[JURIST] Republican officials expect President Bush to put forward a nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the end of July, according to Monday's Washington Post. Senator Orrin Hatch has meanwhile joined several other Senators in speculating that Chief Justice William Rehnquist will retire within days, telling [transcript] Meet The Press Sunday, "That's my sense, but I've been wrong before." On the same program, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Arlen Specter suggested that O'Connor be asked to return as Chief Justice should Rehnquist step down. O'Connor was named as the public favorite to become the next Chief Justice in a Zogby poll released in January [JURIST report]. The New York Times has more.