Sources: Bush could announce next court pick Friday
From Dana Bash
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush could announce his next Supreme Court pick as early as Friday, a day after John Roberts is expected to be confirmed as chief justice, administration officials close to the process told CNN Monday.
Bush earlier in the day hinted he was leaning toward a woman or minority candidate.
"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country," he said. "I have interviewed people in the past and thought about people from all walks of life." (Related story)
Bush did not indicate when he might submit his pick, although the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said it could come Friday.
The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Roberts as chief justice on Thursday.
The sources also confirmed the search is focused on women and minorities.
However, White House advisers are holding their cards very close to the vest, with only a handful of top officials being kept in the loop on who is really on the short list.
One Bush adviser with knowledge of the president's thinking suggested appellate judges Edith Jones or Edith Clement -- considered by some court observers as top conservative female justices -- are not likely to be picked to replace Sandra Day O'Connor.
As for minority candidates, Bush advisers are not ruling out former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson as one of the names on the short list.
The officials also said the White House is mindful of the fact that Democrats have suggested they would filibuster female candidates Priscilla Owen and Janice Rodgers Brown.
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