On Second Thought

By selecting Breyer as his nominee, Clinton bypassed his favorites and opted for a quick confirmation

The call from the President came shortly before midnight on Wednesday. For nearly a month Bruce Babbitt had been heralded as the inside favorite to fill the coming vacancy on the Supreme Court, and now Bill Clinton wanted to talk to him. Could he come over to the White House? Minutes later, Babbitt, in chinos, and Clinton, wearing jeans and an open-collar shirt, were sitting in the upstairs kitchen, carving up the remains of a mangled apple pie, drinking decaf and watching the late, come-from-behind victory of the Phoenix Suns over the Houston Rockets.

The two men meandered into the President's...

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