Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bench-Pressed

According to this article in the Trib, Bush has narrowed his list of potential picks for SCOTUS to Luttig and Alito. Other sources identify Alice Batchelder, Luttig's colleague on the 4th, as a contender. Scalito, as Alito is termed for his idealogical proximity to the supreme court justice, is on the third. An announcement could be made as soon as tomorrow.

Alito (Princeton '72, Yale '75), like many jurists, was once an appeals court clerk. He was later the New Jersey US Attorney(the title is a singularity), to which he was appointed by Reagan, before being appointed to the bench by G. H. W. Bush. SCOTUS Blog characterized Alito as being "grudgling confirmable" to Democrats. Alito dissented in "Planned Parenthood vs. Casey," which overturned a law that permitted a married woman to undergo an abortion only with her husband's permission.

Luttig(Washington and Lee, '76, University of Virginia, '81)boasts a tragically compelling personal history: in 1994, his father was fatally shot in a car jacking. The defendant appealed and later split the US Supreme Court 3-3 on his case. Luttig is also a prime "feeder judge" for Supreme Court clerks; his are known as "Luttigators." He himself had clerked for Scalia.

Batchelder, too, is an alum of U. Virginia Law School. A past case from which she did not recuse herself-despite a conflict of interest with her husband-may preclude her nomination.

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