mentioned As Possible Justices

      By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer 32
      minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - If there is a Supreme Court vacancy this
      summer, President Bush may look no farther than the
      Capitol for a member of Congress who can be confirmed
      quickly. Past presidents have done it, more than two
      dozen times.

      While admittedly long shots, GOP Sens. Jon Kyl of
      Arizona and John Cornyn of Texas are being talked up
      by some conservatives as possible nominees for the
      high court.

      Seen as most likely to step down is Chief Justice
      William Rehnquist, who at 80 is fighting cancer.
      Retirement also might be attractive option for
      Justices
      Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, and John Paul Stevens, 85.

      Kyl is a stalwart pro-business conservative and a
      senior member of the Senate
      Judiciary Committee. Cornyn is a former Texas Supreme
      Court justice and state attorney general. Both men
      have been at the forefront in fighting Democratic
      filibusters against Bush's federal appeals court
      nominees.

      Like all potential Supreme Court nominees — most lists
      of would-be candidates have at least 10 judges,
      lawyers or lawmakers — the senators played down their
      chances.

      "If I was on the president's short list, I think I
      would have heard about it by now," Kyl said with a
      laugh.

      Cornyn said, "It's flattering, but I like my current
      job and I'm not looking for another one."

      Twenty-six men who served in Congress — 10 only in the
      Senate, 12 only in the House and four in both chambers
      — later joined the Supreme Court. The revolving door
      has turned the other way only once: David Davis
      resigned from the court in 1877 to represent Illinois
      in the Senate as an independent.

      Bush has looked to Congress when filling federal court
      vacancies.

      He picked Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., for the 9th
      U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Cox
      withdrew after California's two Democratic senators
      opposed him. He is now awaiting confirmation to head
      the
      Securities and Exchange Commission.

      Outsiders agree that Kyl and Cornyn are less likely to
      be selected by Bush for a Supreme Court vacancy if
      Rehnquist is the first to retire.

      "I would be very surprised to see a Republican senator
      nominated to replace Rehnquist," said Sean Rushton of
      the conservative Committee for Justice. "It would make
      more sense to nominate a Republican senator like
      Cornyn to replace Sandra Day O'Connor or John Paul
      Stevens."

      The president would be expected to replace Rehnquist
      with a non-Washington conservative because senators
      know that pick will not change the court's ideological
      balance, Rushton said.

      But if O'Connor or Stevens leaves, Bush could swing
      the court further to the right by picking either Kyl
      or Cornyn. Both senators are considered more
      conservative than O'Connor and Stevens.

      They both also have the advantage of being members of
      "the club." The Senate has never rejected one of its
      own for the high court.

      Senators have just emerged from a partisan deadlock
      over Bush's picks for appeals courts. Choosing a
      conservative senator might be attractive because of
      "senatorial courtesy" — the idea that senators will
      not be overly harsh to one of their own during the
      confirmation process.

      The downside is that, for a time, the Republicans'
      55-vote majority could shrink if Kyl is a nominee.
      Arizona's Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano,
      probably would appoint a Democrat to replace him until
      the 2006 election.

      Of course, senatorial courtesy is never a guarantee.

      Cornyn, for example, might find himself having to
      explain comments he made after several violent attacks
      on judges this year. He said he wondered whether
      frustration against perceived political decisions by
      judges "builds up and builds up to the point where
      some people engage in violence, certainly without any
      justification."

      Critics said his comments could incite violence
      against judges and the remarks could come back to
      haunt Cornyn.

      Several years ago, former GOP Sen. Jesse Helms of
      North Carolina tried his best to scuttle former
      Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun's nomination as
      ambassador to New Zealand, until Republican leaders
      made it clear they would not let him.

      Former Sen.
      John Ashcroft, R-Mo., had a hard time getting past
      Democratic senators to become Bush's first attorney
      general. The Senate voted to confirm him 58-42, the
      narrowest margin ever for an attorney general.
      ___

      On the Net:

      Sen. Jon Kyl: http://kyl.senate.gov

      Sen. John Cornyn: http://cornyn.senate.gov
    • Ram Lau
      Well, I hope not. Either Kyl or Cornyn will make an awful Supreme Court Justice. Ram
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 12, 2005
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        Well, I hope not. Either Kyl or Cornyn will make an awful Supreme
        Court Justice.

        Ram
      • greg
        When I sent that article to another list a friend of mine found two interesting articles on Cornyn: http://www.texasobserver.org/showArticle.asp?ArticleID=750
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 12, 2005
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          When I sent that article to another list a friend of mine found two
          interesting articles on Cornyn:
          http://www.texasobserver.org/showArticle.asp?ArticleID=750
          http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/001680.html

          The first is an article about how Cornyn supported George Wallace for
          president in 1968 when Cornyn was in high school. The second article
          is titled "10 other reasons not to like John Cornyn" which I think is
          pretty self-explanatory.

          --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
          > Well, I hope not. Either Kyl or Cornyn will make an awful Supreme
          > Court Justice.
          >
          > Ram
        • Ram Lau
          Cornyn being a friend of George Wallace is no surprise to me. Most of the New South/Goldwater Republicans are the ex-Dixiecrats anyway. During the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 13, 2005
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            Cornyn being a friend of George Wallace is no surprise to me. Most of
            the New South/Goldwater Republicans are the ex-Dixiecrats anyway.
            During the Kennedy-Johnson period, most of them switched party with
            Thurmond et al. We know that fact too well.

            Ram
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