Friday, July 15, 2005

The Ostroy Report Had it Right: Rehnquist Says He's Staying

As predicted here on July 5 (see post below) in The Ostroy Report, Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has finally announced, late last night, that he will remain on the high court despite what every major political pundit has expected now for weeks, even months. Rehnquist told reporters "I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement. I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits." Bravo, Bill! That's exactly what we said you'd do. Renhquist had been hospitalized this week in Virginia after complaining of fever. In reaction to the news, President Bush praised the chief's service and expressed happiness that he'll be staying. Yeah, right. The vultures that have been hovering over this possible retirement for months--the Bushies, the GOP, the evangelicals--had hoped they'd have two shots now to shove the court even further to the Scalia/Thomas Right. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announced retirement was a nice added bonus after months of speculation about Rehnquist. Now, to get that second shot, I guess they'll have to hope that Justice John Paul Stevens peers over O'Connor's fence and gets jealous of all her newfound golf time. With Rehnquist staying on, we have a great chance of maintaining the overall balance if Bush does the right thing and nominates a moderate as O'Connor's replacement. Or, since they only have one shot here at making the court much more conservative, the Bushies might cave under intense pressure from the evangelicals and appoint an extremist. In any event, the stakes just got much higher overall. Regardless, Chief, you made the right choice. We're glad you're staying. And we know you'll fight this beast called cancer as hard as anyone. Good luck to ya (and please, stay on as long as possible. Scalia/Thomas is enough). Andy

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