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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid