Supreme Court Nominations

What kind of justice will Obama appoint? He answers the question in a SCOTUSblog guest post

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President Barack Obama. Frederic Legrand - COMEO /

President Barack Obama shares his “spoiler-free insights” into his views of an ideal Supreme Court nominee in a guest post at SCOTUSblog on Wednesday.

The blog post follows statements by Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that they will not hold hearings or a vote on any Supreme Court nominee submitted by Obama.

In his post at SCOTUSblog, Obama writes that his nominee will be “eminently qualified.” The president says he will be looking for “an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity.”

Second, Obama says, he will appoint “someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law. I seek judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda.”

Some cases will reach the Supreme Court, however, where the law is not clear. In those cases, Obama writes, “a judge’s analysis necessarily will be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment. That’s why the third quality I seek in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook. It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives.”

Obama adds that he hopes the Senate will “move quickly to debate and then confirm” his nominee.

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