Wag the court?

Republican strategists say that Bush may nominate Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement this week.

Published July 18, 2005 1:45PM (EDT)

It's not exactly wagging the dog, but it's something awfully close: Although the White House has said that George W. Bush will take his time in deciding on a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor, Republican strategists tell the Washington Post that Bush has narrowed his list to a few finalists and may make an announcement this week.

The old White House strategy of delaying a nomination seemed to be aimed at denying Democrats and advocacy groups time to ramp up opposition to a particular nominee. Now there's a different political concern in play. With the story of administration involvement in the outing of Valerie Plame outside its control and getting worse by the day, the White House needs some way to change the subject. A Supreme Court nomination may be just what the doctor ordered.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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