MORE HEADACHES FROM KENNEDY?: Here's a prediction for you. Bush nominates a through-and-through conservative to the high court. However, cases like Grutter v. Bollinger and Stenberg v. Carhart, in which O'Connor provided the crucial fifth vote, will not be overturned. Continuing his leftward trend, Justice Kennedy will vote to uphold the decisions in all these cases, citing his buddy stare decisis. Even if he sided with the conservatives on these major cases, he won't resist to change sides. After all, he's the same Kennedy who criticized Roe, then voted to reaffirm it in Planned Parenthood. He's the same Kennedy who declared the death penalty for juveniles constitutional in the late 1980's, but had a change of heart on that this year.

Perhaps I'm just trying to quell my excitement over replacing O'Connor with a reliable strict constructionist, but it very well make take a Stevens retirement before we see major changes on the high court.

By the way, my prediction assumes that Rehnquist either does not retire or retires and is replaced by a justice with a judicial philosophy similar to that of Rehnquist.

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