In a meeting held today, President Obama and Vice President Biden spoke with leaders from both party, Mitch McConnel, Harry Reid, Jeff Sessions and Patrick Leahy regarding the upcoming nomination for the Supreme Court.
In his opening statement, President Obama thanked Justice John Stevens, calling him “one of the finest Supreme Court Justices we’ve seen.” He went on to say that Justice Stevens shoes will be “tough to fill.” He went on to say that Justice Stephens “operated with extraordinary integrity and fidelity.”
The President said that he’s looking for someone who “will gain the confident of the Senate and the confident of the Country, and confidence of individuals who look to the court to provide even-handed justice to all Americans.”
After making his brief statement, the President asked for one question and was asked if he “will nominate someone who does not support a woman’s right to choose.”
The president replied by saying;
I am someone who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues about reproduction.
I don’t have a litmus test around any of these issues. But I would say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights and that includes women’s rights.
The President went on to say “part of what our core constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that.
After the meeting, Senator Reid and Senator Leahy met with reporters, where Reid expressed his views that the nominee should not be a circuit court judge, but someone who is an “academic. Someone who’s held public office, someone who is an outstanding lawyer.”
Senator Leahy said he’s “not looking for a nominee who’s there for the Republicans or Democrats. I want someone who is there for the American people.”
President Obama is asking for the confirmation process will be wrapped up before the end of May, and expressed his hope that the nominee will be confirmed for the next session.
No word from GOP on whether this timetable is workable.
- Obama meeting with senators on picking new justice (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Obama To Meet With Senate Leaders Wednesday On SCOTUS Schedule (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama Promises No ‘Litmus Test’ for Supreme Court Nominee (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)