May 3rd, 2009
10:22 AM ET
13 years ago

No payback for Obama on high court pick, says Shelby

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Richard Shelby told CNN Sunday his decision on President Obama's Supreme Court pick would not be affected by "payback" for the former Illinois senator's votes against Bush nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

"I’m not a payback type guy," he told John King on State of the Union. "I think you have to keep moving."

He was also pragmatic about the kind of nominee the Senate could expect to see. "I have no illusions about President Obama appointing a conservative like Alito or Roberts," he said. " But if he will appoint a pragmatist, someone who is not an ideologue, that someone is not just going to light all the lightbulbs in America on the left, I think that would be good for the country. He is very smart. He is very careful. I hope he is going to be careful in this appointment.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman, Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy suggested he knew some of the names on President Obama's Supreme Court shortlist, and planned to meet with the president this week to discuss the issue. He also said he was encouraging Obama to meet soon with leaders of both parties.

Filed under: Pat Leahy • Richard Shelby • State of the Union
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    @ Bill from Bilge-Water Bayou:

    That's what inbreeding and bad water will produce ... got your hood and white sheets back from the cleaners?

    May 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Earl

    "But if he will appoint a pragmatist, someone who is not an ideologue, that someone is not just going to light all the lightbulbs in America on the left, I think that would be good for the country."

    Why? The GOP has deliberately placed four relatively-young reactionary ideologogues on the court - Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Allito – to try to build a hard-right institution. Can someone tell me why, with the country overwhelming approving Obama and his change agenda, Obama should not move to rebalance the court with a leftist, liberal, Progressive - whatever the current term for it is?

    Why are "conservatives" OK but "liberals" not? Why was Obama called the "most liberal Senator" (as if that is a disqualification) and no one was called the "most conservative Senator?" - there must be one by definition.

    Obama, America voted for change. Change the court composition to reflect America 2009, not America 1980! - or 1880!

    May 3, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    "I'm not a payback kinda guy BUT I'm an old school Dixi-can and will stab America in the back and lower taxes for the rich whenever I can"...

    May 3, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. JOE

    WHY???? Should Obama meet with the leaders of BOTH parties...We already know the Republicans are going to put on their white sheets amd vote NO...So why waste the time talking to the Republican LUGNUTS????

    May 3, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Gop

    Republicans admit every time they appoint a judge they want them to be a conservative.

    Because the truth is, a conservative judge upholds the rule of law with less of a political agenda then his liberal counterpart. And do I need to point out that a Republican president appointed a few judges that turned liberal!

    Yet these Republicans lived with it even when a ruling would not go in the favor.

    Sorry to point out but you Democrats would not as respectful of your appointee if they turned out to be a conservative!

    May 3, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. William Charlotte, NC

    That's more GOP B.S. Shelby has only voted "no" so far, why would we expect anything different?

    May 3, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. JOE

    I hope Obama picks a Black, Hispanic, Gay, Female. This will drive the REPUGNUTS crazy....They will all run to Crawford, Texas to meet with their Grand Imperial Wizzard and whine... Then they will dance all around his firey cross and cry....This is what Republians do a lot...CRY....Then daddy Bush will sprinkle them with Holy Water and they will come back to Washington and vote NO........

    May 3, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Sally

    Mr Obama could really send the republicans into a tailspin if he were to find a qualified gay, Hispanic, single mom in a wheelchair.

    It would be interesting to see whose head would explode first.

    May 3, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. lola

    Simmy – looks like you been drinking the kool-aid. No doubt you were edgeubacated in a government school by union employees. Fool.

    May 3, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. lola

    Simmy – you offend me. And in your Obamaland that means you have committed a crime, worth, say, $10,000,000 dollars. Drop it in the mail soon.

    May 3, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    "I’m not a payback type guy," he told John King on State of the Union.

    But by his previous statements and his reactionary statements and actions toward the stimulus and support of people with teabags on their heads he has proved that he is an " ignorant type of guy".

    May 3, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. lola

    So Lori, are you telling us Bill in the Bayou is incorrect ? Honestly ? Anytime the TRUTH is stuck in the face of an Obamist they squeal RACISM . Lori – you, as well as your god king Obama, are a threat to the stability of this country.

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

    Sage has lied – George Bush vetoed less bills than any other POTUS. Even when the alliance of Fascists gained control of Congress two years ago.

    May 3, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. J. Huck

    A lot of hate coming from republicans, being so INSIGNIFICANT these days will make you say those words. One thing for sure, Republicans will never be a majority party anymore, in fact they will be stuck like their 50's thinking as a regional player. Can't win the country if you don't have help with the independents.

    May 3, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Dyan

    I guess that I don't understand. If it's okay to appoint openly conservative or right-wing judges, then why not an openly left-wing or liberal one? It's something that I've been wondering about for years and I'd love an honest answer from some of our Republican law-makers.

    They readily admit that Scalia, Thomas and Roberts are conservative. And that political, ideological lean sits just fine. But these same law-makers will scream bloody murder if anyone even suggested putting an unabashed liberal on the court.

    Why can't the court have both sides of the ideological divide?

    May 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Wow!

    Simmy May 3rd, 2009 10:34 am ET
    The first of three appointments that President Obama makes . . . The third will be an alternate lifestyle American……
    So you think Blarney Frank will get in????????????

    May 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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