President Barack Obama's comments speculating about openings on the Supreme Court were "unseemly," columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday.
At a fundraiser Monday night, Obama told supporters of the need to keep the Senate in Democratic control as the November midterm elections approach.
"Not to mention the fact that we're going to have Supreme Court appointments," Obama added.
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Special Report"
on Tuesday, the conservative Krauthammer agreed the statement likely was intended to get the Democratic base out in a year when Democratic voters aren't excited.
"But it is mildly unseemly," he said.
Liberal activists have been urging Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
, who is 81, to resign soon so Obama can appoint a younger successor in case Democrats lose the Senate.
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The Senate must approve all presidential nominations, and if Republicans take control, as many expect, Obama will be forced to name more moderate justices if Ginsburg or liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, 75, dies or retires.
"Imagine that you are her," Krauthammer said of Ginsburg. "You have been now in the service of liberalism for half a century. You've given everything you've got. And now, in your later years, people want you to jump off a cliff."
He said he can understand activists calling on Ginsburg to resign, but not the president.
"Unless he's got a pipeline to Charon's boat or he's just sort of idly speculating, I think that is a fairly unseemly nudge from the president," Krauthammer said. "After half a century, I think a person deserves to retire on their own terms."
Substitute host Shannon Bream, who covers the Supreme Court, said all the justices have hired a full compliment of clerks, meaning they are staying at least until July 2015, well past the midterms.
Liberal panelist Kirsten Powers agreed that Obama's words were "unseemly," but added that if she were in Ginsberg's position she would consider resigning to keep the court's balance from moving to the right.
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