President Barack Obama Talks About Potential Replacement for Pro-Abortion Justice Stevens
by Steven Ertelt
April 11, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama talked about the kind of Supreme Court nominee he will seek to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens. The member of the high court’s 5-4 pro-abortion majority plans to leave his post this summer and prompt a Supreme Court battle in the months leading up the November congressional elections.
Obama said he would seek a nominee with an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.
It will also be someone who, like Justice Stevens, knows that in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens, Obama said.
Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July.
He said he hopes Stevens successor will be confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court’s next term."
Obama hailed Stevens as an "impartial guardian of the law" despite his support for the case that ushered in an era of 52 million abortions and promised to move quickly to nominate a replacement.
"We cannot replace Justice Stevens’ experience or wisdom," Obama said at the White House. "I’ll seek someone in the coming weeks with similar qualities. It will also be someone who, like Justice Stevens, knows that in democracy powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."
Leading candidates to replace Stevens include pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 49, and federal appellate judges Merrick Garland, 57, in Washington and pro-abortion Diane Wood, 59, in Chicago.
Others who might be considered include two Democratic governors, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, and State Department legal adviser Harold Koh. All three are ardent abortion advocates.
Looking ahead to the potential confirmation battle, Sen. Pat Leahy, a pro-abortion Vermont Democrat who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he hoped "senators on both sides of the aisle will make this process a thoughtful and civil discourse."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a pro-life advocate, responded, saying, "Americans can expect Senate Republicans to make a sustained and vigorous case for judicial restraint and the fundamental importance of an evenhanded reading of the law."
Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life promised pro-life groups would oppose any pro-abortion nominee.
She told LifeNews.com, "There are several nominees on the President’s short list of replacements for Justice Stevens who have a radical track record on the abortion issue. If a nominee is selected who is committed to imposing his or her social agenda on the Court, rather than interpreting the Constitution fairly, we will work to oppose their confirmation vigorously."
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