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If it's Edith C., the wingnuts will be mad

Judge Edith Brown Clement, left, is seen with President Bush as he introduces his federal judicial appointments on May 9, 2001, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

[UPDATE: more bio info on Clement below.]

Real Values is still holding firm that the SCOTUS pick will be Edith Brown Clement, and speculates that the Right won’t be happy with her…

If, as I have been reporting since last night, the President’s nominee to the SCOTUS is 5th Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement, how will the far right react? They have been bashing Gonzales as too moderate, but check out this Q&A; from Clement’s confirmation hearing to the 5th Circuit:

Question (by Senator Kennedy (D-MA): Do you believe the constitutional right to privacy encompasses a woman’s right to have an abortion?

Answer (Clement): The Supreme Court has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion. The cases handed down by the Supreme Court on the right to abortion have reaffirmed and redefined this right, and the law is settled in that regard. If confirmed, I will faithfully apply Supreme Court precedent.

UPDATE: Reuters has more, including confirmation that the timing has been moved up to take the spotlight off of the Toad. They are openly admitting it, folks. Now we have to see if the press will take the bait. Keep on message.

A leading candidate is Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, the Republican said.

…Republicans believe that nominating a woman — or someone who is Hispanic — might help Bush avoid a bitter partisan battle over his choice for the court, which rules on many social issues like abortion and civil rights.

Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove.

A Republican strategist with close to the White House described Clement as the leading candidate. “She’s pretty untouchable,” he said. “Plus, it helps take Rove off the front pages for a week.”

Oh, and yes, the wingers are mad about any choice that might be perceived as mainstream, and they growing even more strident. If I were Arlen Specter, I’d watch my back.

Pro-life and pro-family groups are outraged over suggestions from some GOP officials that sanctity-of-life advocates should restrict their comments in the debate over judicial nominees. Pro-choice Republican Arlen Specter has called pro-life groups counterproductive and insulting for their outspoken pressure on George W. Bush to keep his election campaign promises by nominating pro-life judges to the federal bench. Meanwhile, even the president is urging pro-life supporters to tone down their rhetoric. But at a recent rally at the White House, Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition issued a vehement response to that suggestion. “Mr. President,” he shouted, “you cannot tell us to hand out literature during campaigns, make phone calls in phone banks, canvass neighborhoods and then, on the most critical decision you will make, [tell us] to be still.” While the rally took place, eight people — including six teenagers — were arrested as they knelt and prayed on a public sidewalk outside the White House.

I’ve got Freeper commentary on the Clement speculation.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding