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Obama Cautions Against 'Political Games' With Court Pick

Sunday, May 31, 2009

President Obama warned yesterday against "attempting to draw old battle lines and playing the usual political games" during the consideration of his nominee to the Supreme Court, and he urged senators to get to work on the nomination without delay.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said that since he chose Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter, "some in Washington . . . [are] pulling a few comments out of context to paint a distorted picture" of her record.

"But I am confident that these efforts will fail, because Judge Sotomayor's 17-year record on the bench -- hundreds of judicial decisions that every American can read for him or herself -- speak far louder than any attack; her record makes clear that she is fair, unbiased and dedicated to the rule of law," he said.

The choice of Sotomayor has prompted fierce opposition from some conservatives, especially those in advocacy groups. Republicans in the Senate, who will vote on her confirmation, have been far more cautious in their criticism, saying only that they will rigorously examine her record and qualifications.

In his address, Obama said he expects "nothing less."

But, he added: "What I hope is that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past."

-- Michael D. Shear

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