May 23rd, 2009
03:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama looking for 'common touch' in Supreme Court nominee

The President may name his pick to replace Justice Souter as soon as Tuesday.
The President may name his pick to replace Justice Souter as soon as Tuesday.

(CNN) - President Barack Obama wants a combination of "intellectual firepower" and a '"common touch" in the next Supreme Court justice, but said he doesn't feel "weighed down" by race or gender in his decision.

With a nomination potentially just days away, Obama was asked in a C-SPAN interview what he would tell his wife, Michelle Obama, his daughters and his mother-in-law if he didn't choose a woman.

"Actually I can't tell you the number of women, including Michelle, who say, 'Choose the person you think is going to be best,'" Obama responded.

He said, "I think in any given pick, my job is to just find somebody who I think is going to make a difference on the courts and look after the interest of the American people. And so, I don't feel weighed down by having to choose a Supreme Court justice based on demographics. I certainly think that ultimately we want a Supreme Court that is reflective of the incredible variety of the American people."

Obama said he thought it was "safe to say" the announcement about the Supreme Court justice, who will replace retiring Justice David Souter, would come soon, although he offered no specific date.

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Filed under: President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Wrong article title....

    Every article on the Ticker should be titled:

    "Obama looks to increase personal popularity"

    May 23, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Bob of Lompoc

    Me ! I want to go one on one with Scalia.

    May 23, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    How about cutting out the demographic pandering and picking the MOST QUALIFIED person?!

    May 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama sounds like he's describing what he thinks of himself so the next nominee will be in his image and likeness. It's too bad Hillary isn't the President because then she could nominate Obama to the Supreme Court where he really belongs.

    May 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. nick

    Well I´ll be dammed. Ed Henry contributed to this report and he didn´t take a shot at our President. I guess he failed his interview with Fox News.
    Now we have a President who wants someone with common sence as well as knowledge of our laws and our constitution. Now that is
    a change that can bring hope to the American people... Yes we can !!!

    May 23, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Dee, NJ

    Big "O", Thank U! What U did as a Lawyer, fighter and service for the people, and Pres of USA! U can be the first President ever to set on the Supreme Court!

    May 23, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. "common touch" my arse, obama

    another sellout like yourself, eh?

    May 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Perusing-Through

    That is an honorable idea Mr. President. The search for a Supreme Judge with both "intellectual firepower" and a "common touch" is a show of Obama wisdom. Unfortunately, the mainstream media (that includes CNN) is not interested in "honor"; they are interested in a nasty ideological knife between political parties.

    May 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. C W

    Sounds like a thoughtful, practical approach to the highest court of our country that will serve our country well. Thank you, Mr. President!

    May 23, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Randy

    No doubt Rush, Steele and Cheney will see this "common touch " as socialism or even worse commonism (sic) and blast it.

    May 23, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Leah, SD

    Oh....I love this president. He is EVERYTHING Bush was not. He's smart, thoughtful, compassionate with integrity and a great leader.

    Obama 2012

    May 23, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Obama untrustworthy to do as he promises

    President Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he does not keep his word, and is long on politics and symbolism over pragmatic decision making and leadership. He has a socialistic approach which is proving daily as detrimental to this country. His large bailout is afarce and the billions are being used to pay over compensated union workers in state, federal. and local government. NO new jobs are being created. His homeland security acumen is nol and it shows.

    Now he wants to appoint a socialistic judge with blach leaning empathy to further stack the deck.

    May 23, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I think it will be Sonia Sotomayor and she'll be great.

    May 23, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. The Party of NO is only "pro-life" so they can kill the "babies" 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war!

    What a refreshing attitude President Obama.

    Much different from the "holier than thou" self-righteous republicans attitude.

    May 23, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. GuyInVA

    "Not weighed down by demographics." Hahahahahahahah! Okay, okay. No, wait... hahahahahahaha! Now I'm ready... hahahahahaha. Sorry, that's all I've got for that one.

    May 23, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. ketrout

    "Common Touch: may be alright for Obama, but I want t judge to uphold our laws! Especially our immigration laws. It is time for ALL of those ILLEGAL ALIENS to leave this country and if they want to return, DO IT THE LEGAL WAY!

    Obama is taking our country in a direction that will end up being the wrong way! He has us deeper in debt than any other President has taken us. He is attempting to turn our great country into a socialist country.

    Mark my words, we should have elected Hillary Clinton as our President and maybe had Obama in some other position, like VP!

    May 23, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. annie for Palin

    Since when has obama cared about the interest of the AMERICAN people? Must have had his teleprompter off or george soros pulled the wrong string.

    May 23, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Osama Bin Laden

    Yo only got one choice for that ther 'common touch' Obeme.

    May 23, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. john

    The president should let Michelle choose the next judge. She is a true American hero.

    May 23, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Gary

    hmmm are there any gay, handicapped, jewish half african-american half hispanic female judges out there who grew up poor worked their way through law school (preferrably not Harvard) and have some empathy – - because that would be ideal! LOL.

    Seriously, just pick someone qualified and moderate and I think the rest will work itself out. Although if we are going for a minority, I wouldn't mind seeing an Asian or Indian supreme court judge.

    May 23, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. NVa Native

    This is why Obama was chosen to lead our country after the devistation of what was the Bush/Cheney years. We need to purge the culture of political pay backs for un-quailified toadies. No more church ladies nominated to the Supreme Court, but the nomination of intelligent and thoughtful professionals taking on a challenging task with dignity and integrity.

    May 23, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Dave

    I wouldn't worry about this pick, sure its going to be a radical leftist who doesn't care about the constition and bent on destroying America but that's what your avg. democrat wants.

    If he gets another 4 and the a pick then, well then we need to worry since he will then pick someone like William Ayers.

    May 23, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Sari

    I, Penn Jillette do solemnly swear to uphold the office to which I have been appointed... That would be absolutely hilarious. Not to mention awesome.

    May 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Charlie in Maine

    I hope he can find one like William O Douglas.

    May 23, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Post always rejected by CNN

    Not to be "for" a woman. But it seems to me women know how hard it is to make a way in life, much more so than men. They are overlooked for important jobs, they make less money at the same jobs, and they are slurred and panned by the "good old boys'. That's why I think a woman has her hand on the pulse of America more so than a man.

    May 23, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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