Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. -- the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- said the nomination of judges who had been filibustered against before this year "would represent an unnecessary provocation and would be met by substantial opposite in the Senate."
The letter comes the day before the Senate has a scheduled vote on the nomination of U.S. Judge John Roberts to replace the late William Rehnquist as chief justice -- a vote Reid and Leahy say Roberts will win. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has stated she wants to retire and Bush is said to be close to selecting someone for that spot on the court.
"Justice O'Connor has been a voice of moderation and reason during her two decades of service. Just as Chief Justice Rehnquist will be replaced by a man who shares his general judicial philosophy, Justice O'Connor should be replaced by a mainstream candidate, not an activist who would bring an ideological agenda to the Court," the senators said in their letter.