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FROM THIS EPISODE

Liberal or Moderate? Man or Woman? Black, White or Brown? Should the next Supreme Court Justice have judicial experience or a record of service in other branches of government? We hear different as President Obama gets ready to pick his first nominee. Also, the pace of unemployment rises at a slightly less alarming rate, and having angered both Muslims and Jews, can Pope Benedict help the peace process by visiting the Middle East.


Banner image: Empty Supreme Court with seats belonging to Justices Breyer, Thomas, Kennedy, Stevens, Roberts (Chief Justice), Scalia, Souter, Ginsburg and Alito

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Gary Scott
Katie Cooper

Main Topic Who Should Be Next on the US Supreme Court? 36 MIN, 4 SEC

When retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor heard she would be replaced by John Roberts, she deemed him "good in every way except that he's not a woman." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she is "lonely" among her eight male colleagues. David Souter's resignation gives President Obama his first chance to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and he wants, "excellence," "integrity" and "empathy." Does "empathy" mean that he wants a woman, and if so, why? Conservatives fear he wants a justice who legislates from the bench. Should the next justice be liberal or conservative? Is there any such thing as non-ideological? Is it time for the first Hispanic? Whoever Obama's choice might be will Republicans just say "no?"

Guests:
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com (@DahliaLithwick)
Christina Boyd, Political Scientist, Washington University
Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice
Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine University (@dougkmiec)

Reporter's Notebook Pope Benedict on Pilgrimage to Middle East 7 MIN, 7 SEC

When Pope John Paul II went to the Middle East in 2000, a trip that was called "historic," he left a note at the Western Wall apologizing for Christian anti-Semitism. This week's visit by Benedict XVI takes place under different circumstances. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians seems more elusive than ever, and Benedict himself has contributed to ill-feelings. He lifted the excommunication of a bishop who's denied the Holocaust and linked the Prophet Mohammed to violence. Though Benedict describes himself as a "pilgrim of peace," "the world may be excused for holding its breath," according to John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

Guests:
John Allen, Boston Globe (@JohnLAllenJr)

The Rise of Benedict XVI

John Allen, Jr.

Making News Unemployment Rises at a Slightly Less Alarming Pace 7 MIN, 47 SEC

On a day when the latest statistics were announced, President Obama announced efforts to help unemployed people plan for the future. Peter Goodman is national economic correspondent for the New York Times and author of the forthcoming Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy.

Guests:
Peter Goodman, Huffington Post (@petersgoodman)

Past Due

Peter Goodman

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