At this point in Bush’s final term, it would behoove him to use the “advise and consent” function of Congress in the best possible way concerning a replacement for Justice O’Connor. If he wants to regain some of that political capital that he’s lost (see my previous post), he would do well to nominate a moderate voice for the Supreme Court.
There is an effort going on to get the President to look at nominating Judge Edward Prado. He was initially nominated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush in 2003 and won unamimous confirmation. In fact, there is a website, http://www.DraftPrado.org, that is a grass-roots effort to have him become the next nominee to the Supreme Court. Judge Prado has been lauded numerous times in the past by members of both major parties. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had this to say about Judge Prado:
“Judge Prado is a man of exceptional character, impeccable ethics, and is well qualified to serve as a Circuit Judge.”
From the article linked below:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has recommended Judge Prado as one of five people most qualified for the next Supreme Court opening, calling him a person who exemplified the qualities of “excellence, diversity, and moderation.”
By no means is Judge Prado the only moderate judge that the President could nominate, but certainly he is one who easily “pass muster” through confirmation hearings. As he has already enjoyed a unanimous confirmation to the Fifth Circuit, I’m sure there would just as much support for elevating him to the Supreme Court.
The bottom line is this: President Bush’s approval ratings are in the dumpster and only going lower. He comes off as an arrogant SOB who has no regard for dissenting opinions. If he wants to get some of the heat off of himself of late, he would be wise not to nominate a controversial judge to fill the shoes of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.