September 04, 2005

Am. Gov't - Rehnquist

What a full week this is becoming. Here's an article from the Washington Post.

A few things to think about:

1) Does Rehnquist's passing change the politics behind the Roberts confirmation?
2) What role does the Chief Justice play on the court?
3) Consider again the formal process of the appointment - i.e., President>Senate>Judiciary Committee>Full Senate. What again are the options a Senator has, and how do those options relate to "Checks and Balances"?
4) I can't emphasize enough the importance of Marbury v. Madison! It is that which makes these appointments so important.

Also; to be sure we're all on the same page - let's spell out the President's options.

-The President could look outside the Court for a new Chief Justice
-The President could 'promote' from within.

Procedurally, the President has the potential for three appointments - promoting from within will create an additional vacancy.

In short - here are the possibilities:
Two sets of hearings - one for the O'Connor seat, and one for the Rehnquist seat - assuming the President appoints from outside the court.
Three sets of hearings - one for the O'Connor seat, one for the Rehnquist seat, and one for the seat that would be vacated.

I'll post more on this and the second week's class discussion here in the next few days - but this is a place to start.

Thanks --



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