Tales from the Trail

Obama visits Supreme Court that he could reshape

January 14, 2009

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama has lunched at the White House and paid his respects to Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday it was the turn of the judiciary.    OBAMA/

Obama visited the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land that he could reshape after becoming president next week.Obama, who has vowed to name judges with empathy for ordinary people, met privately for one hour with Chief Justice John Roberts and seven other justices.

There were no details of the meeting and tour, which included Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

The only absent justice was Justice Samuel Alito, a spokeswoman said. She did not know why he did not attend, even though he had had been at the court for the morning arguments.

As senators, Obama and Biden both voted against Roberts and Alito, President George W. Bush’s two conservative appointees to the court. Obama said they were more likely to side with the powerful than the powerless.
Roberts, who will administer the oath of office to Obama next Tuesday, invited Obama and Biden to visit the Supreme Court in a Dec. 5 letter, to “become better acquainted.”

There currently are no vacancies on the Supreme Court. But with the oldest justice at 88 and four justices in their 70s, Obama could get at least one and possibly several appointments during the next four years, allowing him to reshape the court.

Obama, who formerly taught law at the University of Chicago, often praised the court’s liberal-leaning members during the campaign while criticizing the conservatives.

Obama might not shift the balance of power on the court, which has been closely divided with a 5-4 conservative majority, if liberal justices depart. But he could replace them with younger justices who could serve for decades. Federal judges enjoy lifetime tenure.

Comments
2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

For the LAST TIME: Mr. Obama did NOT *teach law* at the University of Chicago. He was a SOMETIME LECTURER, and as such, was NOT a professor, a tenured full time staff member, or otherwise associated with the University of Chicago EXCEPT AS A “LECTURER.”

I would expect far more clarity and accuracy from a news agency such as Reuters.

Posted by truthisgold | Report as abusive
 

Obama was never tenured at the University of Chicago. He was only a “senior lecturer”. Let’s get the facts straight next time, ok?

Posted by okbiograd | Report as abusive
 

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