Conservatives Fret Over 3 Potential Obama Supreme Court Picks

Conservatives are focused on likely Obama picks for the high court, calling them empathetic liberals.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

With the White House indicating that President Obama is working quickly to pick a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, conservatives are turning the spotlight on the backgrounds of three likely front-runners: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and U.S. Appeals Court Judge Diane Wood. "These are the three that we see as most likely," said Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network. In a conference call to supporters today, she and JCN boss Gary Marx unveiled a new website, ObamasFrontRunners.com, that features biographical videos on all three. Each, says Long, is a liberal who will apply "empathy" and "personal feelings" to her court decisions.

The new Web videos, and the organization's stepped-up outreach to conservatives, come as the administration and Democratic court watchers are talking up Obama's goal of hiring a middle-of-the-road judge. Recently, there has been less talk of "empathy" and more discussion of picking someone who employs judicial restraint. But Long called that "a giant deception" meant to hide the type of judge the Democrats want. Addressing the change in language by the Democrats, Long said, "The fact that this is happening presents a big challenge." Marx urged those on the conference call to shop the new Web page around to counter the Democratic portrayal of the president's likely picks as pragmatic and moderate.

See photos of Obama's potential Supreme Court shortlist.

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