Bush Wants New Justice By October

President Bush holds off questions during a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, not pictured, Monday, July 18, 2005, in the East Room at the White House in Washington.
President Bush said Monday he wants a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor by the time the Supreme Court reconvenes in October.

"My desire is to get this process moving so that someone will be confirmed, whoever he or she is, will be confirmed by October," Mr. Bush said at a joint news conference with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mr. Bush indicated that he is already so familiar with some of the candidates that he does not need to interview them for the first high court vacancy in 11 years.

"I've got some people, perhaps in contention, that I've already spent time with, that I know. In other words, I'm familiar with some people that are being speculated about in the press. And so I don't need to interview those. But of course I'm going to take a very thorough approach," Mr. Bush said.

O'Connor announced her plans July 1 to step down once the Senate had confirmed a nominee.

Mr. Bush poked fun at the rampant Washington speculation that he was close to naming his Supreme Court nominee.