White House press secretary Robert Gibbs opined a bit today on President Obama’s Supreme Court selection, telling reporters it is a decision “he alone will make,” adding he doesn’t think the the lobbying of interest groups will help and might even be “counterproductive.”
But this afternoon, Sen. Barbara Boxer urged her political supporters via Twitter to sign a petition asking Obama appoint a woman to the post. (Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican, also co-signed a letter with Boxer to push for a female nominee.)
“We need a Supreme Court that is more representative of all Americans, so that its decisions better reflect the diversity of life experiences and points-of-view in America,” her petition reads. “Please nominate a well-qualified woman to take Justice Souter’s seat on the Court.”
Gibbs also said press speculation about Obama’s so-called “short list” for the Supreme Court nomination doesn’t include everyone he is considering for replacing retiring Justice David Souter.
“The president does take some heart in knowing that in all of the lists that have been seen and produced, there hasn’t yet been one produced with the totality of names by which — under which are being considered,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs said Obama does not want “to drag names through and vet names through the public,” and suggested the process would be as secretive as the vice presidential selection was handled over the summer.
The president will host several key senators at the White House tomorrow to discuss the nomination process, and Gibbs said he wasn’t sure if Obama would run his preferred names by them. He did add that some lawmakers have asked Obama to consider specific candidates.
— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times