President Obama’s criteria for a Supreme Court Justice


While Tea-Publicans in the U.S. Senate are engaged in an unprecedented “blockade” against the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 2, with respect to the President’s constitutional duty to appoint a Justice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama has written this op-ed for SCOTUSblog on what he is looking for in a Supreme Court Justice.

Unlike the obstructionist Senate Tea-Publicans, “this is A Responsibility I Take Seriously“:

ObamaThe Constitution vests in the President the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court.  It’s a duty that I take seriously, and one that I will fulfill in the weeks ahead.

It’s also one of the most important decisions that a President will make.  Rulings handed down by the Supreme Court directly affect our economy, our security, our rights, and our daily lives.

Needless to say, this isn’t something I take lightly.  It’s a decision to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum.  And with thanks to SCOTUSblog for allowing me to guest post today, I thought I’d share some spoiler-free insights into what I think about before appointing the person who will be our next Supreme Court Justice.

First and foremost, the person I appoint will be eminently qualified.  He or she will have an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity.  I’m looking for a mastery of the law, with an ability to hone in on the key issues before the Court, and provide clear answers to complex legal questions.

Second, the person I appoint will be someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law.  I seek judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

But I’m also mindful that there will be cases that reach the Supreme Court in which the law is not clear.  There will be cases in which a judge’s analysis necessarily will be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment.  That’s why the third quality I seek in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook.  It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times.  That, I believe, is an essential element for arriving at just decisions and fair outcomes.

A sterling record.  A deep respect for the judiciary’s role.  An understanding of the way the world really works.  That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court.  And as Senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so that the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.

President Obama’s optimism that this insurrectionist rebellion against the U.S. Constitution will end soon does not appear to be warranted at this point. Maybe he knows something we don’t.

Previous articleThe GOP embraces ‘Trumpism,’ the new American fascism
Next article2016 Peace Fair & Music Festival in Tucson
AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. It’s good to see President Obama taking the high road! Unfortunately I have a feeling any President, Democrat or Republican, would say the same. What really matters is how the new justice will vote on “hot-button” issues and it’s wise that the Pres. didn’t say he would ask.

  2. SCOTUS is half the reason I voted for Obama. SCOTUS is the ONLY reason I’d ever vote for a Wall Street-owned corporate war hawk like Hillary.

    I expect my President to do what we pay him to do, and the same for the Senate.

    Funny thing is, half these Teabagger’s claim God gave us the US Constitution, so now they’re going against the word of God?

    Jebus Freakin’….

Comments are closed.