Democratic Underground

Supreme Court Hot Potatoe
July 21, 2001
by FDRLincoln

Bush Considers Quayle for Supreme Court
*** Democratic Underground Exclusive! ***

Washington, DC - President George W. Bush surprised political observers today by suggesting in an interview with the Washington Times newspaper that former Vice President Dan Quayle would make "a fine Supreme Court justice." With Court justices John Paul Stevens, William Rehnquist, and Sandra Day O'Connor rumored to be considering retirement within the next four years, the president may have an opportunity to shape the ideology of the sharply-divided court for years to come. In the interview with the Times, Bush was asked about whom he would consider for the court.

"I think Dan Quayle would be an excellent choice," Bush said. "He is an experienced jurist, has a fine legal mind, and has the strict constructionist stance on the Constitution that I would be looking for in a nominee."

When pressed by the interviewer about Quayle's qualifications, Bush defended the former Vice President and senator from Indiana. "I've known Dan Quayle for years, and I think he is one of the most smartest (sic) men in American politics today. Very, very loyal." Bush went on to describe negative public perceptions of Quayle as "unfair" and a product of "liberal median (sic) bias."

Informed by reporters of Bush's comments regarding Quayle, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) said only, "I have to question President Bush's judgment about this, as well as many other issues." His staff promised a more detailed response tomorrow. Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) was unavailable for comment, but Senator John Breaux (D-Louisiana) promised that Quayle, should he be nominated, would "receive strong bipartisan consideration." Other Democratic senators, speaking off the record, predicted a "firestorm" of protest in the words of one Northeastern senator.

GOP officials were more sanguine. Minority leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) predicted that Quayle, as a former senator, would be easily confirmed if nominated. "Dan Quayle is in the mainstream of American legal thought," said Lott, who further predicted that "unabashed liberal elitists in the press will attack him, but the American people will stand by the president's choice." Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said that Quayle "is a brilliant lawyer, and would be a credit to the Court." Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell said that Quayle "would be the best nominee since Clarence Thomas."

Quayle himself, when informed of the President's suggestion, said "I would be most honorede to serv on the Suprem Courte."

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