The buzz around the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for John Roberts last week was that one of the people President Bush may be considering to replace Justice Sandra Day O√?¬Ę√Ę‚??¬¨√Ę‚??¬ĘConnor is Alice M. Batchelder.
Batchelder is a Cleveland, Ohio-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. She was appointed to that bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Before that she was a federal district judge, appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Her husband, Bill Batchelder, a state judge, formerly served as a conservative state House member and was the Ohio chairman of Reagan√?¬Ę√Ę‚??¬¨√Ę‚??¬Ęs 1980 campaign. Judge Alice Batchelder was one of two appellate court judges who upheld Ohio√?¬Ę√Ę‚??¬¨√Ę‚??¬Ęs partial-birth abortion ban in 2003, and last year she issued a powerful dissent from a ruling that ordered a local judge to remove a framed Ten Commandments from his courtroom. Politically, a Batchelder nomination would be a plus because of her conservative credentials and because she is from Ohio√?¬Ę√Ę‚??¬¨"a key swing state, where her views are popular. On the other hand, she is 61 years old.