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July 8, 2005 3:00 AM

Parties at odds over Senate's role in picking high court nominee

When President Bush meets this week with senators to discuss the Supreme Court, the question hanging over their session will be one thats troubled such talks for generations: What role does the Senate play in picking a justice? Democrats will go into the meeting insisting that the president heed their advice before nominating someone to replace Justice Sandra Day O Connor and perhaps Chief Justice William Rehnquist as well. They and their allies insist thats not only good politics but also what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Republicans insist that Bush is simply being polite by consulting the Senate. They say the Senate doesnt really get a say until after the nomination is made, when the Senate gets to vote yes or no.

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