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Bush 'picks judge for top court'

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President George W Bush will nominate federal appeals court judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court on Monday, US media reports say.

Mr Alito has a long judicial record and is seen as a staunch conservative.

Mr Bush's first choice, Harriet Miers, withdrew following opposition from both Democrats and conservative Republicans.

The new nomination comes at a tense time for the White House, with a senior aide to the vice-president having been indicted in connection with a CIA leak.

If he is appointed to the Supreme Court, the 55-year-old Mr Alito would take the place of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is seen as holding a key swing vote.

The nomination is expected officially to be announced at 1300 GMT.

US Supreme Court

Once nominated by a US president, candidates must be approved by the Senate before they can take a seat on the nine-member Supreme Court bench.

Mr Alito is considered a quiet and reserved member of the federal appeals courts, sitting on the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

From New Jersey and of Italian background, he was appointed to the bench in 1990 by the first President George Bush.

He is known for consistently conservative judgements, leading commentators to compare him to current Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Republican Senator Jon Cornyn has praised Mr Alito as a "man of outstanding character, who is deeply committed to public service", the Reuters news agency reports.

Consensus urged

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told CNN on Sunday that a nomination for Mr Alito would "create a lot of problems".

Mr Reid and other Democrats urged the president to pick a consensus candidate rather than bowing to pressure from conservative Republicans.

The justices of the Supreme Court have immense power and are appointed until they die, resign or are impeached.

They can overrule politicians and declare decisions of the president unconstitutional.

In the near future, the court is expected to consider some of America's most bitterly contested social issues, including assisted suicide, abortion, same-sex marriage, human cloning and campaign finance law.


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First Bush appoints Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, who was obviously the worst Supreme Court nominee possible. The plan all along was to nominate a white woman to the Supreme Court to make everyone’s first reaction be, well at least it is a woman, but than we learn it is the worst woman (person) possible for the job, then suddenly Miers withdrawals from the nomination. Now Bush nominates the all mighty whitey to unite the Republicans who were never not united in the first place.

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w00t lets turn it into a race issue


*swings a dead cat around by the tail*

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Give me a break!!! Is there a quota that mandates that when a woman leaves the Supreme Court a woman must replace her?? If a woman isn't nominated, does the candidate have to be a black person??

It's time the left stopped being racist and sexist. There are only a handful of people that can be considered the 'top' candidates for the US Supreme Court (Harriet Miers was not one of them). Why is it that when a white male is selected, all we here from the left is 'whitey'. If the President would have nominated a black person, they would call him 'Uncle Tom' and say that he 'wasn't black enough'. Remember Clarence Thomas??

I disagree with 4dplane. The republicans were always united. That is why Miers stepped down, and Bush nominated someone that was more conservative and had a proven track record.

That is one of the big differences between the conservatives and the liberals. Conservatives hold their representitives accountable for their actions. Bush made a mistake with his first nomination, and the republicans let him hear about it. If Bill Clinton would have nominated a cactus, the left would have rallied around him and supported the move.

Alito is a brilliant constitutional scholar that has spent almost 15 years on the federal bench. There is no doubt that he is qualified for the Supreme Court.

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