This morning the Press-Register has a good story on the retirement of state Supreme Court Justice Harold See. (The Press-Register is the first traditional media outlet to report the story first broken here at Doc’s Political Parlor three days ago.)
See says there that he intends to serve out his term (which fits with what I had recently heard as the most likely scenario).
I am told by good authority that this comment left elsewhere on the blog is not correct.
If Justice See waits past early November to step down, his appointed successor will get a pass out of the 2008 elections. Newly appointed judges sit for at least a year before having to stand for re-election.
I grant that it would not make much sense. Otherwise, the Governor could theoretically keep a judge’s seat from ever coming up for election by just appointing someone as the elected term was about to expire.
The Atlantic Monthly some time ago published an article that I have mentioned here a few times (first here) and that detailed some of Karl Rove’s connections to Harold See’s campaigns. Including a rare defeat when See ran for chief justice . . .
… Rove lined up support from a majority of the state’s important Republicans behind his candidate, an associate justice named Harold See. Like most of Rove’s clients, See had an enormous financial advantage and ran a brutally negative campaign—but he was nonetheless trounced by Roy Moore, the “Ten Commandments” judge, who succeeded in making the race about religion. This loss may have helped Rove to recognize the power of religion as a political motivator: from the question of gay marriage to organizing churches for Bush, it features prominently in his playbook for the  election.
Later in the article, we learn more about how brutally negative Rove’s campaigns for See could be. It is all worth reading.
As is today’s Press-Register article.