Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » July 2005 » When it rains, it pours? (Revised and updated)

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07/08/2005: When it rains, it pours? (Revised and updated)

[Updated and pushed to the top. --LRC]

A couple blogs yesterday were writing about rumors along this line, and now Air America's Morning Sedition is reporting that Congress has allegedly been instructed not to take any important actions late this morning between 10 AM and noon, Eastern Daylight Time in anticipation of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist announcing his resignation from the Court today.

Things could get interesting today.

UPDATE: As of 11:54 AM Central Daylight Time, the CNN.com website has nothing on a breaking Rehnquist resignation. And on the Al Franken Show on Air America, nothing is being said. Guess that the 10-noon EDT speculation was a false alarm.

In comments to an earlier version of this post (now closed) my co-blogger Brock writes:

was just discussing this with my wife, and it seems to me that Rehnquist retiring now, instead of, say, next year, is the best hope we liberals have for preserving the current ideological balance on the court.

With two vacancies at once, Senate Democrats have an opportunity to push for a compromise: a wingnut to take Rehnquist's place, and a moderate to take O'Connor's.
Brock's an astute guy, as demonstrated by the fact that Josh Marshall is thinking along the same lines:
Perhaps I'm not thinking this through clearly enough. So I'd be obliged to hear from others. But assuming that the rumors are true and that Chief Justice Rehnquist will announce his retirement tomorrow, this seems like a good thing for the Dems, not a bad thing.

Obviously that reasoning is premised on the assumption that Rehnquist will retire at some point in the very near future regardless, certainly before the end of the president's tenure in office and in all likelihood before November 2006. So as long as President Bush will appoint Rehnquist's successor, better, it seems to me, that both nominations take place simultaneously.


Perhaps another way to put this is that I think it would be much easier for President Bush to push through one hard-right nominee now and another next spring or next summer than it will be for him to push twice at once.

Len on 07.08.05 @ 11:54 AM CST

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