The Washington Post reports, “With President Obama filling his first high court vacancy with the retirement of Justice David H. Souter, Vice President Biden finds himself regularly consulting with the president and fielding queries from the White House counsel and others for insights on the process.” In an interview conducted on Friday, Biden said, “The president is basically taking advantage of my experiences by asking me nuanced questions about both individuals and timing…. We’ve gone through specific nominees, which we’re burrowing in on.” The Post adds that “although Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leading the search, which is being run through the White House counsel’s office, Biden and the president have gone over lists of potential nominees, discussed the best ways to approach senators about a prospective pick, and talked about when it would be best to announce a choice.”
Obama says seeking judge with empathy. In a piece entitled “Scouring Obama’s Past For Clues On Judiciary” the New York Times reported, “As a freshman senator, Barack Obama accused one of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees of changing her approach from case to case to ensure outcomes favorable to powerful parties, like property owners” and “that one-sided record, he said, showed a mission of ‘not blind justice, but political activism.'” However, “in another floor speech soon afterward, Mr. Obama” said that “judges should ‘recognize who the weak are and who the strong are in our society,’ he said, because hard cases will turn on factors like ‘the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.'” He said recently, “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book…. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.'”
From the American Association for Justice news release.