Democrats plea for mainstream
The Senate Democratic leader wants the president to choose a fair-minded justice.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Contending that President Bush's far-right allies are pushing him to appoint an extreme conservative to the Supreme Court, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid pointed to liberal icon Earl Warren as a model.
In his party's weekly radio address, Reid, D-Nev., noted that Saturday marked the anniversary of the 1974 death of Warren, a Republican whose court established a liberal tradition with its 1954 school desegregation ruling and other decisions. Reid said Warren had been able to forge a consensus on the court that would become the national consensus.
"Mr. President, that's the kind of justice we hope you'll nominate," Reid said in Saturday's broadcast. "Someone who will bring us together. A mainstream justice who won't use their judicial robe as a cloak to impose their political ideology on the country."
Bush is considering a nominee to succeed Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The Senate, under the Constitution's directive that it offer "advice and consent" on such appointments, must vote on his choice.
O'Connor, a Republican and long a swing vote on the court who often took a moderate stance on decisions, to the chagrin of conservative activists, announced her retirement last week.
Reid said he hopes Bush and the Senate will work together to nominate and confirm a justice who can build on national consensus on important issues, hold a deep respect for the Constitution, and make rulings not along narrow partisan ideology, but with "an open mind and a big heart."