Prepping for war
War is serious business. The New York Times has the details on the Supreme Court nominations to come.
With the presidential race over and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist ill with thyroid cancer, the Washington advocacy establishment - that vast machinery of special interest groups, research institutions and pundits who thrive on the periphery of politics - is gearing up for the next big fight: the battle over the Supreme Court."This will be a repeat, and all the organizations that were engaged in work around the election, from big groups to small groups, will feel that this is their own personal fight," said Nan Aron, the president of the Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group.
Ms. Aron said her office had been flooded with calls from students, lawyers and activists "who were involved in get-out-the-vote work and now want to turn their attention to the Supreme Court."Like the presidential election, a Supreme Court nomination fight will feature polling, paid television advertising and grass-roots organizing. Ms. Aron said she had been "on the road for weeks," recruiting volunteers and trying to build networks in various states. Mr. Neas said liberal groups planned to survey American attitudes on issues like civil rights, the environment and abortion, to gather data for an eventual advocacy campaign.
And like the presidential election, a nomination fight will be expensive. Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group, said his organization expected to spend $3 million to $5 million. The money, Mr. Sekulow said, is already in the bank.
"There's a comprehensive game plan that will unfold upon the retirement," said Mr. Sekulow, who has taken part in the Gray-Meese strategy talks. "It's already in process. It's going to include everything from media, paid media, to grass roots in various states where senators are up for re-election in '06, to position papers on potential nominees."
And the kicker:
There will even be a war room. People for the American Way built it, with 35 computers, Mr. Neas said, to function as "a nerve center" during a confirmation battle.