Local Supreme Court Nominee?

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

July 13, 2005

With one member of the Supreme Court already retiring this month, President Bush has some decisions to make about the future of the high court. One local woman could play a part in that decision.

Professor Lillian BeVier has taught law at the University of Virginia for over 30 years. Her future, however, may be a part of something much bigger.

With the recent retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the ailing health of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the face of the high court may be changing.

"There are a lot of possibilities. Of course a lot of it depends on who the President nominates and his ability to get his choices confirmed by the Senate," said Lillian BeVier.

Lillian BeVier has years of experience amongst the brightest people in the field of law. Because of this experience, ABC News believes she is among several candidates on the short list for the bench. Even though she has seen it before, she thinks differently.

"I would be very surprised to know that. It is quite flattering and quite silly. They are just looking for names to put on the list. I would not take it seriously if I were you. I don't take it seriously," she said.

BeVier says there are many reasons why she is not a short list candidate, among them, her age and unsuccessful nomination to the federal bench. She says the future road for any nominee will be difficult.

"It's very likely to be a very hard fight. Anyone who lets his or her name go forward, deserves our respect," she said.

Whomever the nominee, BeVier believes they must possess some innate qualities.

"Someone of genuine intellectual ability and stature. And also, of course you want someone of simply superb character," BeVier said.

While meeting with reporters today, President Bush mentioned he was weighing all of his options, including selecting someone with no experience for the bench, who might even be a female. The Supreme Court is in recess for the summer. They will reconvene in October.

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