Supreme Court Justice Souter has said he will retire at the end of this Court term.  President Obama is looking for a candidate with particular qualifications:

…In describing his search for a successor, the president said he would seek a nominee with “a record of excellence and integrity…who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book.”

Mr. Obama also stated his preference for someone attuned to the “daily realities of people’s lives” — a sentiment conservatives have seized upon as a prescription for what they consider to be unwarranted judicial activism.

What do those vague generalities translate into in terms of the kind of personality the President’s looking for in a Justice?  Thomas Sowell has the answer:   ‘Empathy‘ versus law

That President Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much further the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.

Would you want to go into court to appear before a judge with “empathy” for groups A, B and C, if you were a member of groups X, Y or Z? Nothing could be further from the rule of law. That would be bad news, even in a traffic court, much less in a court that has the last word on your rights under the Constitution of the United States.

Appoint enough Supreme Court justices with “empathy” for particular groups and you would have, for all practical purposes, repealed the 14th Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all Americans.

We would have entered a strange new world, where everybody is equal but some are more equal than others. The very idea of the rule of law would become meaningless when it is replaced by the empathies of judges.

Much more at the link.

Senator Arlen Specter was the ranking Republican Senator on the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for vetting Supreme Court nominees.  Since he switched to the Democrat party, his place has been taken by Senator Jeff Sessions.

The selection of Sessions, which came in a compromise brokered with more senior Republican senators, gives the GOP an experienced hand at the rough-and-tumble politics of confirmation wars. His diminutive stature and Southern drawl belie his instinct for confrontation.

Unlike the moderate Specter, Sessions is a staunch conservative who opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage while promoting a strict view that judges should adhere to the original intent of the Founding Fathers in their rulings. He has demonstrated political independence on several occasions, helping lead the fight to kill President George W. Bush’s proposed changes to immigration law in 2007 and publicly challenging Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s competency to run the Justice Department amid a series of scandals two years ago.

Sounds like a good choice for the rule of law.