Speaking at a Planned Parenthood conference today, Obama was critical of the way Supreme Court confirmations only wade into the shallow water of character -- "He loves his wife. He's good to his dog."
He criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for saying "he saw himself just as an umpire":
“But the issues that come before the court are not sports; they’re life and death. We need somebody who’s got the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom.”Hmmm.... you’ve got to look at what is in the justice’s heart. Great way to distinguish yourself from Bush!
Obama said that 95 percent of cases can be judged on intellect, but that the other 5 percent are the most important ones.
“In those 5 percent of cases, you’ve got to look at what is in the justice’s heart, what’s their broader vision of what America should be."
I've known Harriet for more than a decade. I know her heart, I know her character. I know that Harriet's mother is proud of her today, and I know her father would be proud of her, too. I'm confident that Harriet Miers will add to the wisdom and character of our judiciary when she is confirmed as the 110th Justice of the Supreme Court.But we know what this "heart" business means! It means that the President (or would-be President) understands that judging won't be neutral, that the human being doing the judging, no matter how dutiful and honest he tries to be, can only find his way to a decision in a complex case by responding to the pull of emotion. So "heart" matters. The question isn't whether "heart" counts. It's: which "heart" do you want?