Thursday, May 14, 2009

Senate Leaders: Supreme Court Pick "Sometime Soon"

Senate Leaders: Supreme Court Pick "Sometime Soon;" CBS News

There is no shortage of speculation over not only who President Obama will nominate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, but also when the announcement will be made. Yet, the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee members remain coy.

This morning, the president met with key members of the Senate, who will be influential in vetting and voting on the future nominee at the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after his meeting with the president that he expects a nominee "sometime soon."

He added that the process from nomination to confirmation takes about sixty days unless the prospect is particularly “controversial," so the vote should happen before October.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the newly appointed ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, said they had a "nice generalized discussion" with the president and that he hopes for a "unifying nominee" that all committee members can support.

Sessions noted that as a senator, Mr. Obama voted against Bush appointees Samuel Alito and John Roberts but "he did not obstruct or say mean things about them."

"There should not be any perception of ramming this through on some artificial deadlines," Sessions said noting that his committee needs time to prepare for hearings.

Sessions added that Mr. Obama told them that the decision, "wasn't imminent, in a few days" and that "no names" were mentioned in the meeting.

Senate Majority Leader Marry Reid said that they will "do the best" they can for a speedy confirmation though he noted that the Justice Committee is the busiest in the senate.

Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-V Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters after the meeting that, "the Republicans know that a nominee by President Obama is not a nominee by a President Bush, or if it had been a President McCain." ...

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