The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Supreme Court

A Supreme Court Nomination Next Week?

President Obama meets at the White House with (L-R) Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Vice President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to discuss the impending Supreme Court vacancy. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Updated 6:35 p.m.
By Paul Kane and Shailagh Murray
President Obama told senators at a White House meeting today that he would review names of potential Supreme Court nominees over the weekend, leading participants to believe an announcement could come within days, according to senior Senate aides who were briefed on the gathering.

Obama did not give out any names of potential successors to retiring Justice David Souter, nor did he give a specific timeline, said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and one of four senior senators who attended the meeting. But the president encouraged Sessions, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) to follow up with written comments about nominees they would favor or thoughts on any of the nominees whose names had been discussed in the media as potential picks.

Sessions said the president did "most of the talking" at the 40-minute meeting gathering. "He had not made up his mind, and he had resolved to try to go forward as quickly as he can," Sessions told reporters. He did not indicate whether he would provide Obama written guidance on potential nominees who would provoke the strongest objections from Republicans.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters afterwards that Obama reiterated to the group that he "would choose a nominee who respects the Constitution and judicial precedent and also has the good judgment and common sense to reach fair decisions." The president urged senators to act quickly on the nomination to ensure that the new justice is confirmed before the court's new term begins in October, "with time to prepare beforehand."

Senate aides said Reid told Obama that the goal was a confirmation vote before the Senate departs on its summer recess. The official adjournment date is August 7.

Gibbs said senators concurred with Obama "that the process would be civil" and that the aim was for the nominee to receive a "fair hearing in which their views could be thoughtfully discussed in a way that highlights the strengths of the American justice system." Senate aides said Reid and Leahy noted their preference for a justice "with real-life experience."

Also today, Sessions announced that he was bringing in his own top staff to the Judiciary Committee, replacing the top echelon of aides that his predecessor, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), had compiled before he switched parties two weeks ago.

Brian Benczkowski, a veteran of the Justice Department, will serve as staff director. Benczkowski recently served as chief of staff to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and before that was deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, and chief of staff at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Posted at 3:46 PM ET on May 13, 2009  | Category:  Supreme Court
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Posted by: joelevin | May 14, 2009 2:54 PM

In case anyone's curious, Sotomayor and Kagan are being traded at about equal prices (30% likelihood) at the predictions market at Following them are Wood (26), Wardlaw (15) and Granholm (10).

Numbers don't add up to 100 because the market is not perfectly efficient at low volumes...

Posted by: B2O2 | May 13, 2009 8:16 PM

Hey Carleen 19771 I just read this same report in my Arizona Republic on line and
saw an AP Breaking News Alert as well that
Good Old Flip Flop From Kenya President
Barack Hussein Obama will nominate his fool
incompetent Sec of Homeland Security Total
Screw Up Janet Napolitano to be the New
US Supreme Court Justice,so have you or
anyone heard anything out of the Obama Post
on this yet by now? WAPO was much better
at covering real news then this Endless
Obama Fluff Piece Obama PR Rag.

Posted by: Pam83 | May 13, 2009 7:55 PM

Heads Up,the Arizona Republic and AP are
now reporting Sleazy Barack Hussein Obama
the Flip Flop from Kenya,is seriously now
considering naming Obama's Incompetent
Sec of Homeland Security and Ex-Az Gov
Janet Napolitano for the upcoming vacate
US Supreme Court Justice position!!!...

It just keeps getting crazier all the time
as Obama must want to pay Napolitano off
with a nice high paying life time job to
get the Incompetent Village Idiot Loser
Janet Napolitano out of his hair at DHS!
God help us all if Napolitano becomes a
US Supreme Court Justice. Where is WAPO?

Posted by: Carleen19771 | May 13, 2009 7:30 PM

You forgot one:

Unlike republicans or republican's nominee's both parents must be of opposite sex and married.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | May 13, 2009 4:41 PM

Requirements for hussein's Supreme Court nominee:

Posted by: justjunkemail | May 13, 2009 7:16 PM

Why do I have feeling that looneyleft really is looneyright, or maybe even Uncle Dick.

Posted by: ksobserver1 | May 13, 2009 7:11 PM


Do you know how long it took to get John Robert confirmed? Sam Alito?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:06 PM

The Republicans want to wait 60 days ? I guess dear old Rush has an other Court appearance in Florida on drug charges. Cheney's gay daughter's wedding to Ms Connie is next month & Gingrich is lost for words as usual. There isn't any other Republicans with any authority is there ?

Posted by: wasaUFO | May 13, 2009 4:41 PM

Let's see if Obama Trotsky's out Harold Koh to facilitate application of Sharia law. "Just say no to Koh".

Posted by: Bubbette1 | May 13, 2009 4:41 PM

Requirements for hussein's Supreme Court nominee:

1. Hispanic (NB: English speaking or understanding is NOT required.)
2. Female (NB: No test will be made to confirm this to allow janet "wrong-way" napolitano to think she actually has a shot at the nomination.)
3. Dues-paying Union member
4. Has one black parent and at least one illegal immigrant parent.
5. TAX CHEAT who has swindled the government out of at least $50,000 (more is BETTER).
6. Gay or a gay-rights advocate
7. Member of La Raza advocating AMNESTY plus unlimited government benefits for all illegals.
8. Totally, completely committed to the socialist philosophy of Karl Marx.
9. Experienced as a "community organizer" with ACORN who has enabled at least 1000 cases of voter fraud (more is BETTER).
10. An experienced drug user (as close to the hussein level as possible) and an advocate for the legalization of all husseinallucinogenics.


When the loony-left d-crats talk of their "big tent" they actually mean their "circus tent" - as that is what they need to contain this "diversity" freak show.

Posted by: LoonyLeft | May 13, 2009 4:19 PM

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