President Obama is looking for the most choice candidate to fill the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy. That means many things to him, as reports show…

Diversity is one important at play.

With Justice John Paul Steven just months away from retirement, the White House says President Obama is considering a more diverse pool of candidates, including whites, blacks and Hispanics — men and women — to tap for his replacement…

Obama could also try to make history again by nominating an openly gay candidate to the high court. Former Stanford Law School professor and dean Kathleen Sullivan and Stanford Law professor Pam Karlan have been mentioned as possibilities. Both are also known for their liberal-leaning writings, legal work and commentary.

The nominee will have to support abortion, but (wink) ‘not pass an abortion litmus test.’

President Obama said today he doesn’t have “litmus tests” on social issues for any Supreme Court nominee, but he supports abortion rights and he will make sure his choice “takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights.”

This gets even more semantically entangled…

“Part of what our core constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that,” Obama said before meeting with a group of senators.

Even the Times noted that snip.

The only insight the president gave into his thinking was to say that he has no abortion litmus test but wants a justice who favors women’s rights, including “bodily integrity.”

The doublespeak isn’t always so obvious, but there we are.

And religion is getting more attention in looking at candidates’ profiles.

When Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens steps down this summer, he will leave the court — long dominated by Protestants — without one for the first time in its history.

That historical oddity has reopened a low-key debate as to whether the religion of a justice matters, and whether President Obama should consider the faith of his next nominee.

And that debate is going to continue for a long time.

But what we’re not hearing much about is constitutional integrity, how it is interpreted and applied, and who is most qualified from the straight jurist standard of excellence. Justice is supposed to be blind, but who determines it is getting increasingly dependent on identity politics.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....