May 13th, 2009
02:06 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP senators on Supreme Court: No activist

Senate leaders met with President Obama to discuss potential nominees for the high court.
Senate leaders met with President Obama to discuss potential nominees for the high court.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate leaders who met with President Obama today say he told them he'll name his Supreme Court nominee soon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy made the comments after meeting with the president at the White House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, also joined Reid.

Obama has said he wants his nominee to replace retiring Justice David Souter to be confirmed by the Senate before the start of the next session of the Supreme Court at the beginning of October.

McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, is optimistic that can happen.

"Unless the president sends up a very controversial nominee, the vote should occur well in advance of the first Monday in October, which is when the court reconvenes," said McConnell.

The White House has ruled out any announcement on a high court nominee this week.

Both McConnell and Sessions said they hope the president will not name a "judicial activist" as his nominee.

"I didn't recommend anyone, but I do believe that someone who is not a judicial activist would be best for the country. Someone who does take the law as written seriously. Someone who does not confuse the role with that of a legislator and hopefully the president will name someone along those lines," said McConnell.

"We are hopeful that a nominee will come forth that is a unifying nominee that we can all support," added Sessions.

McConnell would not say whether or not Senate Republicans would filibuster if they believe the president has nominated a judicial activist to the high court. "We'll take a look at the nominee, and respond appropriately," he told reporters Wednesday.

A filibuster is a tactic by the minority party that can stall or kill a bill or a nomination without a full vote.

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. DJS

    Dear GOP,

    Your opinions on the matter are irrelevant.

    Sincerely,

    The American People

    May 13, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. tcaudilllg

    Either a progressive or liberal of the calibur which the ACLU would approve of. Nothing else will be acceptable.

    The conservatives are bluffing. They have no power. I wish the recount thing would be resolved so that Franken could knock them out of the park.

    May 13, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. normajean

    It's very telling that Justice Souter waited until the election was over before indicating his retirement. I do believe that President Obama will make an intellegent, well thought out choice for the new Supreme Court Justice. Instead of their "party of no", I'm hoping that the Republican party will accept this choice with dignity and support. Is that really too much to ask for?

    May 13, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Peejay

    Or unless, say, someone is ticked off about something completely unrelated, as in Hayes vs oil leases.

    May 13, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Nunya

    The problem is that by 'not a judicial activist' they really mean 'someone who employs his judicial activism in the ways *we* want'.

    May 13, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. The Party of NO stood by calmly as the shrub raped and pillaged America, why should we listen to you now?

    You neo-cons might want to compare President Obama's approval rating to you 21%.

    Revisit the satelitte photo on 1/20/2009, 2 million plus.

    Rerun those repub "strategy tape" results where Presient Obama beat McCain 53% to 46%.

    Given his record, you should be learning from President Obama not attempting to teach.

    May 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Ch in Maine

    Because if you idiots were in charge you would so listen to us.

    May 13, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Had It

    Last time I looked McConnell is just one of the old white men that thinks he can dictate to the majority in this country.

    Kentucky people are ignorant. I'm NOT from Kentucky. He needs to go.

    May 13, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Bill

    Like anyone cares what they say–whomever President Obama nominates, they'll object but they won't be able to do anything about it.

    May 13, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Sari

    Apparently, "activist" judges are only okay when they're voting for the right-wing agenda.. The Supreme Court is currently WAY right-of-center to the American people. We need someone to balance us out.

    May 13, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    "Unless the president sends up a very controversial nominee, the vote should occur well in advance of the first Monday in October, which is when the court reconvenes," said McConnell

    And that vot will be NO!!!!

    May 13, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
1 2