With Justice David Souter retiring, President Obama has an opportunity to add to the Supreme Court a strong voice for upholding the Constitution to ensure equal justice and basic freedoms for all.
This is particularly urgent after eight years during which federal judges were appointed who put their own political agenda ahead of the Constitution, applying one set of rules for those at the top and another for the rest of us.
Republicans in the Senate cannot be allowed to obstruct the best possible nomination. Most of them will oppose any nominee regardless; little would be accomplished by choosing someone who will not be a strong voice for equal justice for all.
Many Republican senators, already on the defensive because their policies appeal to a rapidly shrinking number of voters, have said publicly on many occasions that they oppose the use of filibusters to prevent majority votes on judicial nominations. Their hypocrisy should be made clear if they fail to abide by their own principle.
The choice our very popular president makes will help shape justice in America and renew our commitment to core constitutional values. He should make a nomination that will leave a legacy befitting his historic presidency.