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-- six someone in the coming weeks with similar similar qualities and independent mind a record of excellence and integrity.
A fierce dedication to the rule of law and a keen understanding about the law affects the daily lives of the American people.
President Obama today saying he wants someone similar to justice John Paul Stevens to replace him on the Supreme Court.
Let's bring in our panel Steve Hayes of the weekly standard.
No that's not the case -- the witness -- -- John Buck and even book.
For a minute there I thought view in real IRA what the heck it better -- couple -- -- -- Juan Williams from national public radio.
And syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.
Well before we -- Scots and if you really want to what -- put up the picture of John Paul Stevens so everybody can take a look at him Bob.
And we got John -- -- here somewhere berry is.
Before we discuss Stephens 34.
Years on the court let's talk about who will replace them.
The conventional wisdom is that the president is going to choose from the short list.
Of people love that he was looking -- when he chose Sonia Sotomayor last year and here are.
The three front runner solicitor general -- -- Kagan Circuit Court judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland.
And perhaps if he decides to choose someone who's not a court judge there's been talk about secretary of Homeland Security -- and volatile.
Steve argument they really are the front runners and would any of them.
Provoked a confirmation back I think.
The first thing to say is it nobody actually knows anything at this point.
Mean it's not like this was unexpected the president basically came into office expecting Stevens to retire actually had some time to prepare.
He's been through this exercise once but the people who know something -- are not talking at this point so what everybody here's over the next few days is speculation.
So let me speculate.
I think I you know my gut tells me that he goes left with this nomination that he -- pick somebody wants to be transformative president.
This is one of his really.
Significant ways to do that I think he goes left keep but he picks somebody like.
Elena Kagan who has conservative support she hired conservatives when she was.
Dean at Harvard law school she would have some prominent conservative speaking out on her behalf.
I think that would make her more acceptable and more difficult for Republicans to challenge despite the fact that she's got.
-- history of of you saying things that are at least consistent -- liberal mindset one.
Well I think that you gotta remember the context for this moment which is the president really isn't war with the Supreme Court of the United States he feels that the Supreme Court is dominated by conservatives.
And the conservatives in terms of the campaign finance ruling when exactly the wrong way and -- -- -- in the state of the union and with this many members the Supreme Court sitting right there.
I think he embarrassed them and now recently he's also.
I named gotten nominee -- to -- -- -- move for a ninth circuit.
Position and who has been very liberal record and has caused some consternation among conservatives on Capitol Hill terms that nomination process so so -- -- does it mean for his nominee for the -- I think he I think that he wants somebody who is going to be an intellectual force in much the way Stephens what were forced to try to.
Bring along -- day O'Connor Anthony Kennedy and form a liberal voting block on the court to counter the right.
I think he's looking for somebody of that kind in the person stands out in my mind is who's going to be the favorite among liberals I might add.
If Diane what and the reason is that when her in her work on the seventh circuit -- has been a real point of opposition to people like Frank Easterbrook.
And -- Richard Posner you know leading conservatives on that court.
You know it sometimes though Charles that he isn't being a strong.
Ideological spokesman I mean Antonin Scalia is obviously very much so for the conservatives you have to be politician and and perhaps the reason that.
That justice -- was so effective was because of his ability to get that fifth vote what there was Sandra Day O'Connor.
Or Tony Kennedy.
I think so and I think a lot of this has been me informed not by what the president wants.
But by the politics of this from the timing here is crucial because he's coming in an election year and I can now see a delegation.
Endangered senate the Democrats.
The walking into the Oval Office Arlen Specter of Michael.
-- of Colorado.
Harry Reid blanch Lincoln saying please -- president.
We are hanging by a thread have to health care after the stimulus -- of the reaction to what's happened over the last year in three months.
To your agenda which we supported.
Don't hit us with a Diane Wood who was a very left ideologue who believes not only.
Ideologically left wing could causes but believes that the role of the court is to intrude.
And do -- impose itself on issues like abortion or gay marriage let.
Let's talk briefly about Justice -- three decades on the court appointed by.
Gerald Ford but he said he didn't move to the -- he said it was the court that moved to the right.
Real quickly let's try to get all of -- -- on this Steve what stands out field but just as -- well I think actually the thing and you were just discussing the fact that he was able to bring people along and really -- some decisions by his ability to persuade people in those times and nobody sees where the justices are sitting.
By themselves and talk me thinks through war presenting opinions to one another one.
Talking with the people.
In public the court today and they were saying you know he's the last Protestant.
On the Supreme Court.
And so everybody else -- Catholic or Jewish.
And the way this calculus patient was going.
Alleged that you know if you look I think it's Kagan I don't -- your on your record Garland -- -- Jewish.
And so what would be only.
Protestant in the group and -- Stephen is you know -- he was also the only veteran let me just say he's the only guy who's actually been in war that was on the court.
So in many ways use this unique entity.
And you know and I think the fact that he was awful coalition builder stands out and Charles.
When a Protestant is the only diversity candidate yeah you know how much Americans changed.
-- I think with anything about him is he came in and he as a Republican appointee.
He came in he he -- helped to reinstate the death penalty.
At the beginning of -- that term and in the later years he opposed it so he's the -- who changed.
He says is that the court chased around him when he himself also.
That changed quite remarkably ideological.
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