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Bush to meet Senate leaders on second Supreme Court vacancy

[JURIST] With the confirmation hearings on Judge John Roberts [JURIST news archive] concluded and the nominee apparently well on his way to a favorable Senate vote and formal appointment as the new Chief Justice of the United States, President Bush Friday signaled he was turning his attention to a second high court vacancy by calling in Senate leaders for consultations on the remaining court opening. The President will meet Wednesday at the White House with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Democratic leader Harry Reid, Sen. Arlen Specter, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. At issue is the replacement for retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who Roberts was initially tipped to replace [JURIST report] before the unexpected death earlier this month of Chief Justice William Rehnquist [JURIST news archive]. Democrats are urging the appointment of a moderate to replace O'Connor, who was often a swing vote on an ideologically-divided court. Bush is also being pressed in some quarters to appoint another woman, or a minority member. AP has more.

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