Bush has now nominated Roberts for Chief Justice. It makes sense for Bush to do this because O’Conner says she will remain until her successor has been confirmed:
President Bush on Monday nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice and called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3. Just 50 years old, Roberts could shape the court for decades to come.
The swift move would promote to the Supreme Court’s top job a newcomer who currently is being considered as one of eight associate justices. It would also ensure a full 9-member court, because retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has said she will remain on the job until her replacement is confirmed.
It also seems that my pessismistic prediction of an inevitable Democrat filibuster is wrong. Though many liberal groups have opposed Roberts’ nomination, it is likely he will be confirmed before the beginning of the next Supreme Court term, which starts October 3rd.
That’s the lite version of the current situation, but for a more in depth look, check this post out at SCOTUSblog. O’Conner has been put into quite a pickle. My totally uneducated prediction is she’ll stay on.