[JURIST] US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [official website] said Sunday that he wants the Supreme Court [official website] nominee who will replace retiring Justice David Souter [JURIST report] to be someone who will apply the law without bias. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, McConnell said [transcript]:
what we are looking for, we meaning Republicans in the Senate … is a nominee who will apply the law without partiality. Each federal judge takes an oath to apply the law to both the rich and the poor. Their personal views ought to be irrelevant. I think Chief Justice Roberts had it right during his confirmation hearings. He said the – a judge ought to be like an umpire – call the balls and strikes but don’t make the rules. That's the kind of individual we're looking for. We know it will be someone of the political left. But a number of leftist judges have been able to put aside their personal views and call it like they see it.
McConnell also said that he will not rule out the possibility of filibustering President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
Last week, White House officials disclosed six potential nominees [JURIST report] that Obama is considering. The list includes five women. Also last week, conservative Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was chosen by Senate Republicans to replace [JURIST report] newly-declared Democrat Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) as ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official websites]. Sessions will play a key role in questioning Obama's nominee. Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] has said that he hopes to have a replacement for Souter confirmed [JURIST report] by the beginning of the Court's 2009 term in October. When news of Souter's retirement first became public earlier this month, Obama said [JURIST report] he would, "seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity."