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

Obama looking for 'common touch' in Supreme Court nominee

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. tess

    well, we know whomever o'bama choses will certainly have the common touch since there doesn't appear to be a democrat out there who isn't common! they are all out there for themselves and are led by the commonest of them all "botox pelosi" he will have his wish and the rest of us will get the spoils----

    May 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Maggie

    Everyone knows as well as I do that President Obma will pick someone who will go along with his agenda and his views and more than likely, democrat, a black American woman ahd one his wide will approve of. He may want people to think he is fair but any one who has had the friends he has will stay true to HIMSELF and not the people's choice. I would be great and put him better standing with the Republicans if he choose a Souther person like Graham lindsey or Neut Gindrich but not sure if they have the qualifications. But at leaset a southern Republican man.

    May 23, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Had It

    So? CNN has to make a big deal about everything. Most of our presidents have stayed in touch with ex-presidents. NO BIG DEAL.

    May 23, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Lynn

    Maggie: Why would President Obama want to be in good standing with Republicans? Gingrich would immediately be disqualified as one of the criteria is "values" which his private life and public life reveal he has none.

    Did you criticize George Bush for putting two right wing, white men on the bench??

    May 23, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Jean

    Obama "common touch" = left wing liberal nut case.

    Obama knows he is in trouble with the left wing radical of his base so please them with a left wing radical judge.

    May 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. stan

    There is no objective test to determine who is "most qualified". What "most qualified" means to many people is someone they agree with. All Obama has to do is appoint someone who meets the constitutional requirements and nothing else.

    May 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Will

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Sonia Sotomayor!!!

    May 23, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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