In any other year I would say (and let me emphasize, before some wing-nut accuses me of insensitivity toward the former Chief Justice's family, that I speak solely from the standpoint of the court) ...good riddance! But knowing Bush Co.'s penchant for unbridled, ideological zealotry, the chances that Rehnquist's replacement will do irreversible damage to the Constitution are almost certain.
Here's hoping that the new Chief Justice will move to the center as most Supreme Court appointees do.
Get ready for Justice Ashcroft. ;)
Damn! That would be tragic--a man who doesn't believe that the Constitution is worth the paper it's printed on--but it's unlikely. Republicans usually elevate from within the court, and Bush has a ready made ideologue in Scalia. There is no way the Democrats will fillibuster a sitting justice, and then Bush can use Scalia's vacancy to get a third appointment.