News / USA

Obama to Name Supreme Court Justice By End of May

U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes to nominate a new Supreme Court justice by the end of May.  The president has met with key Senators from both parties, who will lead the confirmation process.  

Before meeting with the lawmakers, President Obama said Wednesday he will "certainly" make his choice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens at or before the end of May.

The president is calling for a Senate confirmation vote before the lawmakers recess in August, so the new justice can join the nine-member court when its new session starts in October.

"My hope is that we are going to be able to get a Supreme Court nominee confirmed in time for the next session," said the presodent. "As Justice Stevens said, I think it is very important, particularly given the important cases that may be coming before the Supreme Court, that we get this process wrapped up," he said.

Mr. Obama met with the top Senate Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  

The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Democrat Patrick Leahy, and the committee's leading Republican, Jeff Sessions, also talked with the president about his upcoming nomination.

After the meeting, Senator Leahy said he wants to keep politics out of the confirmation process as much as possible.

"I am not looking for a nominee who is there for Republicans or Democrats.  I want somebody who is there for the American people," said Leahy.

Susan Low Bloch, a professor of law at Washington's Georgetown University, expects opposition Republicans in the Senate to fight the nomination, whoever it may be.  But she believes a nomination will be approved in a timely manner.

"I do not think the process will be quick, and I do not think it will be quiet, but yes, I do think that the person will be able to take his or her seat by the time the court convenes in October," she said.

As with most Supreme Court nominations in recent decades, Mr. Obama says the issue of abortion will be "hugely contentious."

The president says he will not make a nomination based on a candidate's views on the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion.  But he says he will take those views into consideration.

"I do not have litmus tests around any of these issues, but I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women's rights," the president said.

Justice Stevens announced his retirement on April 9, after 35 years on the high court.  He is the longest-serving of the nine current justices, and at age 90 is the second-oldest justice ever.

Although he was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford, Stevens has, in recent years, led the more liberal wing of the court.  

The White House has not revealed the names of any potential nominees.

Most Washington media speculation has centered on three possibilities:  U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, and federal judge Diane Wood.  All three were reported to have been considered for the high court last year.

Reports say others are also being considered, possibly including some elected officials as well as judges.

This will be Mr. Obama's second opportunity to fill a Supreme Court opening.  Last year the Senate confirmed his choice of Sonia Sotomayor, making her the court's first Hispanic justice.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid