Posted Jun 26, 2007 02:34 pm CDT
Vice President Dick Cheney led a committee that vetted potential Supreme Court candidates, producing a short list of finalists who shared his views on expansive executive power, the Washington Post reports.
Bush selected John G. Roberts from the short list, first to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and then to become chief justice when William H. Rehnquist died.
But Bush ignored the list when he nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers, who later withdrew amid criticism over her credentials. Her replacement, Samuel A. Alito Jr., was on the list.
Others on the list were U.S. Court of Appeals Judges James Harvie Wilkinson III, J. Michael Luttig and Edith Brown Clement.
The finalists supported expansive executive power and limited congressional authority, the story says. Most had records indicating that believed affirmative action was unconstitutional, a view also held by Cheney.
The Post is publishing a four-part series on Cheney’s influence. Another story reports that Cheney was a key architect of the Bush administration’s plan to evade the Geneva conventions and develop harsh interrogation methods for prisoners suspected of terrorism.