A New York Times article on the replacement candidate for Harriet Miers says this:
In choosing a replacement for Harriet E. Miers, President Bush may feel less of a need to select a woman to fill the seat of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, several lawyers and analysts said Thursday.
The lawyers and analysts, all of whom have been involved in directly or indirectly counseling the White House about Supreme Court selections, also said that because of Mr. Bush's desire to move quickly, he would probably choose from the roster of candidates whom he has considered before and whose backgrounds and records have been extensively researched.
The consensus among the handful of people who spoke about Mr. Bush's situation was that in addition to deciding whether he had the leeway to replace Justice O'Connor with a man, Mr. Bush will have to deal with other more pressing political questions in making his selection.
Cold. Ice cold to read this:
in addition to deciding whether he had the leeway to replace Justice O'Connor with a man, Mr. Bush will have to deal with other more pressing political questions in making his selection.
And then we go back to a Supreme Court with one woman and eight men, a court which is to decide whether abortion remains legal in this country, a court which will use the assumed opinions of eighteenth century gentlemen to determine how women should live not only today but in the future, too. For the more pressing political questions the article refers to have everything to do with how the judges interpret the Constitution. This is not some murky question in legal theory, of interest only to a few geeks, but something that will boil down to real changes in the everyday lives of Americans. Will reproductive choice disappear? Will it be perfectly fine for firms to discriminate in hiring and firing and promotions in terms of sex and race? These questions and others like them will depend on the constitutional views of the Supreme Court Judges. So in an ironic sense "the more pressing political questions" are largely about women, too, only not about women in the steering seat.
I was listening to Charlie Rose tonight, while doing something else with my eyes than watching, and I heard a long conversation about the Miers question, between two or three wingnuts. The consensus seemed to be that O'Connor's seat can now become a white male seat. That the majority of Americans are not male or soon even not white (if not already) is neither here nor there, I guess.