Josh Gerstein has the scoop that the President is anticipating making appointments (plural)?!
President Barack Obama told supporters Monday that he expects to have the chance to nominate new justices to the Supreme Court before he is set to leave office in 2017.
Taking a break from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to speak to a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee fundraiser on the island, Obama sounded confident that there will be vacancies on the high court in the next year or two. He implored the guests to work to keep the Senate in Democratic control so that his nominees won’t be obstructed by Republicans.
“What’s preventing us from getting things done right now is you’ve got a faction within the Republican Party that thinks solely in terms of their own ideological purposes and solely in terms of how do they hang on to power. And that’s a problem. And that’s why I need a Democratic Senate,” Obama told donors gathered at a home in Tisbury, Mass. “Not to mention the fact that we’re going to have Supreme Court appointments, and there are going to be a whole host of issues that many people here care about that are going to be determined by whether or not Democrats retain the Senate.”
Is there something he knows that we don’t? Did Justice Ginsburg mentions something over lunch, perhaps? Two nominations in the last two years of a Presidency? Mercy.
Update: The Whit House released a statement that is quite unpersuasive:
A White House spokesperson said Obama did not have a specific vacancy in mind Monday. “The President’s comments were meant to convey the important role the Senate would play in the event of a Supreme Court vacancy,” the spokesperson said. “They were not in reference to a specific vacancy.”
The President said “And that’s why I need a Democratic Senate.” I, meaning Barack Obama. He needs it, presumably for nominations he would have to make.