Liberal Judge Sidney Thomas Makes Obama’s Short List for Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Liberal Judge Sidney Thomas Makes Obama’s Short List for Supreme Court

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Judge Sidney Thomas is one of four people said to be on the short list of names President Barack Obama is considering to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens. The list includes two key abortion advocates but Thomas would likely uphold Roe v. Wade.

Obama met with Thomas last Thursday in what was his first one-on-one interview with his list of potential nominees and Vice President Joe Biden interviewed Thomas at the White House in a separate meeting .

Although Solicitor General Elena Kagan, whom Obama interviewed Friday, and pro-abortion Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Wood, who interviewed this week, are clearly pro-abortion activists, Thomas may be just as bad.

Thomas is a member of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest of the nation’s appellate courts and the one considered the most liberal.

Even then, Thomas, according to National Review writer and legal expert Ed Whelan, is on the liberal end of that liberal court.

"Thomas is on the far Left of the very liberal Ninth Circuit—or, as I put it before, that while he may be physically in Montana, he’s jurisprudentially in Reinhardt-istan," Whelan says — referring to ultra liberal judge Stephen Reinhardt.

Whelan says Thomas’ rulings have been so far to the left that one legal scholar called one case, Summerlin v. Stewart, “quite possibly the worst opinion ever to issue from the Ninth Circuit, and that is saying quite a lot.” And a three-judge panel said Thomas’s opinion “wander[ed] afield”—and contradicted a very recent Supreme Court precedent as well as rulings from other circuits.

Ultimately, Whelan says there is "substantial evidence" to show that Thomas is a liberal jurist.

Thomas will also likely be another justice to support unlimited abortions given Obama’s litmus test that any nominee he names will support it.

Last month, Obama promised he will have no abortion litmus test but then later contradicted himself.

“I don’t 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 and that is going to be something that is very important to me," Obama said, essentially putting a litmus test into place.

Obama added that he believes the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy and "bodily integrity," though he made no mention of the bodily rights of unborn children.

Obama is expected to issue the nomination as soon as this week or next.

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