Tuesday, July 12

Bush Listens to Senators on Court Vacancy

Let's hope the Senate doesn't start expecting this from now on. The problem with this sort of courtesy gestures by the white house is that they get distorted through history, and it sets bad precedent that threatens to tip the balance of powers between the legislative and executive branch of our Federal government system.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush and his top advisers listened to suggestions from Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday about candidates for filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court, but did not tip his hand about his favorites.

"He didn't give us any names," Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters after the breakfast meeting.

Besides Reid, Bush met with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the committee; and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Also in the room was Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

The Senate participants did offer up some names, and the whole group discussed them but it was not a substantial discussion, Senate aides said.