Michael McConnell Focus of Early Speculation on Miers Replacement

Speculation on Harriet Miers’s replacement has begun. Two top Beltway insider publications, ABC’s The Note and Hotline, are focusing on 50-year-old Utah native Michael McConnell. Here’s the Note:

Fast replacement? White males need apply? Does Miers keep her White House job? Leaks about how Miers got picked? Will anyone but historians read the Miers do-over questionnaire which was about to be released? Lessons for the President? Lessons for the conservative movement? What will Rush say at noon?

Stay tuned . . . .

(Oh, and Michael W. McConnell.)


Also, Hotline blog:

One name we’re hearing a lot this morning (including from a White House official) is appeals court judge Michael McConnell, who is based in Utah.

Some facts on McConnell, courtesy of ACSBlog:

— On privacy and reproductive rights: “While he has yet to have ruled on a case related to reproductive rights, in 1996 McConnell signed a statement in support of a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions. The statement read, ‘We believe that the abortion license is a critical factor in America’s virtue-deficit.’” — On environmental protection and property rights: “Writing for a unanimous panel in Biodiversity Associates v. Cables, 2004, McConnell upheld a federal law that permitted logging in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota.” — On federalism: “McConnell appears to adhere to the principles of the Constitution In Exile movement that criticizes the federal courts for granting too much deference to the legislative and executive branches of government.” — On sexual harrassment: “McConnell criticized the Supreme Court’s 1998 opinions that have helped to combat sexual harassment. McConnell called the court’s decisions in Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, which held that employers could be liable for sexual harassment by suprvisors, losses for the ‘conservatives on the Court’ that would result in ‘unleashing plaintiffs’ lawyers on the nation’s workplaces to enforce codes of civil behavior’ and ‘fear and resentment.’”

Cultural right leader Jay Seculow of the American Center for Law and Justice said last summer that “Michael McConnell would be my choice.” Perhaps he’ll get his wish.