May 12th, 2008
02:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: This year, the Supreme Court hangs in the balance

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Blitzer: A one- or two-vote swing could make all the difference on the nation's highest court."] (CNN) - The next President of the United States will have an enormous opportunity to shape the U.S. Supreme Court for decades. That’s because several members of the court are getting up there in years.

John McCain says he would pick Justices along the lines of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, two conservatives nominated by President Bush. Barack Obama told me last week that he would favor nominees along the lines of Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, two liberals nominated by former President Bill Clinton.

Clearly, the two presidential frontrunners have a major disagreement on this critically important issue, and no doubt it would be a major consideration for voters in the fall.

Given the current split among the nine Justices, the next one or two members will have an incredible opportunity to shift the balance. Among the most sensitive issues that could be considered would be the future of Roe vs. Wade and abortion rights for women.

I raised this issue the other day with Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut who supports abortion rights. The former Democratic vice-presidential nominee strongly supports John McCain. Lieberman voted to confirm the nomination of Roberts; he voted against Alito. The future of the Supreme Court, he said, is “a big issue for me. I’m a lawyer. I’m a former attorney general.”

He supports McCain largely because of his stance on major national security issues. I asked him if he feared Roe versus Wade would be oveturned by McCain’s future Supreme Court nominees. “Look,” he replied, “I think it’s the law of the land.” But he would be “upset” if it were overturned. “This is an important issue. But there are a lot of important issues. One is to protect our security. Senator McCain is by far best prepared to do that.”

How important is the future makeup of the Supreme Court to you?

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Can anybody tell me of the significant cases the Supreme Court has decided in the past 8 years? Of course you can't, because all people ever think of is abortion abortion abortion.

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Inevitable


    come on democrats, destroy one another, those Hilary supporters, we welcome you to the republican party, the DNC is to be blamed for this mess, we republicans together with you Hilary supporters will show the DNC what we are made of

    May 12, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. After further review,Texas

    The Supreme Court members need term limits and roe vs wade needs to be put to rest and never again be used as a political football by having it put on a national ballot and voted on.

    May 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. McCain '08

    One blogger said they were both anti-abortion AND pro-choice. Funny how that works !

    I'm on the side of those unborn, who are murdered each year because it's expedient and convenient for the woman to choose. If only THEY could vote, where would we be ?

    May 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. JS

    Aren't a majority of the justices now Republican appointees? I believe 2 were from Clinton and 1 from Carter. Same thing during Roe vs. Wade. Just observations. How does the GOP escape these facts?

    May 12, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Dee Okla.

    I hope the media gives the same amount of coverage about this issue as it has with the other junk that doesn’t amount to a hill of bean.

    I hope the all women take notice to this I would hate to see us set back 30yrs. I am pro-choice but against abortions how is that you may say “why should the government ever feel it has the right to tell women what they can or can not do with there bodies?”

    Please don’t let the medias’ bombardment of junk get us off track of what is important. We must stand together.

    May 12, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Viet Nam Vet

    This decision does not affect you just for the next presidents term.
    The Supreme Court justices are usually there for LIFE. Some of these old codgers are about to tip over. This decision will affect generations! You young people especially- -VOTE DEMOCRATS!!!

    May 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. John Smith

    Uncle Sam:

    The Urgency of now include the followiing:

    1. The past scandals of the Clintons have and continue to cost the democrats.

    2. Hillary has not stopped lying to the American people

    3. Hillary, with all her experience, voted for the war. Now see the results.

    4. Hillary is hated, personally, by the Republicans and over 50% of people in this nation. She is not a "role model" for our daughters and women in this nation.

    Now, I could go on. I do not hate Hillary; I love my country and party more than a single person!

    May 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. McCain '08

    One blogger said they were both "anti-abortion AND pro-choice. Funny how that works !"

    I'm on the side of those unborn, who are murdered each year because it's expedient and convenient for the woman to choose. If only THE BABIES COULD VOTE, WHERE WOULD WE BE ?

    May 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Edi

    I am so sick of men telling me that I need to vote for Barrack because of the supreme court judges. Yes I strongly believe in abortion. Yes, I am a liberal. Yes, I believe that if women had voted for Hillary like blacks did for Barrack she would have won the nomination. But, because women are divided and blacks not, feminists trying to make me believe that women are more advanced than blacks. Blacks are smarter! But, No, I will not vote for Barrack and no amount of cajoling me, bullying me, trying to play nicey nicey like Donna Brazille will ever make me a supporter of the Democrats in this life time.

    May 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. For the Love of God

    Obama said, on video, he had traveled to 57 states so far in this campagin! and he has one more to go~

    57 States he has visited? And two more to go? And he hasn't visited Alaska and Hawaii? So he thinks there are 60 states?

    May 12, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. John Smith

    Some one, please encourage Hillary to run as an Independent candidate. This will be a blessing for the Democrats. It will be great for the Clintons to be removed far away from the democratic party, given the damage they have and continue to do.

    Why is it that the Clintons always destroy whatever "good work" that they do?

    To date, Edwards is highy respected because he knows when to quit in the interest of his party. Hillary should have quit a long time before now. The Republicans quit a long time ago!!!

    May 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Rick FL

    I agree with Lieberman regarding a woman's right to make her own decisions; however, I do not agree with his claim that McCain's positions protect our national security. I feel staying the Bush course in Iraq is doing just the opposite by acting as a recruiting tool, raising anti-western sentiment, and not going after the real threats where it originates. America needs a new direction.

    Dem '08

    May 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Molly

    How ARROGANT of obama to claim victory – he has NOT won! We still have a few states to vote – let them – and count them. OBama has ignored WV & KY – does not need those types to win???
    Hillary campaigned in NC – a big state for Obama – why won't he go to WV – afraid he will loose.

    Hillary or McCain – NEVER Obama!

    May 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Rangel VP

    Wait until Wednesday when Hillary announces that uncle tom Charlie Rangel is her black vice president candidate. The I will not vote for a black man voters of W. Va will throw chunks of coal at her.

    May 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    To Larry... I didn't know that. I guess I better go check it out. Thanks for the 411.

    May 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. sacto joe


    A lot of neo-cons posing as Democrats are posting hate mail. They're trying to drive a wedge between us!


    May 12, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. J

    Even Jane Roe wants this decision overturned. The plaintiff realizes it was wrong.

    Do you want a country where the national government has all the power and states are left nothing? Shouldn't a state be able to outlaw actions that cause harm to human life? A state can't outlaw partial birth abortion without overturning this law? Women can use abortion, of a child we could keep alive outside the womb, as a means of birth control. How is this right? Bleeding heart liberals care more about dolphins caught in a tuna net than the millions of children thrown in the dumpster.

    May 12, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. john brennan

    Obama wants a truthful campaign so what is the truth ,what he saids he is or what his pastor of 20 years said he is ?

    May 12, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Yari from San Francisco

    When Hillery was giving a victory speech in Indiana while the text at the bottom of the screen read "too close to call" It became clear to myself and my Psychologist roommate that this race has been too much for her and she has finally lost it. Bill Clinton's face was bright red.Chelsey cried that night. That whole family needs a long vacation.

    May 12, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Sandy

    Fortunately, a justice isn't necessarily appointed just because he or she is nominated by the president. There is a whole approval process whereby many others have a say. Also, there are 9 justices on the court, so no individual justice has an undue say.

    I would not, therefore, use this issue in deciding who to vote for in the presidential election.

    May 12, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. Tjaye

    I love that all of these whiny women who want to vote in Hillary for GIRL POWER are tossing tantrums and saying they are going to vote McCain because they wanted it to be a girl this time. And if they do, they are most certain to lose their right to choose what they want to do with their own body.

    Serves them right.

    Obama O-8!

    Oh, and I'm a woman – but not too proud of it these days.

    May 12, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. GL

    Wow wolf- first real story out of you in months.

    May 12, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Ilona Proud Canadian

    You guys keep talking about Roe vs Wade, but a huge issue is staring you in the face and you don't even see it. If Hillary (for whatever reason) What do you think will become of Paul vs Clinton? Hillary will appoint the Judges who will willingly dismiss all charges against the Clintons, and just squash the case against them.

    May 12, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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