Justice Rehnquist is dead.
A few months too late... or, rather, about three and a half years too early. This could be a mess. I'm figuring it is. I was hoping that he'd have to tender his resignation at the same time as O'Connor, which would make it difficult for Bush to appoint two conservative crackpots at the same time. But now, with the Roberts hearings set to begin this week, Bush might well escape having to make two simultaneous appointments, because I doubt the Democrats will be able to hold off the hearings for very long—though I'm sure they'll try.
Bush will replace O'Connor with this crackpot Roberts, then replace Rehnquist with someone worse, claiming that Roberts is the moderate—and, no doubt, whoever Bush appoints to replace Rehnquist will make Roberts look like a moderate.
With Bush at a low ebb in popularity, this is probably the best time for this to happen, though there really is no good time for this to happen at all.
Some might say I'm being too callous about the death of a human being, but Rehnquist and his death are bigger than one person's life. That, I'm sorry to say, is impossible to ignore.