Supreme Court Nominations

Biden: Obama won't nominate a 'new Justice Brennan' for the Supreme Court

Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden. Drop of Light /

Vice President Joe Biden believes President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia won’t be staunchly liberal.

In an interview with the Washington Post and Politico, Biden said he doesn’t believe Obama will pick “a new Justice Brennan.”

Biden said Obama will instead pick someone who isn’t overtly ideological, and mentioned two justices selected by Republican presidents: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, considered a swing vote on the court, and retired Justice David H. Souter, who often sided with the court’s liberals.

“This is a potential gigantic game changer,” Biden said. “And my advice is, the only way we get someone on the court, now or even later, is to do what we’ve done in the past. … We have to pick somebody, as the president will, who is intellectually competent, is a person of high moral character, is a person who is demonstrated to have an open mind, and is a person who doesn’t come with a specific agenda.

“And there are a whole hell of a lot of people who Republicans have already voted for who fall in that category, who we can like, in my opinion. And there are a lot people they haven’t voted for who fall in that category. But the idea that we’re going to go in and decide we’re going to pick an, I don’t know, a new Justice Brennan, I don’t think that’s going to happen. That’s not how the system works.”

Biden didn’t specifically name any possible nominees. But both articles mention Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as someone who fits Biden’s description. Srinivasan was confirmed unanimously to the appeals court. He formerly worked in the U.S. Solicitor General’s office in Republican and Democratic administrations.

Scalia’s body will lie in repose Friday on the same catafalque used for the body of President Abraham Lincoln, the Washington Post reports. A funeral Mass will be held Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Day for funeral Mass corrected at 9:05 a.m.

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