Bush hinted Monday he might choose a woman or minority member, but some outside advisers were intrigued by another part of his comments. The president said he had interviewed and considered people from "all walks of life."Hmmmm... Could it be "Roberts, Part Deux"?
That raised speculation that Bush was actively considering people who were not on the bench -- such as Miers, a Texas lawyer and the president's former personal attorney, and Thompson, who was the federal government's highest ranking black law enforcement official when he was deputy attorney general during Bush's first term.
[Jay] Sekulow [American Center for Law & Justice] said he's heard Miers' name mentioned "fairly significantly" during the past two days. She doesn't have judicial experience, but she's a "well-respected lawyer -- someone the president trusts."
Two other judicial activists, including one with contacts at the White House, said they too had heard Miers' name mentioned, but agreed with Sekulow, who cautioned, "I don't think anybody has that crystal ball but the president."
Miers is leading the White House effort to help Bush choose a nominee to the Supreme Court, so naming her would follow a move Bush made in 2000 when he tapped the man leading his search committee for a running mate -- Dick Cheney.
"Given the Cheney precedent and the president's well-known loyalty to his aides, it's certainly possible the president could turn to Harriet," said Brad Berenson, a lawyer who formerly worked in the counsel's office of the Bush White House.