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Bush promises to consult with Senate on Supreme Court nomination

[JURIST] After a protracted Senate battle over judicial nominees [JURIST report], President Bush Tuesday pledged to consult [press conference transcript] with members of the Senate on an upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court:

I'm obviously going to spend a lot of time reviewing the records of a variety of people and looking at their opinions and their character, and will consult with members of the United States Senate at the appropriate time.

I know there's been a lot of talk about consultation between the White House and the Senate, and we do consult -- obviously, we consult on district judges -- and that we listen to their opinions on appellate judges -- "their" opinions being the opinions from the home state senators, as well as others.

I look forward to talking to members of the Senate about the Supreme Court process to get their opinions, as well, and will do so -- and will do so. But, obviously, it's -- I told the American people I would find people of a certain temperament that would serve on the bench, and I intend to do that, but we will consult with the Senate.
This is the first time Bush has spoken of the possibility of a vacancy on the Court since Chief Justice William Rehnquist [Wikipedia profile] announced last fall that he is suffering from thyroid cancer. Rehnquist is widely expected to retire at the end of the current session later this month. Reuters has more.

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