From today's New York Times, an interesting story suggesting that the battle for the next Justice on the United States Supreme Court is already over. Excerpts below (emphasis added):
Republicans in Senate Lower Expectations of a Court Fight
By Neil A. Lewis
WASHINGTON — While there is growing anticipation that the summer will bring the spectacle of a pitched Supreme Court confirmation battle, some Senate Republicans are lowering expectations that they are planning any major political fight.
President Obama has not yet named his choice to succeed Justice David H. Souter, but several Republicans acknowledge that it is unlikely they will be able to derail the nomination absent some startling revelation about the candidate.
Those Republicans, including senior staff aides and some senators, suggested in interviews that they believed Mr. Obama’s first nominee for the court would be confirmed without great difficulty no matter how they framed the issues during the confirmation process.
SenatorJeff Sessions, of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, has said he would not necessarily be opposed to a nominee who is gay or an abortion rights advocate. In a recent interview, Mr. Sessions made it clear that whatever his preferences for resistance on the nominee, he could count the numbers.
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A second top Republican Senate aide, also not connected to Mr. Sessions, said, referring to Mr. Obama, “Elections have consequences; he won.” “Obviously, we’re going to stand up for our principles,” the aide continued, “but the other side has won this right to choose someone this time.”