Bush to Name Supreme Court Nominee in Prime Time

President Bush has decided to turn the replacement of Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court into a reality television event.

Bush to Name Court Nominee in Prime Time (AP)

President Bush has decided whom to nominate to succeed Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court and was poised to announce his pick in a prime-time Tuesday night address. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the Bush administration was asking television outlets to broadcast the speech live. Bush’s spokesman would not identify the president’s choice. But there was intense speculation that it would be Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The televised speech was scheduled for 9 p.m. EDT.

The tension was palpable in the West Wing of the White House; after a day of intense speculation, McClellan walked into the press briefing room and said bluntly: “The president has made a decision and will be announcing his nominee to the Supreme Court at 9 o’clock.” McClellan said the American people expected that the Senate confirmation process would be a dignified one.

At a news conference near midday Tuesday, Bush had said that he considered candidates from all walks of life but he refused to tip his hand on whom he would name or when he would do it.

Quite unusual. I suppose there’s something to be said for taking the case directly to the public before a bitter fight starts. Still, a strange departure from the norm on the appointment process.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


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  2. Tim says:

    I think this should settle any questions over why he’s announcing the nomination in prime time.

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  6. Anderson says:

    Anyone else wishing for an “Apprentice”-style series in which Bush selects his nominee over several weeks?