Did President Obama engage in 'wishful thinking' when he suggested upcoming Supreme Court vacancies

Washington, DC - President Obama caused a stir during a fund raising speech this week when he suggested that there would soon be vacancies on the Supreme Court.  A White House source said that he was trying to encourage Democratic voters to cast their ballots in the November mid-term elections so the party could keep its Senate majority.

"But others felt that it was an insensitive call for older justices to resign in order to make way for younger, more liberal judges of his choosing," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Weber speculated that the President may be concerned about his lame duck status and would like to solidify the current liberal-conservative balance on the Court, and perhaps make it even more liberal, so he can be assured of leaving at least an ideological legacy when he leaves the White House.

However, the President is unexpectedly returning to the White House on Sunday and some Obama-watchers are speculating that he will be making an announcement of some importance.  At least one reporter speculates that it might be to reveal that, indeed, a Supreme Court Justice will resign in time for him to nominate a replacement.

It should be noted that an Obama spokesman told reporters not to expect "a major announcement on immigration when the president is in Washington."  The comment set off a barrage of speculation as to why he is interrupting his vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

"Republicans have a real possibility this fall of gaining control of the Senate, which holds the power to confirm or reject any new candidates for the Supreme Court.  And the President, it seems, was seeking to stir up his base with the prospect of giving the Court a much more progressive bent, particularly in light of some not so liberal rulings the justices have handed down on several recent issues," he explained.

Weber said that Mr. Obama's comments were "insensitive" because they appeared to be directed at the older members of the Court-including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is 81 years old.  Ginsburg has stated publicly that she wishes to remain on the bench.  Although Ginsburg is viewed as a member of the liberal wing of the Court, she has not hesitated to side with her conservative colleagues when she thought it was the right thing to do.

Neither have Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, both 78 years of age, given any hint of retiring any time soon, he added.

"With that in mind, it does appear that the President was engaged in wishful thinking when made his comments purely for political purposes.  But, you can never know what he might have up his sleeve.  So we will be watching for any announcements he might be making when he gets back into town."

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