The Supreme Court ended its term yesterday, recessing until October ... and Chief Justice William Rehnquist did not, as many expected, announce his retirement.
That doesn't especially surprise me -- Supreme Court justices are notoriously unpredictable and independent. Hell, maybe Rehnquist, who is often more moderate than he's given credit for, just doesn't want his successor appointed by George W. Bush.
On the other hand, the White House reaction to questions on the matter leaves me suspicious. From Wired News:
At the White House on Monday, where spokesmen have said President Bush was ready to step in with a quick nomination if there is an opening, spokesman Scott McClellan refused to answer questions about whether the White House had been notified of any vacancy."
"I'm not going to go down that road, I wouldn't read anything into it one way or the other. If, obviously, there is something to announce, I imagine it would come out of the Supreme Court," McClellan said.
A classic non-answer.
Prediction: Rehnquist will give notice of his retirement on the afternoon that the Senate goes into its holiday recess. Bush will make a recess appointment -- effectively putting whomever he wants in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court through 2006, if I read it right. From C-SPAN:
Any recess appointment the President makes during the first session of a Congress will last until the end of its second session [each Congress is split into two sessions of approximately one year each].
If I'm right, you read it here first. If not ... well, you read it here first anyway.
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