Hatch: Obama seeks high court liberal

May 3, 2009 at 7:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he believes President Barack Obama will appoint a liberal to fill an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy.

In an appearance Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Hatch -- a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- also predicted Obama will choose a judicial activist who would legislate from the bench to succeed Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who is retiring in June.

"We all know he's going to pick a more liberal justice. Their side will make sure it is a pro-abortion justice. I don't think anybody has any illusions about that," Hatch said. "But the question is are they qualified."

Announcing Souter's retirement on Friday, Obama said he will seek a nominee with the "quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles."

Hatch said Obama should seek a fair arbiter to the bench.

"He should appoint somebody who will basically obey the law and not put their own policy preferences into law," Hatch said. "That is what has bothered me about some of the comments the president has made."

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