Obama Tells GOP's Hatch He'll Pick a Pragmatist

Senate Judiciary Committee member expects choice to be made this week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 7:00 AM CDT
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, appears on "This Week" at the ABC Studios in Washington Sunday, May 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/ABC News, Freddie Lee)
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(Newser) – President Obama has told him he won't be picking a radical to fill Justice Souter's spot on the Supreme Court, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch tells Politico. Hatch—who believes the president will make his choice before the end of this week—said he raised his concerns in a phone call yesterday and the president assured him he had no plans to pick a left-wing activist.

"We all know that it’s going to be somebody much more liberal than a Republican president would do,” said Hatch, the longest-serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a veteran of many scraps over Supreme Court nominees. “If he nominates somebody contrary to what he told me, I think there will be a big pitched battle over it.”