How did NASA decide to name the telescope "James Webb" and not some other name like Copernicus or Ptolemy? The wiki page mentions controversy over the name in the past couple of years but nothing on how the name was chosen in the first place. I.e. was there some sort of a vote to choose the name? If so, were there other candidates for what name to choose?
This paragraph from the first article should give a good summery:
The decision to name this telescope after Webb was made by a different NASA administrator, Sean O'Keefe, who is now at Syracuse University. Like Webb, O'Keefe didn't have a background in science before coming to NASA, but rather he had one in professional management and administration.
He says in his field, Webb was a towering figure, who helped establish the National Academy of Public Administration and was a thought leader in developing the best ways of bringing people from diverse fields together to pursue ambitious goals.
When O'Keefe took over the top job at NASA, he says, everyone was referring to an exciting new space telescope that was in development as the "Next Generation Space Telescope."
"That's about as illuminating and exciting as, you know, whatever," says O'Keefe, who previously served as secretary of the Navy, a role that involves deciding on the name of ships.
He decided, after casual conversations with others at NASA, to name the new telescope after Webb. "There was no appointed group of commissioners to come up with a name," says O'Keefe, who said everyone he spoke with seemed to like the idea.
So back then the decision was made without a vote, and it seems almost impossible to tell whether O'Keefe considered other names as well. Although, keeping the name "Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST)" until close to the launch and renaming it then, as done e.g. for the Chandra telescope, would have been an alternative.
Now there are, of course, a few suggestions for alternative names, such as e.g. the Harriet Tubman Space Telescope (HTST)