The Bench

Obama Outlines Judge Criteria

President Obama added common sense and a practical touch to the list of attributes he's looking for in a new Supreme Court justice. Obama has previously emphasized empathy and intellect, worrying conservatives who say "empathy" is a code word for judicial activist. “I want somebody who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and has a practical sense of how the world works,” he told Steve Scully in a C-SPAN interview. Obama has been tight-lipped about his short list, but did throw conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a compliment, saying he's a "terrific writer." The president is expected to make his decision before his June trip overseas.