Liberal Group: Supreme Court Battle Is Bigger Than This Nomination

Apr 13, 2010 5:02pm

ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: Supreme Court vacancies have a special ability to rally the partisan bases on both sides of the aisle.  And this upcoming confirmation battle to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens will be no different. Some Democrats and their allied liberal interest groups are planning to deemphasize the inevitable focus on the president’s eventual nominee and instead use the Supreme Court vacancy to highlight the High Court’s impact on the everyday lives of most Americans. “I think this is about a national conversation we are about to have about what the Supreme Court is all about,” said Marge Baker of the People for the American Way when she appeared on ABC News’ “Top Line” today. “Because of the very controversial Citizens United decision that came down in January. . . people are getting and understanding in a fundamental way the impact that the Court has in their lives.  So I think, I think this is about not just this nomination, this is not just about replacing Stevens.   It’s about what the court is about, it’s about getting away from some of the tag lines that don’t make much sense about ‘activist judges’ and ‘legislating from the bench’ and getting to what is it really about to have a justice on the court who understands the impact of the law on the lives of average Americans,” Baker added. We also asked about what kind of person President Obama should nominate in the eyes of liberal groups such as PFAW. “I think what he can and should do is go through the calculation of who is the best person that he can nominate.  Who’s going to serve the interests of the American public?  Who’s not going to undermine this compact with the American people about government being there for them and for their interests?,” Baker replied. Watch our entire interview with Marge Baker HERE: Politico’s Glenn Thrush also takes a look at this battle plan being constructed by the left. 
Republican strategist Kevin Madden also joined us to discuss SCOTUS and more.  He said the battle ahead largely depends on who the president nominates to the court. “Whether it’s Merrick Garland or Elena Kagan things can be very different.  Or if Diane Wood it’s a very different thing, but I think fundamentally what happens with Supreme Court nominations is that both parties see it as a, as an entrée to appeal to their base and you know that is always the political instinct up on Capitol Hill.  I think that Republicans again will seize an opportunity to again argue from a judicial philosophy the different political contrasts that are apparent amongst a political electorate right now,” said Madden. “I think the biggest peril right now though for Democrats is that with all the oxygen being taken up on a Supreme Court nomination that every day that another second ticks off the clock where they can’t pivot to jobs and the economy it becomes a big problem for them,” Madden said.  “So I think they need to kind of keep this as a much cooler temperature throughout all the way through July or when we finally get a vote for a nominee, on a nominee,” he added. You can see our entire interview with Kevin Madden HERE:

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