It didn’t take long for the speculation to begin regarding President Obama’s nominee to replace the retiring Justice Stevens.
In fact, the ‘name game’ is in high gear with a variety of ‘short lists’ circulating like this one from ABC News that includes a list of 10 potential nominees: Solicitor General Elena Kagan; Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; Judge Diane Wood of the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court in Chicago; Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow, who was once the president’s professor; and Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court in San Francisco.
And, President Obama is beginning to feel the heat from his own party. Some top Democrats are urging President Obama to ignore the Republicans in naming a nominee.
The President says he will meet with Senate leaders - both Democrats and Republicans. But no one should believe for a moment that the President is going to nominate anyone other than a nominee who embraces a liberal judicial philosophy. The only real question remaining about his choice: how liberal?
Predictably, he’s already getting pressure from the pro-abortion groups to ensure that this nominee supports abortion rights.
And, those on the far Left would certainly like him to head in that direction with this pick.
Will Republicans mount a challenge against this nominee?
Until President Obama makes a selection, the speculation will continue – and intensify.
But no matter who is nominated, the confirmation hearings should focus on tough questions – with specific focus on the nominee’s judicial philosophy including how the nominee views the Constitution, the role of judges, and the rule of law.
As Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, put it: “If we have a nominee that evidences a philosophy of ‘judges know best,’ that they can amend the Constitution by saying it has evolved, and effectuate agendas, then we’re going to have a big fight about that.”
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