President Bush nominated Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to the Supreme Court today, four days after his previous choice withdrew her nomination. The nomination is likely to please Mr. Bush’s conservative allies, whose sharp attacks on Harriet E. Miers were instrumental in prompting her to withdraw last week. But the president is more likely to get a battle from Democrats and liberals who may believe Judge Alito’s views are too extreme. Mr. Bush described Judge Alito as having an “extraordinary breadth of experience” and as being “tough and fair.” Referring to his long career and his current role on the appeals court, the president said Judge Alito now has “more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years.”
“I urge the senate to act promptly so that an up or down vote is held before the end of this year,” Mr. Bush said at the White House as he presented Judge Alito as his nominee.
The new attempt at nominating a second Supreme Court justice presents a rare opportunity for Mr. Bush to revitalize his political base and to put his mark on the court at a time when the White House is besieged.