June 12th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
6 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. jack

    If only Obama could fill the Alito and Thomas and Scalia slots, then we would have a good court.

    June 12, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. SONIA4HILLARY

    MICHELLE OBAMA ""I wanna take bill clinton,s eyes out""ops just kidding –
    hey barack –pls keep her mouth shut -u r a chicago thug but ur wife is loud mouth –just like she said "`i have a loud mouth ""

    yes michelle –whole nation knows –u have a loud mouth -

    June 12, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. REV WRIGHT

    Trust me, women's rights are not going to be the issue when me and my little puppet Obama get control.

    We are going to send a whole bunch of your hard earned money to the U.N. as a re-disbrution of the world's wealth.

    We are going to change the pledge of allegiance, so it won't mention god.

    We are going to make all you whitey's pay for something your ancestors did.

    Different is not difficient...

    blah, blah, blah...

    Honestly, the democrats scare tactics "Roe V. Wade" are just as bad as what the Republicans have done the last 8 years. If women fall for this, then they are being foolish... McCain is not GW Bush.

    June 12, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. CLINTON 08 VP

    UNITED WE ARE STRONGER SO:

    OBAMA & CLINTON 08

    DON'T VOTE FOR MR. BUSH II (MCCAIN), WE HAD ENOUGH OF HIS "AXIS OF EVIL", SO:

    BUSH & MCCAIN THE AMERICAN AXIS OF EVIL

    June 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. aware

    I am a Democrat now leaning Independent, and America's worst nightmare would be an Obama presidency!

    We do not need any more liberal Justices chosen by an extreme left-wing liberal.

    No Obama under any circumstances! :(

    Also, women are smarter than to buy into the Roe V. Wade scare tactic. We know that as science advances abortions will be a thing of the past. We can now see the 3D images of tiny little human beings in the womb.

    And, the guy who slaps his wife on the butt in public shows no repect for women!

    Vote for McCain, the American hero and centrist in touch with mainstream America! :)

    June 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    We sure don't need any more Scalias or Alitos. Vote Obama.

    June 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. jimmy velman

    OBAMA'S ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY WILL CHANGE THE FACE OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THAT JUSTICES ROBERTS, ALITO, THOMAS AND ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE WILL BE IN THE MINORITY. OBAMA WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO APPOINT TWO PERHAPS 3 JUSTICES IN THE NEXT 8 YEARS.
    AL GORE, IF HE ACCEPTS WILL MAKE OBAMA'S ELECTION A SURE THING... IT IS NOT IN THE CARDS (NOR OBAMA'S MIND) FOR A LONG TIME NOW FOR HILLARY TO BE THE VP CHOICE. THAT IS WHY HILLARY FOUGHT WITH TENACITY FOR THE NOMINATION.
    SHE KNEW OBAMA WOULD NOT CHOOSE HER TO BE HIS VP RUNNING MATE. JUST MAYBE HER SUPPORTERS SWITCH TO MCCAIN WHO UNFORTUNATELY IS SO WEAKENED BY HIS OWN
    SPEAK AND CONNECTION TO THE BUSH PRESIDENCY.
    SO , WE WILL HAVE OBAMA AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT.

    June 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Susan

    McBush wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade and privatize Social Security. Let me think which one should I vote for???Decisions, decisions..........

    June 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Dandelion.

    McCain says women need 'Education and training'. REALLY? What about the men? Women can be head of households too, just because his wife is a rich little princess and never had to work, but, she volunteers for things. I think McCain has some serious issues with women and I'm betting he loathes Billary. If this MCP wins this election, I wouldn't put it past him to enact some stupid law that says women have to be married by a certain age or risk jail! If he votes against equal pay for women, who knows what else he might do: declare war on women? Add women to the 'Axis of Evil'? Rescind the 19th Amendment? That shriveled little mind of his ain't got much time left on this earth.

    June 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. R.I.F.

    Hey CNN,

    I thought you censored this thing? :"Texas Trail Dog June 12th, 2008 4:35 pm ET" comment shoul dhave never been allowed on this blog.

    Since obviously you don't, then F#&k you "Texas Train Dog".

    June 12, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. 1 of the 18 million who voted for Obama

    For all of those Hillary supporters who now claim allegiance to McCain, think about the future of your children before you do something stupid.

    June 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. LUCYNA

    Although I am strong Obama supporter, I believe that Hillary did excelleng job and should be givien some respect by all of us. She may not be a VP since there are other well qualified candidates, but at least I would like to see her sitting in US Supreme Court.

    June 12, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. WhosehadEnough

    Sen. McCain would not even denounce President Bush for vetoing a bill that would ban waterboarding while during Republican primary debates he emphatically stated the United States does not torture.......So much for the "straight-talk" express!!

    Once again Republicans are playing semantics with the Constitution!!! Great job Justice Kennedy!! You didn't sell out your vote for your son getting a high level position with the labor department in the administration..

    Let's restore seperate but equal branches of government and checks and balances.

    June 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Xavier, Washington DC

    I'm always amazed at this talk of putting Hillary on the Supreme Court. What exactly are her qualifications? Unlike every single member of the current court, she has never been a federal circuit court judge. Unlike Obama, she didn't teach constitutional law. In fact, she hasn't really practiced law in decades. How is it that people think she can step in and be a good justice?

    June 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Mikey

    Texas Trail Dog wrote:
    June 12th, 2008 4:35 pm ET

    Lord Knows what OBAMA will put on the Supreme Court. If that doesn't scare people then stand by and watch the gates to the penal institutions swing open and all the AAs especially the ones on death row to walk out to start their raping of white and robbing and killing. I am sick of the NAME OBAMA>
    ___________________________________________________

    Hey Tex – please keep posting your filth. No decent American will want to stand with you – more votes for Obama.

    Practice the words – MISTER PRESIDENT Barack Obama.

    June 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. R.I.F.

    Down with Obama June 12th, 2008 4:32 pm ET
    "Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS), on left, and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), on right, won't back Barack Obama.
    More bad news for hope and change.
    2 more Moderate Democrats bail on Obama.
    The Politico reported:
    _________________________________________
    Did you also read the USA Today which had a similar article which said that this happens every election and the only reason why the public knows this year is because the media has been focused on superdelegales and who endorses who. It happended to Kerry, Bush, Gore, Clinton, and every person who won their party's nomination. BTW, McCain has a host of republicans who won't endorse him either. I give you props for reading, but you should've ept reading.

    I think this makes your little "scoop" bogus.

    June 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. faye

    When former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel alleged [at the July 23, 2007, Democratic presidential primary debates] that Obama had 134 bundlers, Obama responded by telling Gravel that the reason he knows how many bundlers are raising money for him is ‘because I helped push through a law this past session to disclose that’,” ABC News reported July 23, 2007.[51]

    “Earlier this year, Obama sponsored an amendment in the Senate requiring lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they bundle. Obama’s amendment would not, however, require candidates to release the names of their bundlers. What’s more, although Obama’s amendment was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent, the measure never become law as Obama seemed to suggest,” ABC News reported.

    liar –

    obama is never pased any law ever .

    June 12, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. faye

    Barack Obama in 2003, talking to the AFL/CIO:

    “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. That’s what I’d like to see.”

    In January, 2008, Obama claimed in a nationally televised debate:

    "I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer."

    June 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Billiam the Kid

    Down with Obama, 1st of all, Shuler is a republican. At least get your facts straight if you're gonna spew BS. 2ndly, Childers is only a Dem because of oppurtunity. the same as Jim Webb, or the same as Powell being a repub. Come on man be for real. Childers is from Mississippi. He wouldn't endorse MLK for President. Lol. He probably wouldn't endorse Jesus for President if he came back since he was black.

    June 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Tina

    On July 28th, the day after his speech at the Democratic convention catapulted him into the national spotlight, Barack Obama told a group of reporters in Boston that the United States had an "absolute obligation" to remain in Iraq long enough to make it a success.

    "The failure of the Iraqi state would be a disaster," he said at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, according to an audiotape of the session. "It would dishonor the 900-plus men and women who have already died. . . . It would be a betrayal of the promise that we made to the Iraqi people, and it would be hugely destabilizing from a national security perspective."

    In late winter, 2008, on the campaign trail, Obama says he wants to bring the troops home yesterday - you decide - was he lying then or is he lying now?

    June 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Jill

    Thank you for finally getting to something important rather than irrelevant.

    The Court is more than simply liberal or conservative, it does provide a check and balance. Some of the justices look at the particular sentence and make it almost a biblical not a working document. Others can go too far in the other direction.

    Obama appointments are the most likely to actually preserve the balance while taking into consideration that it is not holy writ but a working document.
    As a former Constitutional Law Instructor at a the University of Chicago. I expect he will provide high quality candidates who take the preamble seriously.
    ". . .establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. . . . "

    His appointments will probably fully endorse Roe V Wade. Since the argument that potential life is already a human being is a religious, philosophical and medical debate.

    Respecting Habeus corpus. etc. His appointments will probably take "justice" under the laws of our Country as meeting the Preamble Test while adhering to the basic tenants of the Constitution.

    McCain will appoint anti Rove V Wade judges. Along with that will come the question of whether one bends the liberty and Justice for all to some perceived safety against the progress in justice and equality we have made.
    This is no easy task either way. But I genuinely fear a McCain appointment on the larger issues such as this one. The Court can go to far in either direction, shortchanging the needs of the many for the wants of a few. Under conservative standards, women would still not have the vote, slavery would still be legal. There is no reason when parsing word or sentences in the Constitution to change either situation. Even within my life time it was legal to put a convenant on a subdivision excluding almost every ethic and religious group by name, except for white non Catholic Chistians.

    These are all liberal decisions. Can they go too far? Yes Either side can go to far. I fear that from McCain more than Obama appointments. I do not think of it as liberal but simply pragmatic and
    respectful of the History surrounding our ammendments and the protections from unlawful detention and the rights they preserve and have more clearly defined.

    June 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Women In California for Obama

    Well women if you are fascinated with the way they live on the Texas compound-vote McCain! I'm sure you will save a lot of money on fashions and just think your husband will be free to take another wife too.

    June 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. NORA, FLORIDA

    And to think that some of the Clinton supporters are expressing their votes for McCain. Hmmm they are not as smart as I had pegged them to be. A vote for McCain should be an automatic life in prison sentence because of the 100 year war alone.

    June 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Loretta from California

    I would love to have Senator Clinton as a supreme court justice. But I don't think it's a good idea because of her age. We need someone like her, but someone that will be there for a long, looooooooooong time.

    June 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Jamila

    Our Society should stand on what is right. Killing children is wrong playing God is wrong, If people want to embrace coat hangers that is their right to be wrong and they will suffer accordingly. Dont make the society as a whole adopt laws that support what is wrong because of coat hangers... Our constitution should be protected at all cost our moral conscience should be a guiding light to society... That is right and we need Judges on the Supreme Court that will protect what is right.

    June 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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