In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show,” Laura Bush said that she hoped a woman would fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. “I would really like him (President Bush) to name another woman,” she said, according to the Washington Post.
At a Ms. Community Journalist Forum yesterday in Washington, DC, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and publisher of Ms. magazine, led the call for a centrist woman nominee to replace O’Connor. “We want not only a woman, but a woman who will not close the door on the rights of women,” she said.
Meanwhile, with the rumors that Chief Justice Rehnquist also plans to retire from the Supreme Court, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested that Bush appoint O’Connor to be the Chief Justice on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Some speculation is she might reconsider if she were named chief justiceÉ,” said Specter. “I think it would be very tempting if the president said, ‘Justice O’Connor, you could help the country now.’ She has received so much adulation that a confirmation hearing would be more like a coronation and she might be willing to stay on for a year or so.” Several Senators, not including Specter, had met with O’Connor weeks before she announced her retirement to discuss a campaign to elevate her to the Chief Justice position if Rehnquist resigned; Specter said on “Face the Nation” that O’Connor was reportedly flattered and did not object to the idea.