My colleague John Gizzi and I were traipsing through the Capitol moments ago and ran into Sen. Orrin Hatch, the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, whose support for Sen. Arlen Specter last year was crucial to Specter’s winning the chairmanship.
When I asked Hatch if Specter would back the President’s next Supreme Court nominee, he avoided answering my question, but did offer this assessment: “Here’s done a good job so far.”
It remains to be seen if Specter will support President Bush. So far, he’s exceeded most people’s expectations on nominees such as Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen, who Specter ushered through his committee earlier this year.
Hatch, by the way, offered no clues on the next nominee, but other Capitol Hill sources are betting on Owen, who was part of the Gang of 14’s deal to avoid the “nuclear option” this summer. But it’s Brown who remains journalists’ favorite wildcard—if for no other reason than she’ll provoke a fierce fight.