President Obama laid out his wish list for a Supreme Court nominee Wednesday, calling for an independent mind, life experience and an “understanding of the way the world really works” from his pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
In the guest post on “SCOTUSblog,” Obama called the Supreme Court nomination “one of the most important decisions that a president will make” and emphasized the importance not only of intellect and integrity, but also someone who is not guided by an agenda.
“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,” Obama wrote.
Obama also said he wants a judge who knows that “justice is not about abstract legal theory, not 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,” he wrote.
In the post, he made reference to the “constitutional responsibility” of senators, and calls on them to move quickly through debate to confirm whoever the nominee may be.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on the prospect of the Senate considering a nominee Tuesday, saying Republicans would not allow a nominee to be considered until after the November election, when he said they would “revisit the matter.”
Later Wednesday, Obama commented on the controversy, telling reporters before a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah that he still had a year left of his presidency.
"I don't think they would approve of me abdicating my duties as commander-in-chief and doing all the other work I've got to do," Obama said. "This is part of my job."
A White House official told Fox News Wednesday that an invitation has been extended to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for a consultative meeting on filling the vacancy. Grassley's office said he has received the invitation and it is "under consideration."