RUSH: Judge Edith Clement, in New Orleans, Fifth Circuit, is the name that’s being floated and has been all morning as the Supreme Court nominee that Bush will announce today. No word from the White House on when Bush would disclose. Actually, there has been. There has been some word from the White House. The White House told reporters in the press room today, (paraphrasing) “Keep your jackets on. Keep your coats on. It will be a long day, but we are expecting an announcement today.” That is why everybody is buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz over this. Now, there is not much known about Edith Clement. I’ve been looking. I’ve had staff looking for her judicial record all morning and we really can’t find much. I would have to say that as of now, she is a stealth candidate.
Now, what happened yesterday was, as you know, Arlen Specter was called to the White House. I’m told that the president has been consulting with Robert Byrd, the White House theory is that if they can get Byrd on board… I kid you not; they have been consulting with Byrd. If they can get Byrd on board they think that will slay a lot of dragons on the Democratic side in the Senate. Now, what I think this means is that Byrd is such, if you just tell him who the nominee is going to be and bring him in and make him think he had a role in support, anybody pretty much, as long as he perceives himself to be in the loop. I’m not saying that he got veto power. I’m not saying that the names that he wanted were suggested. I’m saying he has been brought in, talked to, and had some favor curried in an attempt to get this passed.
I also think — we have been speculating here amongst ourselves all morning long — that the reason a stealth candidate may be picked is because of the Rove controversy. And I don’t think the Rove controversy has anything to do with it because I think the White House knows that the libs will treat any nominee the way they treat any nominee unless it is one of Harry Reid’s names, which it isn’t going to be because she is not on anybody’s list. She is on one of the second- or third-tier lists. Here is all that is really known about her, because she doesn’t have much of a record. She is “known as a conservative and a strict constructionist in legal circles.” This is what the AP says, she “has eased fears among abortion-rights advocates.
She has stated that the Supreme Court ‘has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion’ and that ‘the law is settled in that regard.'” Now, this is even open to interpretation in this way. I don’t know if she is speaking here as an appellate judge, Fifth Circuit, meaning, “Hey, the Supreme Court is highest law in the land. I can’t touch that here,” or if she is speaking as a potential Supreme Court nominee. I don’t know, and I’m not trying to split hairs.
I really can’t give you the source for this other than AP’s quote. I don’t know to whom she said it or where it was said. I don’t know how it appeared before AP got a hold of it, but you can say it is a little bit troubling. I wish she wouldn’t say anything about this. I wish no judge would say anything about this at some point because that creates a paper trail, at least. That is what this whole argument about the Supreme Court, when you talk about the left, really boils down to, is abortion. We have some audio sound bites from Senator Specter and Senator Kennedy. Let’s go to Specter first. This was before the senate and house softball game yesterday. Reporter Ed Henry of CNN talked to Arlen Specter and said, “So, you are looking for a nominee who is going to keep the ideological balance that is there now? There is a lot of talk about O’Connor seat being a more moderate seat, is that the way you view it?”
SPECTER: I do. I think it is important to keep balance on the court. That is in every respect, and I think that Americans are concerned about having somebody who is too far one side or too far to the other side and the battle is critical.
RUSH: There is so much wrong with this. In the first place, there is no such thing as balance on the Supreme Court referenced in the Constitution. It is not a political body. Well, it is. But it is not supposed to be. You are not supposed to say, okay, we got four lib seats and four conservative seats and then the O’Connor seat. That is not what it is. That is not how this is supposed to work. That is what Specter is essentially saying, (doing impression) “Okay, we have four extreme left wingers. Four extreme right wingers and then we got Goddess O’Connor and her thrown and we must make certain, ladies and gentlemen, that that thrown is occupied by a similar moderate.” BS. It is absolute 100% BS.
Another thing that Senator Specter is wrong about is when he says he thinks that Americans are concerned about having somebody who is too far one side, too far to the other side, and balance is critical. The pre-vacancy polling data on this shows that a vast majority, almost 60%, of the American people polled say that Bush ought to nominate a conservative. They didn’t say, I think Bush ought to nominate a balanced candidate. They didn’t say that at all. The pre-vacancy polls are very clear on this. So Senator Specter is, I think, off base in the substance of his comments on both points. Next question was, “How was your meeting with the President this afternoon Senator Specter?”
SPECTER: Well, there is certainly no announcements that I’m going to make here on the softball field. I’m not going to talk about a timeline either. I did not go to the White House incognito so it was apparent that I was there. But I’m sure you’ll understand this is the sort of thing I can’t talk about, at least this evening.
RUSH: So a lot of people were brought in yesterday. A lot of people were talked to. Clarence Thomas was invited to the state dinner last night for the Indian prime minister. He was there. There were wags buzzing about that. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. So, it’s all still fluent. Really, this business about Edith Clement, I don’t know what to tell you. There just isn’t anything. She basically was appointed by Bush 41 to the federal circuit and then Bush 43, I think, put her in 2001 where she is now — and so she has been there basically 3-4 years and there is just not a whole lot of a record to look at, and a lot of people think that is on purpose so the libs will have less to shoot at. But that is not how the libs will work this, folks. The libs are going to shoot at whoever. One of the problems, I think, with having a stealth candidate is I think you go for the homerun on every pick. You go for the grand slam. You get it done and out of the way the first time around so the other two become a little bit more proforma when you get the other two. Here is what I fear, at least at this point. You have this stealth candidate, and I’m not saying she is bad. I don’t know. I really I don’t know. I
f you go to certain websites you will find pro and con on her. I don’t know enough to tell you about her. But I can tell you — because she doesn’t have much of a record and may be a little bit of a stealth candidate — what you have here is the libs, and I think even if some of the libs like her, they are still going to make a big point on raising a ruckus. They are still going to make it look like she’s Genghis Khan. They will make it look like she’s the absolute worst thing down the pike just to get that on the record. Then they’ll say, “Okay, we’re going to let her through, but nobody more conservative than this. Nobody more conservative than this, Mr. President. We’ll see you on this one, but nobody more conservative than this.” I’m also a little bit suspicious if she gets a lot of Democrat support right off the get go. If a lot of Democrats sign off on this one I just have to tell you, my natural instincts are going to be a little red flag will start coming out. Not sure how high it will go, but setting the table here. This, of course, could be all a feint. It may not be Edith Clement. We don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see, but that is the buzz.
RUSH: Senator Kennedy appeared on CNN yesterday. Dana Bash asked him a couple questions. First off, she said, “Senator, President Bush is consulted with about 60 members of the Senate. That is almost two-thirds, even your colleague Senator Byrd who is a stickler for wanting consultation issued a statement saying he was quite pleased.” I told you Mr. Snerdley. They tried to embrace Byrd. I don’t know if they are trying to peel him off but they talked to him and he is quite pleased. “Are you pleased with the level of consultation, Senator Kennedy?”
THE SWIMMER: Certainly would appear that way, doesn’t it? Consultation is a two way street, it’s a process. We’ll know whether consultation is good when we know the final result — and consultation is not only asking members as they — Mr. Card asked me for people that I might suggest, but also for the President to share those names prior to the nomination with, I would expect, the ranking members of the judiciary committees and that they ought to be included, and then we’ll know finally whether this consolation is real or whether it has just been a process without meaning. That is why it is so important that the President get it right. I hope he gets it right. I hope that it will be a nominee that I can support with enthusiasm.
RUSH: I sure as hell don’t. If it is a nominee that Senator Kennedy can support with enthusiasm, I’m through. I’ve had it. I know it is not going to be. This arrogant old fool. It is just laughable to listen to these losers sit there and act like they won and because they lost, they actually should have won, so because they should have won they get rights to determine nominees and to consult and all of this. Bush has reached out. This ought to show everybody. Sixty senators brought in; he embraced Robert Byrd. Sheets, who got the warm, cocoon-like embrace of George W. Bush is not good enough for Senator Kennedy, (doing impression) “It is ongoing process. We haven’t been invited up there for happy hour yet. That is part of the process. We haven’t been invited up there for dinner, haven’t been invited for cognac and cigars after dinner. Until that happens I don’t know how seriously we can take this consultation process.” You just have to shake your head at these people.