Harriet didn't last too long, but stayed around much longer than many conservatives would have liked. President Bush has made a new nomination, choosing an appellate court judge with a history of constitutional decisions to his record as his replacement nominee.
The name Alito was not on the list most pundits used when suggesting a replacement for Justice O'Connor, but still seems to have the jusicial philosophy that most of the conservative movement thought that they would be getting from a Bush appointee. Now, instead of an intra-party fracas, we can finally get down to business of embarassing the Donky Party for their maleable document mentality when it comes to the Constitution.
I am actually looking forward to the judiciary hearings. Though I believe that Sen Specter should not have been made chairman of the committee, I still think that he will do what he can to keep the democrats on topic, which is about as easy as herding cats through a dog show. Look to the democrats to waste most of their time making long speeches that lead to a particular response from the nominee. Also expect the Republicans to throw nice fluffy softball questions that allow the nominee to elucidite his opinions. Expect a lot of little battles over certain decisions that Alito has made during his tenure as a judge. In the end, it doesn't really matter.
The democrats can't risk a floor fight with the Republicans over a fillibuster. They seem to think that they have a chance at retaking the Senate and maybe the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections, but to be seen as holding up the business of Congress and the judiciary with a losing fight will only weaken them. The more people see the Democrats as the party of the hissy fit, the less appealing they will be to most voters.