'This Week' Transcript: Sens. Leahy and Hatch

Now, ultimately he's the one that has to make the choice of who he wants to nominate. We in the Senate then have to decide whether we will consent to that nomination, but I think he's eager to seek the advice of senators of both parties. I think he has some very -- some people that he would like to see -- the type of people he'd like to see.

Remember, he was a constitutional law professor.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I do remember that. Should it be a woman, Senator?

LEAHY: I would like to see certainly more women on the court. Having only one woman on the Supreme Court does not reflect the makeup of the United States. I think we should have more women. We should have more minorities.

I would like to see more people from outside the judicial monastery, somebody who has had some real-life experience, not just as a judge (inaudible) insulated...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring Senator Hatch back in on this, because there are a lot of names that are being bandied about right now. Three of the most prominent names that are being mentioned are two appeals court judges. Sonia Sotomayor, she serves out of New York. Also, Judge Diane Wood, serving out of Chicago, another member of the appeals court. And the new solicitor general, Elena Kagan.

And some conservatives have already taken off on these choices. Let me show one. Wendy Long from the Judicial Confirmation Network says Obama could make it even more of a far-left judicial activist court for a long time to come if he appoints radicals like Diane Wood, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. A new justice in this mold would just entrench a bad majority for a long time."

Do you share that view?

HATCH: Well, I share the view that he should not appoint radicals to the court and I share the view that he should appoint somebody who basically will obey the law...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But are those women radicals?

HATCH: ... and not put their own policy preferences into law. And that's what bothers me about some of the comments that the president has made. He's bright enough to know that those comments basically indicate that politics, preferences, personal preferences and feelings might take the place of being impartial and deciding cases based upon the law, not upon politics.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All three of those women were confirmed to their current positions with the support of many Republicans, including you. Are they radicals?

HATCH: I don't think they're radicals, but there's no question that they are on the far left of the spectrum. And to be honest with you, I don't expect the president to pick somebody in the center or on the far right. But, you know, it would be a slam dunk if he picked somebody who was center-left like Souter. Souter became very liberal, but he also stood for a lot of principles.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You famously said -- you suggested to President Clinton that he should pick Justices Breyer and Ginsburg. You wrote about that in your book.

HATCH: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any recommendations for President Obama?

HATCH: No, I'm not going to make any recommendations unless he calls me. If he calls me, I'd be happy to sit down with him. We get along well. I've been out to the White House a number of times. I have a great admiration for him and his abilities. I hope that he will pick somebody who will, like I say, not put their own personal predilections into law, but follow the law and do what really is right.

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