I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement. I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits.
This simplifies the negotiations that will take place, but also gives Bush less leverage. The question now is how long Rehnquist's health will permit.
On another note, what's going on with Alberto Gonzalez? His is the only name that's being floated in the media as under consideration for the Supreme Court seat. According to PressEsc, a group called Human Rights First is opposed to Gonzalez. On the other hand, Harry Reid had this to say:
Alberto Gonzales is qualified. He's attorney general of the United States and a former Texas judge, but having said that he's qualified, I don't know if he'd have an easy way through.
So with Reid backing Gonzalez the possibility of obstruction from liberals if he is nominated is greatly decreased. However, it seems like half the liberals are opposed to Gonzalez, and half are in favor. Those that are in favor of Gonzalez see him as the least of evils, and that is Reid's justification. Those Democrats that have decided that they will oppose any Bush nominee are making the wrong choice.
Gonzalez has also split the right. Bush is standing behind his man, but many conservatives have stated 'concerns.' Free Republic's article The Conservative Case Against Al Gonzales explains what some of these concerns are.
In truth, the case against Gonzales revolves around one question: Is he a judicial activist?
Doe sought the "mature and sufficiently well informed" exemption because, as Owen later noted, she "feared that her parents would no longer provide financial assistance to her if they knew she had an abortion."