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AP Supreme Court Kremlinology

Potential Supreme Court Nominees:
* James Harvie Wilkinson III, appointed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., by President Reagan in 1984. He has built a solidly conservative record.

* Larry Thompson, deputy attorney general and the Bush administration's highest-ranking black law-enforcement official until he quit in 2003. He is general counsel at PepsiCo.

* John Roberts, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2003 and former Rehnquist clerk.

* Michael McConnell, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A respected conservative legal scholar, he enjoys bipartisan support in the academic community.

* J. Michael Luttig, a Texas native who worked in the Justice Department during the first Bush administration. He was named to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991.

* Samuel Alito Jr., a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. He is nicknamed "Scalito" because he has views like Scalia.

* Edith Jones, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and former general counsel for the Texas Republican Party.

* Emilio Miller Garza, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. President Bush's father considered the Hispanic judge a Supreme Court prospect.

* Theodore B. Olson, Bush's solicitor general until last summer. He represented Bush in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case at the Supreme Court.
McConnell may be the best of these. Liberal academics that have worked with him note his intellectual integrity. Is a nutjob with integrity better than the alternative?


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