I have no special insight into the Supreme Court nomination process. I only note here that it seems interesting to me that both Tradesports and Intrade (navigate to Legal/Supreme Court) exchange networks show Judge Samuel A. Alito to be a heavy favorite.
So, it appears that those who think that they know enough about the process to be willing to risk their own money on it believe that Alito is the most likely nominee.
I should also note that Todd Zywicki of the Volokh Conspiracy doesn’t put any faith in these markets when it comes to picking Supreme Court nominees.
In any event, from what I’ve read, any of the major favorites (Alito, Luttig, McConnell among the men; and Brown, Jones among the women) would make fine justices. I’d prefer Kozinski or Volokh to these, but we’ll probably have to wait a while for that much wisdom to reach the White House and Senate.
I suspect that Bush has learned his lesson about counting on Republican support for nominees who aren’t obviously well-qualified for the Court, so the consensus around these well-qualified judges seems sound on that score.
We’ll probably hear who the next nominee is pretty soon.
UPDATE: It looks like the exchange networks were right this time. Lots of knowledgeable bloggers are saying that Alito is like Roberts: brilliant, congenial, conservative; and would be easily confirmed by any reasonable process. Let’s hope we have one.