Robert Gibbs Gets to the Point: President Obama Seeks a Supreme Court Nominee Who Will Follow the Rule of Law

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded yesterday to comments by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has said he hopes President Obama will nominate someone to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter who will “abide by the rule of law,” someone who is not a “radical” or an “extremist.” When asked about these comments yesterday, Gibbs dismissed the implication that anyone is interested in nominating “an extremist” and noted that the president is looking for:
[S]omebody that understands the rule of law, somebody that has a record of excellence and integrity, somebody who also understands how these opinions affect everyday lives, and will exercise some common sense.
This is exactly the kind of messaging we recently encouraged the Obama Administration to adopt. As he has done so eloquently in other areas of his campaign and presidency, the President and his staff must emphasize that the nation’s support for the Constitution and the rule of law is a source of unity, not division, and incorporate the search for “empathy” in a judicial nominee into an unequivocal message that the role of judges is to interpret the actual provisions, principles, and purposes of the Constitution and laws.

Here’s hoping Mr. Gibbs and the rest of the Administration continue aggressively making these types of statements when discussing the upcoming Supreme Court nominee, ideally without being prompted by Republican Senators.

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