"While I know Harriet would have made a fine justice, I didn't think enough about how the selection would be perceived by others," Mr. Bush writes. "I put my friend in an impossible situation. If I had to do it over again, I would not have thrown Harriet to the wolves of Washington."...But Roberts was originally picked for the O'Connor position. The idea of appointing a woman, then, didn't matter all that much.
--After he tapped Roberts for chief justice when William Rehnquist died, he only considered women candidates to replace O'Connor. "I didn't like the idea of the Supreme Court having only one woman."
--There were "frustrating roadblocks" for most of the women candidates. When several senators said they were impressed by Miers, he concluded "she would make an outstanding justice." Miers was "shocked" when he asked if she was interested.In addition to Miers, Bush says he considered Patricia Owen, but he thought Miers would be easier to confirm. After all the trouble with Miers, he switched to Alito, who, he writes, was "ill at ease" with Bush at first. Bush relaxed him by talking about baseball.
--No one in the White House ever suggested conservatives would revolt over her nomination. Bush suggests the opposition was elitist because Miers didn't go to an Ivy League school and "is not glib."
Bush says wanted to avoid appointing another Souter — Souter, who disappointed Bush's father, by "evolv[ing] into a different kind of judge."
--Roberts was not the unanimous choice. Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales backed Judge Mike Luttig. Miers supported Alito. Chief of Staff Andy Card and adviser Karl Rove favored Roberts. (Which means J. Harvie Wilkinson and Edith Brown Clement, the other two contenders early on, didn't have prominent backers.)It seems that Roberts has a special appeal to Bush, who liked his "gentle soul" and "quick smile."
--Brett Kavanaugh, now a federal appeals court judge, told Bush Luttig, Alito and Roberts would all be solid justices. He suggested Bush ask a "tiebreaker question" of which man would be the most effective leader. To Bush, that was Roberts.