Conservatives Speculate Over Bush Nomination

President Bush may make his first nomination to the Supreme Court this week, and some conservative advocates say he may be focusing on a woman.

"My desire is to get this process moving so that someone will be confirmed — whoever he or she is — will be confirmed by October" when the court reconvenes," Bush said Monday.

An anonymous source told the Associated Press that a leading candidate was Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans. However, White House officials have refused to discuss the names of the prospects.

The nominee, if affirmed by the Senate, would replace retire Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman appointed to the court.

Christian conservatives and special interest groups in Washington have been keeping close watch on the prospective nominee list, and have urged Bush to nominate a conservative, “strict constitutionalist” to the court.

In an online petition, the Family Research Council encouraged readers to send a message to the president to let him know he has their support if he “keeps his promise and nominates a candidate like Justice [Antonin] Scalia or [Clarence] Thomas” – both known for their conservative track-record.

The vacancy in the High Court “presents the most important opportunity we may have for decades to stop the nation's courts from stripping away our Judeo-Christian heritage,” the petition reads “Justice O'Connor MUST be replaced by a conservative justice who will honor the constitution and not make laws from the bench.”

Today, the FRC will be hosting a pastors-only conference call regarding the Supreme Court vacancy and “what the Christian community can do to assure that we do not miss this ‘once in our lifetime’ opportunity to see God-fearing judges on the Supreme Court.”

The conference call is a pre-curser to a wider-ranging event planned out for August, dubbed “Justice Sunday II – God Save the United States and this Honorable Court.” It is designed to highlight the important issues affecting social conservatives – religious freedom, gay marriage, abortion – and the opportunity they have to shift the court to a solid 5-4 majority in favor of their positions.

The telecast will feature FRC President Tony Perkins along with a host of religious conservative leaders, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson.

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