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. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    This is the only reason I have to vote for Obama, is the nominations to the Supreme Court.
    The comments today about their dissent to the Supreme Court's by Scalia and Roberts are scary.

    June 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. adel

    Is mr Wolf anti- Obama. You enjoy touting negative news about the illinois Senator. Unknowingly, this is glaring. Just as some democrats are refusing to endorse Obama, so also are some Republican refusing to endorse MCCain. Be a rounded journalist

    June 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Kenneth

    Best reason to vote for McCain. We certainly don't need another justice like Ginsberg who thinks US law should be influenced by world law.

    Liberals take into consideration global law when they should only be interested in the US Constitution. If you want US laws to be determined by things other than the US Constituiton then vote for Obama. However that would be an act against the US.

    June 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. JCB

    This article is just one more reason that Clinton should be the Presidential nominee. Obama is too easily swayed and too used to Sucking Up to make a logical and farsighted decision for a SC justice.

    June 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Tina

    2007 On March 27th, Obama, tells the crowd at fundraiser , “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”

    For the record, Obama is a “Senior Lecturer (on leave of absence)” at the University of Chicago Law School. He has taught Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process, Current Issues in Racism & the Law, and Voting Rights & the Democratic Process

    June 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Tina

    2007On March 25th, the Chicago Tribune reports that an extensive search found no basis for an episode Obama recounts about a picture he ran across in Life magazine of a “black man who had tried to peel off his skin” in a failed effort to use chemicals to lighten it. Obama writes that “seeing that article was violent for me, an ambush attack.”

    The Tribune continued: “Yet no such Life issue exists, according to historians at the magazine. No such photos, no such article. When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, “It might have been an Ebony or it might have been … who knows what it was?”

    At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.”

    June 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Down with Obama

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT June 12th, 2008 4:35 pm ET

    Women Will Never Vote For Someone Who Will Take Away Their Basic God Given Right! The Right To Choose!

    Don't bet on it!!!!!!!!

    We have more faith in normal people than you Obamabots do!!!!!!!
    Besides you Obamabots aren't normal!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Carl from MI

    Our nation needs another Justice like Scalia like it needs a war with Iran. Good thing McCain doesn't have a chance. Talk to Rupert Murdoch... he doesn't need a weatherman to tell him which way the wind is blowing!!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Phil in KC

    This is why we need to elect a Democrat to the White House. A Republican victory would swing the court too far to the right for far too long. Keep in mind that the seats the next president will fill will probably belong to one of those 'liberal' judges. I believe John Paul Stevens is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court and has hinted in the past at stepping down.

    June 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |

    Next President will dictate??? If the next President is Obama, the next President will be a dictator!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Fox

    Everyone here should start to wake themselves up. Obama or Mccain aren't going to change the country. If you elect another democrat or Republican were just going to keep going in circles. With Ron Paul officially out the only person left who can change this country is Bob Barr. A vote for Bob is a vote for change. He's americas only hope....

    June 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. tim, alaska

    glad to see an actually relevant topic up for debate. much appreciated.

    June 12, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Ray

    Who says women are oppressed in this country? All of you women who are afraid of losing the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion should have chosen to either use protection or to keep your legs shut. You still have that choice, even if for some strange reason Roe v Wade is overturned.

    June 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Democrats Rule

    Obama '08 – Our ONLY hope! Women Unite!

    June 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. FEDUP

    Oh boy, here we go with the Roe v Wade paranoia. More ways to support your Golden Boy...

    June 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. I have not head

    Has John McCain said he would reverse roe v. wade? I have not heard that. It is a scare tatic. Now I am for the right to choose, however, all of you are so upset with the loss of life in Irac but not with the loss of life in abortion. I personally am pro life, but the state cannot take the right away from a woman to choose. Has John McCain stated that he would try and do that. If so, please point out when and where. Obama is for whatever he thinks will get him the door of the white house – he talks out of both sides of his mouth. McCain will be straightforward even if you might not like what he stands for.

    June 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. R

    The first thing that should happen if, god forbid, Mcsame gets elected is we should give him R v W and watch him drop it like its hot! do you really think for one second that the republicans will drop their favorite wedge issue!? get reallllllllll!!!!! it hasn't happened yet and it never will. Its simply another pandering tool they use to try and get the cave dwelling backwoods vote. they snuggle up to the most perverse of the "moral majority" all while trolling the bathrooms and red light districts... and you republicans buy into it every time..

    June 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    To all of you people writting about Roe vs Wade I tell you that that is not even the biggest issue.

    The biggest issue is that conservative judges have always sided with business instead of people. Have you noticed that in every single case where it is people vs business, people have always lost.

    They view business as more human than humans. That is the biggest issue.

    P.S. Roe vs Wade wasn't about abortion, it was about personal decisions. The case just happened to be abortion.

    June 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Pam

    This is why the Hillary supporters who claim they're going to vote for McCain because their candidate lost really need to do some serious thinking.

    June 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Ray

    For those who think Obama will stick to the constitution your living in a dream world. He is a lousy, stinking MARXIST that thinks government is the answer to every problem. Well I have news for you, the government is the biggest problem we have and more government will just make things worse. Now I don't really care for McCain either. Personally, I think we are in deep trouble with either of them in office.

    June 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Dexter, Houston TX

    You know what I wish, I wish the Republicans masquerading as Democrats on this site slither back into your holes. Your soul purpose is to plant seeds of destruction. Haven't you caused enough damage!

    The political process is for serious people, people who believe that this country will be better for ALL Americans.

    DX in TX

    June 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. bob in L.A.

    If there was any reason to vote for Obama – this is #1. All the nonsense the candidates talk about is just that- talk. They seldom get anything done they say they are in favor of.
    However, there Supreme Court nominees are with us sometimes for decades and shape the real future of the is country. Inthe last 8 years we replaced 2 justices that have set the court back 30 years.
    They say that it is thier job to adhere to the constitution, but nowhere in that document does it takes rights away as this court has.
    Obama for Sumpreme court selection committee!

    June 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. johnny

    Not McCain Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. last ultimatum

    hey Im Obama and all I wanna do is tax Americans until they cant walk

    June 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Ken in NM

    So Larrt J., what you are saying then is that you want justices that will stop capital punishment??

    June 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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