Controlling the Supreme Court

Yes, we all know that one of the most important powers that the president has is to nominate people to the Supreme Court. This presidential power is then checked by the requirement of Senate confirmation.

Or is it? At least temporarily, the president can make a recess appointment, which doesn’t require Senate confirmation. Now consider the following scenario: the election’s outcome is left to the courts due to close vote counts and various legal challenges; the case quickly is moved to the Supreme Court again to decide; Rehnquist is not yet recovered sufficiently from his thyroid cancer, and without his vote the S.C. would be deadlocked at 4-4; at the request of the White House Rehnquist steps down so Bush can make a recess appointment to the S.C. of whomever he wants.

Far fetched? Perhaps, but the White House is apparently considering this scenario quite seriously.