Senate Democrats to Obama: Ignore GOP, Nominate Pro-Abortion Activist for Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 14, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Democrats to Obama: Ignore GOP, Nominate Pro-Abortion Activist for Supreme Court

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 14
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Senate Democrats have some advice for President Barack Obama on choosing a replacement for retiring pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. They say he should ignore Republicans and simply nominate the most stridently pro-abortion activist to the high court while they still have a 59-41 vote advantage.

With a second chance to nominate a Supreme Court justice for Stevens’ seat, Obama can go one of two directions.

He can stick with a safe choice — someone like DC Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland — who gives him a chance to avoid another bruising political battle in advance of the November elections that will likely see Democrats suffer big losses as a result of the pro-abortion health care bill.

Or, sensing that Democrats will not have near as many votes in the Senate after November should another nomination come his way, Obama can select from one of many pro-abortion activists like Judge Diane Wood or Solicitor General Elena Kagan and turn the court as far left as possible in this rare opportunity.

Democrats say Republicans are so jaded from the battle over the pro-abortion health care bill that they are unlikely to support any nomination — so Obama may as well select the most liberal nominee possible.

“I think we need to push someone who would be on the liberal side, on the progressive side, just as Roberts and Alito are on that side," pro-abortion Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin told Politico.
“Why do conservatives always get the conservatives, but we don’t get to get liberals? What the hell is that all about?”

Obama has already announced plans to meet next week with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell,a pro-life lawmaker from Kentucky, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top pro-life Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats also point to the fact that 31 Republicans voted no last year on the nomination of pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor and with the political winds at their back, more GOP members may be emboldened to vote against the next Supreme Court nominee.

“I don’t think you can count on any Republican support — no matter who he nominates,” said Sen. John Rockefeller, pro-abortion West Virginia Democrat. “Even if he nominates a conservative, it wouldn’t be conservative enough.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told Politico there is little reason to work with Republicans and claiming they will likely try to play to their base for the elections by saying any nominee Obama puts forward is a pro-abortion liberal who doesn’t deserve support.

“I’m afraid we’re going to face that criticism whoever he suggests,” he said.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas told the political web site that Democrats should be careful because Americans don’t want more left-wing, pro-abortion judges.

“Folks that vote Republican and independents that lean Republican — they understand this debate and the importance of nominating and confirming judges who are impartial ideologically,” said Cornyn, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee. “I think there’s one way the president can guarantee a big fight … nominate an ideologue.”

On the other political side, some moderate Democrats are facing tough re-election campaigns and may feel the need to oppose a polemic pro-abortion nominee. That could give Obama incentive to nominate someone not seen as so far to the left.

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