A Blank Slate

Hoping to place a conservative on the Supreme Court without a bloody confirmation fight, Bush picks a man nobody knows

If there is anything George Bush dislikes more than eating broccoli, it is taking risks. Thus when he learned on July 20 that Justice William J. Brennan was retiring from the Supreme Court, Bush immediately recognized that in selecting someone to fill the vacancy he could be facing one of the biggest risks of his presidency. He quickly sought to defuse it.

With the high court poised to tilt decisively to the right on several inflammatory issues, a nominee publicly committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established the right to abortion, would provoke an outcry from the...

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