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RUSH: “Arlen Specter, Senate judiciary committee chairman, complicated the already dizzying hysteria about the future of the Supreme Court by speculating at length yesterday about the possibility that justice Sandra Day O’Connor would stay if President Bush elevated her to be chief justice.” It was on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer yesterday, and along with Senator Pat “Leaky” Leahy, and so Schieffer says to Specter, “So you don’t count out O’Connor as a possibility for chief justice even though she said she’s retiring?”

SPECTER: It would be very tempting if the president said to Justice O’Connor, you could help the country now. She has received so much adulation, that a confirmation proceeding would be more like a coronation, and she might be willing to stay on for a year or so. I think it would be quite a capping to her career if she served for a time, maybe a year or so. She has her reasons for wanting to retire as we all know, but it could help the country in a tough spot, and might be very tempting.

RUSH: Come on. I am stunned by this. There’s going to be a fight. This is no different than the gang of 14 deal. All they did was punt it down the road to deal with later, which is now, and now they want to punt it again. Specter doesn’t want a judiciary committee hearing that’s going to be fraught with all kinds of problems and acrimony so go get O’Connor. If she’s going to be there for a year it’s just going to delay things, and it’s also going to deny Bush one of the three that he needs. Bush isn’t going to do it. This is the sophistry about it. There’s no way Bush is going to ask her to do this but to put the idea out there, for Specter to… I told you people. I told you I’m not worried about the liberals and the Democrats in the media and so forth because we know what they’re going to do. It’s things like this. You know, because now I mean theoretically when Bush does not elevate O’Connor to the chief justiceship, Specter can say he has been rebuffed and take it personally, and who knows how or if he would act in that matter.

Now, the Washington Times to add a little intrigue to this and the Inside Politics section today, says that she’s open to the idea. “The Republican chairman and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday speculated on a scenario under which Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor might consider changing her mind on stepping down if Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist retired and President Bush offered to make her chief justice. Several senators mentioned the idea to her, said Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican. ‘The response that I heard [from other senators] was that she said she was flattered, that she didn’t say no,’ Mr. Specter said on CBS’ Face the Nation ‘I think it would be quite a capping to her career if she served for a time, maybe a year or so.'” But let’s go to audio sound bite #17, because Leahy was on the show, and they didn’t really talk so much about it. Well, this bite doesn’t reference O’Connor but I guess it’s one of Schieffer’s guests, guest journalists, Jan Crawford Greenburg of the Chicago Tribune joining in the question, said, “Senator Leahy, you have a view on Attorney General Gonzales?”

LEAHY: I think that the dynamics would be different in some ways from his — his confirmation as attorney general. But I still think the question is going to come up on the torture memos, on some of these — on some of these things. But he would be looked at — in the long run he’d be looked at far more on the opinions he wrote when he was on the Texas Supreme Court.

REPORTER: Would you vote for him?

LEAHY: I’m going to wait — I’m going to wait ’til I have — have the hearing. You know, I’m an old trial lawyer. I like to have the trial before the verdict.

RUSH: That’s just it. (laughing). The verdict’s already in. He’s the guy who led the opposition of Gonzales for attorney general. Leahy. The verdict is already in. But to then call these hearings a “trial,” which is exactly what it’ll be. You get named by the president to be an appellate judge, a Supreme Court justice, district judge, you’re a suspect. You’re immediately a suspect, and the Democrats on the committee have to run around and do everything they can to prove that you’re guilty of whatever they charge you with. So keep an eye on this, folks. Now, the Washington Post has an interesting story today, Thomas Edsel and Michael Fletcher — and I made this point, after Janice Rogers Brown was confirmed to the DC appellate court.

I said, “You know, after three years they failed to stop her. Every liberal Democrat interest group in the country was mobilized for three years to stop Janice Rogers Brown, and they failed.” To show that this is show prep for the rest of the media, here is the story in the Washington Post: “Another Defeat Could Tarnish Credibility as Advocacy Force; For Liberals, High Stakes at High Court — Ralph G. Neas, president of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, began the George W. Bush years leading the fight against the president’s 2001 tax cut. He lost.

Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, has been a leading voice in opposition to provisions in the USA Patriot Act that he and other civil rights leaders say needlessly restrict civil liberties. So far, the act is unchanged.” We have it, the Brits don’t, you want to draw a connection, feel free. “Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, has joined coalitions that have opposed what she saw as pro-business proposals to make it more difficult for consumers to file for bankruptcy and to limit plaintiffs’ options in class-action lawsuits.

“Those measures were passed into law earlier this year. These liberal lobbyists are a triumvirate now leading the left into what they view as their biggest battle yet: to stop conservatives from replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with a justice firmly aligned with the right. After failing repeatedly in recent years to stop the advance of a conservative agenda by the Republican-controlled White House and Congress, a once-powerful liberal coalition is making what amounts to a last stand over control of the Supreme Court.” Did I not tell you this last week, too? I said last week: “Liberalism is making its second-to-last or maybe its last stand, because that’s what MoveOn.org is all trying to do.” But what are they doing? They’re trying to shape public opinion, and on this, you can shape public opinion all you want; it’s not going to change the president’s mind to what he’s going to do. It just isn’t. But the bottom line here is that even the media now has to notice that the effectiveness of these wacko groups on the left is, they don’t have a report card they’d be happy to take home to mom. “What are they getting here, ones or threes?” I forget in the new report. Three is a high grade. So they’re getting a bunch of ones, equivalent to F’s on the report card.

You know, they don’t have much to show their donors, donors are giving big bucks and everything the donors don’t want to happen is happening, in a number of ways — and I know it doesn’t look like that to some of you because you spend a fair amount of time watching the mainstream press, and they create a false illusion and have for a long time about what’s going on in the country, be it public opinion on the war, be it public opinion on the judges, because we know what the public opinion is on the judges. We had the polling data, pre-vacancy polling data, shared that with you last week, and there’s no question before all this hype started, all the polls taken before Sandra Day O’Connor retired. It looks bad for the left, and they know it.

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