Laura Bush: Name Woman to Replace O’Connor

President Bush is getting plenty of advice in his quest to appoint someone to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. The First Lady went over his head, to Katie Couric, to make her suggestion.

Laura: Name woman to high court (New York Daily News)

While the nation awaits President Bush’s first Supreme Court pick, he was bombarded yesterday with suggestions from lawmakers – and even his wife.

Bush huddled privately over breakfast with Democratic and Republican Senate leaders, who emerged from the session pleased about the level of White House consultation. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) described the meeting as “meaningful” and “a good first or second step.”


Later, the President heard from his wife – via an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” – about what she is looking for on the nation’s highest court. “Sure, I would really like for him to name another woman,” First Lady Laura Bush said while on her goodwill tour of Africa. “Whether it’s a woman or a man, of course, I have no idea,” she added.

In the Oval Office, the President appeared surprised to hear the First Lady wished for another female justice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, who is retiring. “She did? Well, good,” he told reporters. “I can’t wait to hear her advice in person when she gets back.”

One Bush insider involved in the vetting said “there’s no dynamite choice” among female candidates, whom he described as “three or four mediocre O’Connors.”


Update: Jim Henley observes below that, “Janice Rogers Brown is neither mediocre nor an O’Connor.” While I paid only scant attention to her during the confirmation fight, I tend to agree. O’Connor was unremarkable by Supreme Court Justice standards, but she came up at a time when many states wouldn’t even let women into law school, figuring they would stop practicing once they married. Times have changed and there should certainly be a strong pool of conservative women of Supreme Court timber by now.

That’s not to say President Bush should go out of his way to appoint a woman, or a Hispanic for that matter, for the sake of “diversity.” But there should certainly be plenty to choose from.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jim Henley says:

    Janice Rogers Brown is neither mediocre nor an O’Connor.

  2. Zsa Zsa says:

    I’ll be the judge!…

  3. McGehee says:

    Janice Rogers Brown would be okay by me. But Zsa Zsa, if you were the judge, would any cops ever dare to show up in court? 😉

  4. Anderson says:

    Saying “Brown isn’t mediocre” is the dry understatement of the week, in my book.