Justice David Souter is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The fact that President Obama was a constitutional professor is reassuring. He is probably the best-equipped to evaluate the candidates and make an excellent selection. However, apparently, the GOP is already campaigning against his pick - before he has even picked anyone! So, I have a couple of messages:
o Republican Party: You are already seen as the party of "no" right now. Why don't you keep your mouths shut until you see what Obama does?
o President Obama: Please don't try to find someone in the middle who will make Republicans and Democrats both happy. Stand your liberal ground! The Republicans have had control over Supreme Court nominations for too long! And they have no qualms about putting the likes of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia on the court.
Here is an interesting graphic that measures how conservative and liberal Supreme Court justices have been since 1937. Four of the five most conservative justices (Thomas, Scalia, Alito, Roberts) are sitting on the court right now. Three of the justices currently considered "liberal" are actually pretty moderate with only Ruth Bader Ginsburg measuring out as very liberal. This shows just how skewed towards conservative the court is right now. We will really need to seize this opportunity to balance things out.
Please pick a liberal and don't fall for any Republican attempts to push it towards the center. They have not displayed any openness to bipartisanship, so if you have to steamroll it through the Senate, just do it! We've got Specter now (more on that on another post!) and should have Franken. Now is the chance to put some balance back in the Supreme Court.