Controversial Supreme Court pick could ‘chill’ climate effort – report

I quote Kevin Book of the consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners in a piece this morning about the Senate climate change bill – he says backers must show progress fast given all the competing Senate priorities.

ClearView, in a research note today, look more closely at the effect of the looming Senate battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. They say that a “consensus” nominee would leave enough time for the upcoming Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill, while a controversial pick could “chill” the climate effort and consume the remaining Senate calendar. They write:

Even mild controversy could diminish prospects for a climate bill, because any non-consensus nominee could consume the attention those Senators who are leading, or providing strong support to, the climate efforts that have gathered momentum during the past several months. For example, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been active during past reviews of judicial nominees. Should Senator Graham become embroiled in a lengthy Court fight, the “tri-partisan” team now driving climate and energy compromise legislation – Senator Graham and Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I/D-CT) – could lose the necessary focus of one of its leaders.