Roberts times his way into the CJ job. Scalia must be pissed…
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Monday nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice, and called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3.
The swift move would promote to the Supreme Court’s top job a man who currently is being considered as one of eight associate justices.
…The selection of Roberts, who has drawn little criticism, helps Bush avoid new political problems when he already is under fire for the government’s sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina and the president’s approval ratings are sagging.
Getting a new chief justice of Bush’s choosing in place quickly also avoids the scenario of having liberal Justice John Paul Stevens making the decisions about whom to assign cases to and making other decisions that could influence court deliberations. As the court’s senior justice, Stevens would take over Rehnquist’s administrative duties until a new chief is confirmed.Court watchers can let us know if this is unprecidented (which I doubt), but surely it’s rare.