STEVE SCULLY, POLITICAL EDITOR, C-SPAN: Mr. President, as we speak to you in the White House Library, aconstitutional lawyer, former law professor, as you work through the process for you personally in selecting theSupreme Court nominee, what are you thinking?BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there are some benchmarks that you have tomake sure that you hit. Obviously, you want somebody who is highly qualified, who knows the law. I want somebodywho, obviously, has a clear sense of our constitution and its history and is committed to fidelity to the law.Is going to make their decisions based on the law that's in front of them, but as I've said before, I think it's alsoimportant that this is somebody who has common sense and somebody who has a sense of how American societyworks and how the American people live.And you know, I said earlier, that I thought empathy wasn't important quality and I continue to believe that. You haveto have not only the intellect to be able to effectively apply the law to cases before you.But you have to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes and get a sense of how the lawmight work or not work in practical day-to-day living. And a good example of this, the Lilly Ledbetter case that cameup a while back, where the justice has I believe misinterpreted the law in closing the door to a lawsuit by a woman whohad worked for 20 years and had been paid less than her male counterparts.She didn't know that she was getting paid less, when she discovered it, she immediately filed suit to get back pay andthe suggestion was somehow that she should have filed suite earlier.Well, I think anybody who has ever worked in a job like that understands that they might not know that they werebeing discriminated against it. It doesn't make sense for their rights to be foreclosed.That's the kind of case, where I want a judge not only to be applying the law in front of them, but also to understandthat as a practical matter. A lot of times people have weak bargaining power.Now, in some ways it might cut the other way. I want a judge who has a sense of how regulations might affect thebusinesses in a practical way. And so, when they're interpreting a statute that they are saying, is congressional intentbeing met in this kind of circumstance. So, if there is a farm program somewhere, and you have somebody who cantake the time to learn about how farmers work that's helpful.So, in all these cases what I want is not just ivory tower learning. I want somebody who has the intellectual fire power,but also a little bit of a common touch and has a practical sense of how the world works.SCULLY: And that's what empathy is?Obama: Well that's what empathy is to me. And I think that that's – those criteria of common sense, practicality, asense of what ordinary Americans are going through everyday. Putting that in the mix, when the judges are looking atcases before them, it's very important.Keep in mind that, the Supreme Court by definition only gets the tough cases. And even at the Supreme Court level,probably 95 percent of the cases are going to be determined by some clear statutory language, a strong precedent.But there is going to be a 5 percent of the cases there, where the language is ambiguous, where the constitutionalprecedent is not clear. And in those situations you want a judge who has a sense of what's going on in the day-to-daylives of the American people and has some practical experience. And I'm confident that there are people who combineboth the intellectual qualities and the qualities of judgment and common sense that will make them a great SupremeCourt justice.SCULLY: Is it safe to say that an announcement in the next week or 2 with hearings in July?OBAMA: Well, I think it's safe to say that we're going to have an announcement soon. And my hope is, is that we canhave hearings in July so that we end up before Congress breaks for the summer – have somebody in place.