June 12th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Next president will dictate court's future

The next president will have a big impact on the direction of the Supreme Court.

The next president will have a big impact on the direction of the Supreme Court.

(CNN) - The latest five-to-four decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the status of terror suspects at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba once again underscores the deeply divided nature of the court and the huge stakes in the presidential election.

The court broke up largely along the liberal-conservative makeup – with the traditional swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, once again breaking the tie.

In the majority were the liberals – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.

In the minority were Chief Justice John Roberts, and Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

The next president of the United States probably will be in a position to nominate at least one and maybe more Justices. John McCain says he would nominate conservatives like Roberts and Alito; Barack Obama says he prefers liberals like Ginsburg and Breyer.

So just as there are stark differences between the two candidates on foreign and domestic policy, there are also stark differences on the future of the Supreme Court. And placing new justices on the court will have an impact for a lot more than just four or eight years. It’s something to think about during this political season.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. William Rogers

    Look at the pictures in the blog that show Obama and McCain do you notice that Obama has an American flag pin and McCain does not. The people against Obama made much to do about no flag pin. Now McCain is not wearing one. aM i MISSING SOMETHING

    June 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Tory

    Clinton/McCain June 12th, 2008 4:05 pm ET

    I sure don't want Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers on the supreme court. Vote McCain!

    Enough with the Rev Wright issue. That's over and done with and needs to be let go.

    Let it go.

    June 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. carrie bama

    well,i dont see how maccain believes he can win this election
    obama has set a moving wagon that knocks off everything in its path
    im happy maccain is resorting to the kitchen sink.
    hillary did,and she went down the drain.
    pls macwar,follow her footsteps
    we want you down the drain

    June 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Patrick Peavy Plano,TX


    June 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Tory

    Look at the republican's who just posted on here.

    They're all running scared!!

    June 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. senior white female

    This is precisely why all the Hillary supportors will turn against McCain. No one really wants to go back on Roe v. Wade but McCain has to pander to the right wingers and put up someone who will legislate from the bench in their favor. It goes for abortion, it goes for torture, it goes for civil liberties. That's why McCain is dangerous. I might even like him if he could stand up for his more centrist beliefs. But what can I say, he McCain't gonna!

    June 12, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. All the more reason why Hillary supporters should stay Democratic

    Is it really worth it to try to send a message to the media and the DNC about what you feel was sexism or unfairness by punishing yourselves and everyone else with increasing oil and gas prices, tax breaks for even the wealthiest people as we increase the national debt, a conservative court that may try to take away a woman's right to choose, the continuation of an incredibly unpopular and costly war, etc.?

    Honestly, you think it's worth it to suffer those consequences just to send some kind of message to the media, basically?

    June 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. MT IN SF

    I am a republican and I will vote that way again. Bill Clinton screwed this country while he was president. George Bush has had to clean up after him, Had he done his job with a little bit of backbone, we might not be facing the issues we face today with the economy, immigration, healthcare, should I go on?

    June 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Patrick Peavy Plano,TX


    I am a 15 year Hillary supporter. Her becoming President was a dream of mine for those 15 years. No one knows what the dissapointment is like more than me. Or the anger or sadness. And yes, even the vindictive "vote for McCain response"(although I do honestly like McCain a little). I understand it all I went through it too. But if this doesn't make people realize why it is so important that Senator Obama wins in November I don't know what will. Trust me when I say it feels good to let go of the animosity. No matter what, someone's feelings were bound to get hurt. Let's unite for the future of our country. If an immature 30 year old like myself can it will be easy for you trust me.

    June 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Bayou Joe

    This is why McCain needs to be our President. Evangelicals and all Christians that believe in the origins of our great nation need to heed the warnings. We must remain "One Nation Under God" as our forefathers believed and many of our ancestors have died to protect that premise or we will perish.

    Vote McCain save our Country from the Muslim hordes.

    June 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Left Coast Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Wolf, you comment about the "majority" of the Court members is a misstatement of fact. They are not the "liberals" on the Court, they are the brains of the Court. Justice Scalia's dissenting opion is so bizzare as to be something one would expect from Julias Streicher of the Third Reich. Evidently, our dear Jessica Sarah Parker-loving friend forgot that the military is subject to the Cosntitution of The United States, regardless of what of what form it takes. It cannot operate outside the confines of the Constitution, whether it plans & wages aggresive war, conduct trials, or runs a prison camp.

    One thing that was unusual in this case. Clarence Thomas' clerk finally got a chance to write something, although "Alice in Wonderland" is already available at your local library for free.

    June 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Down with Obama

    The President can only nominate them...they cannot get on the court with out the approval of congress. So quit trying to scare people.

    Clinton/McCain June 12th, 2008 4:05 pm ET

    I sure don't want Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers on the supreme court. Vote McCain!
    LOL, I bet Obama would try!!!!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. David Buddingh in Naperville, IL

    Brian Knoxville, TN

    Your canidate's extensive record illustrates a extreme hostility to women's rights.

    He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade

    He will appoint justices to make that happen.

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. jen

    One more Bush / McCain type judge and say Bye Bye to Roe vs Wade. By the way Hillery / McCain supporters, McCain has a zero rating with every major womens organization out there.

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Obama will defend the constitution becuase he has taught it on the college level.

    When the U.S. Senate voted in September, 2007, on whether to restore habeas corpus protections for those detained by the United States, the senators who would emerge as the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees for president parted company.

    Illinois Democrat Barack Obama embraced the basic Constitutional principle that individuals who are detained by the U.S. government have a right to challenge their detention - no matter where they are held.

    Arizona Republican John McCain rejected the wisdom of the founders of the American experiment and voted against restoring habeas corpus protections for foreign suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and others who are detained by U.S. authorities.

    Today, the Supreme Court said Obama was right and McCain was wrong.

    Obama 08

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. Down with Obama

    Chris from NY June 12th, 2008 4:11 pm ET

    I hope Hillary's supporters understands that.

    We do, that is why we are voting for McCain!!!!

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |

    Please STOP with all the PUMA PAC BS!!! It is UBER obvious that you are disgruntled and in need of prayer. Do whatever the hell you want to do in November. You are the one who has to sleep with yourself and look yourself in the mirror each day and ask WHY. Hypocrite.

    June 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Arkansas Undertaker

    I certainly hope that all The Hillary Clinton Supporters are listening to this. This is a really big deal!

    If McCain is elected any and all issues regaring women will certainly be in trouble. They better think before they vote.

    June 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. shelly

    Maintain a Balanced court, Vote for Barack Obama for President

    June 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Loretta from California

    Welcome Senator Clinton supporters!! Please ignore the Republican trolls pretending to be Clinton Supporters . We are truly greatful for your support.

    Now to the issue at hand.

    John McCain has a very poor record when it comes to the issues facing women, and will definitely, without a doubt, appoint a right wing conservative to to the supreme court. Roe v Wade will be over-turned and we cannot afford to allow this to happen. Please vote Democrat.


    June 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. wolfsbane

    If you vote McCain, forget about right to privacy and kiss civil liberties goodbye. Warrantless wiretapping, no more habeas corpus, a rolling back of the fundamental right behind our nation.

    There's a safeguard against government power, and it's the Constitution. Electing another administration that will continue the Bush policies of undermining the Constitution will be disasterous. All it will take is one more justice in the mold of Alito/Roberts/Scalia.

    June 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. A concerned woman

    As a woman, I don't see how any former Hillary supporter can vote for McCain. I am a woman and therefore I can't vote for McCain because he will take away my right to choose. I can't vote for someone who doesn't think I am capable of choosing to do what I want with my body.

    OBAMA '08!

    June 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Jamila

    what about Cindy McCain's stealing drugs and using her company to cover her crimes and being a drug addict. Why is tihs being overlooked by CNN? Stealing drugs from people who couldnt afford them after they had been given as a donation from drug companies, lying cheating, fraud and being a drug addict during her marraige to John McCain , are far worse crimes then Michell Obama has commited do you agree?

    June 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Bud Curtis

    Wolf, I do not think it really makes a difference who appoints, or who is appointed to the Supreme Court. I say this because of the number of appointments by Democrat and Republican Presidents that must have been disappointed after their appointees did not rule as expected on issues important to them or their constituents.
    Is it possible that we sell these judges short, and that they rule based on the laws, and not according to their perceived political biases?
    Bud Curtis
    Miami, OK

    June 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Bobbi

    I feel sorry for all the women that will continue to be oppressed in this country. Many thanks to all the women that voted for Obama. You deserve whatever you get, and it might be John McCain. He thinks that government should not be involved in our everyday lives, UNLESS YOU HAPPEN TO BE FEMALE. HE DOESN'T TRUST WOMEN TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES.

    June 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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