The Toughest Decision a President has to make


icon_digg Our President has achieved a much needed start, over the past four short months, on rebuilding the functions of our government, as it was originally conceived by our forefathers, while returning our nation back to us, the common folks who comprise the mainstream of America.

Ahead, in my opinion, lies one of the most important aspects of the Presidency; deciding who sits on the Supreme Court.  As voters, we decide, at all levels, who represents us in our government, but only the President decides who is nominated as a Justice.  Since our country is governed by the “Rule of Law”, these nine Justices decisions affect our entire society and determine the way we live.

In an article, authored by Geoffrey Stone, entitled: “The Next Justice: What Obama Wants”, presented within the Huffington Post, Mr. Stone surmises these five factors will be especially important to President Obama:

  • High level of intellectual ability
  • Moderate liberal
  • A strong voice about the role of the Supreme Court
  • Build consensus within the Court
  • Diversity

All of which I concur with, especially the fifth item of the aforementioned, which I feel would be a woman, a Hispanic, or an African-American.

Everyone as their own opinions on the issues which need attending to, by the Supreme Court; myself I list the following, some of which are currently ongoing within the court while some, I’m sure, will come into focus within President Obama’s Administration:

  • I believe in an exacting separation between “church” and “state”.  During the Bush years there seemed to persist an interwoven connection between the two which divided Americans instead of bonding us.
  • I believe Guantanamo Bay (Camp Delta) must be closed and the incarcerated be confined in prison(s) located within the continental US.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special” authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe those within the Bush Administration, responsible for authorizing “torture” should be accounted for.  This dose not necessarily mean imprisoned; instead the truth must be made available via the FOIA (pdf) so history can be documented correctly during this troubled chapter in our War on Terrorism.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Change Starts by Correcting the Past” and “Torturing Democracy – The Film”, both authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe our current Patriot Act, especially the FISA amendment, will present itself before the court.  Surveillance of expats and retirees living abroad who are loyal Americans need not be included within unsupervised “data mining” operations.  Again consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Time for Another Review of the Patriot Act” and “Going Beyond the Limits Surveillance” authored by me, for additional details.

As you can easily ascertain, my views are liberal, which is contrary to the notion that “the older you become, the more conservative your beliefs are”.

As for my recommendations of who should to become our next Supreme Court Justice, I’ll have to punt and save that for an additional posting, once all the “chatter” on the net has subsided. However, I do believe President Obama’s choice will either come from the First or Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (map pdf).

Update 17 May09:

No Clamor for High Court Appointee to Be Woman, Minority
As in 2005, majority of Americans say gender, race, and ethnicity of appointee don’t matter
by Frank Newport | Gallup Polls

Despite the widely reported expectation that President Barack Obama will be looking for a qualified woman — perhaps from a minority racial or ethnic group — to fill the seat to be vacated by the retiring Justice David Souter, 64% of Americans say it doesn’t matter to them whether Obama appoints a woman, with slightly higher percentages saying the same about the appointment of a black or Hispanic.


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Court in 2005 and was replaced by a man (Samuel Alito), meaning that the Court today includes only one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who herself has been battling cancer. As a result, there has been much speculation that President Obama will almost certainly nominate a female justice to avoid the possibility that within the next several years, the Court would have nine male justices. Still, as was the case four years ago, when there were two vacancies on the court (after Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away and before O’Connor’s seat was filled), there is very little demand from the American public that Obama replace Souter with a woman.

For sake of reference, the following postings are provided:

Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices (courtesy of Cornell University)

Supreme Court Appointment Process – Roles of the President – Judiciary Committee and Senate (pdf)

A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court (pdf)

Possible Supreme Court Candidates for Justice David Souter (Salon.com)

Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Supreme Court Nomination Hearings (1971 – forward)

Past members of the Supreme Court of the United States (pfd)

Related Newswires Articles on the Supreme Court

As always a YouTube video (this time somewhat dated) regarding the Supreme Court decision for a candidate from the White House.

White House Talks Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement

After President Obama’s Announcement Of His Retirement – White House Talks About Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement – 05/01/09


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