(CNN) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told President Obama Monday not to nominate a "judicial activist" to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, according to a statement from Hatch's office.
In a telephone call, Hatch "advised the president to choose a nominee who is more in step with mainstream America and would uphold the rule of law," the statement said. "The president assured Hatch that this was his intention, that he would appoint a pragmatist, not a radical, to this important position."
The White House also said Monday President Obama telephoned two members of the Senate Judiciary Commitee and "vowed to consult regularly with Senators in both parties to ensure an orderly confirmation process that will allow Justice Souter's replacement to be confirmed by the beginning of the Court's next session."
UPDATE: Sen. Arlen Specter, the former ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also spoke with President Obama Monday about the impending Supreme Court nomination:
“The president called me around noon today to begin the consultation process on a new Supreme Court nominee," Specter said in a statement. "He asked for recommendations and I told him I would think it over and get back to him."