Off The Bench?

Think the Ashcroft battle was ugly? The war over our next Supreme Court Justice could start soon

Soon after the John Ashcroft confirmation battle, a Democratic elder statesman sidled up to George W. Bush at a White House gathering. "You know, Mr. President," he said, "you can handle the Russians. You can handle the Iraqis. The one thing you can't handle is one of those Supreme Court Justices quitting on you."

"I hadn't thought of it that way," Bush replied. "But you may be right."

The test could come this summer. Most Supreme Court scholars think two members--Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 76, and Sandra Day O'Connor, who is nearly 71 and was the first woman on the...

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