Cardin: 'No question' Obama will be pressured to name woman or Hispanic

There is no doubt that President Obama will be under pressure to name a woman and/or a Hispanic jurist to fill the vacancy left by Justice David Souter's retirement, Sen. Bed Cardin (D-Md.) said Friday.

Cardin, a member of the Judiciary Committee that will have the first chance to publicly vet Obama's eventual nominee, pledged that the Senate would not rubber-stamp any nominee, despite being controlled by Democrats.

"I can tell you he'll be under pressure, there's no question about it," Cardin said of the momentum for appointing a woman or Hispanic justice. "But I think he's going to try to pick the very best person he can. He understands that there are only nine justices, and this is an extremely important appointment."

The administration has been under early pressure from women's groups and Hispanic lawmakers.

"But look, this is a lifetime appointment, so I can tell you that the Senate is going to take this confirmation process very seriously," Cardin said. "We want someone who has a passion for the constitutional protections, who has the judicial temperament."

"This is going to be an appointment that's going to be thoroughly reviewed by the United States Senate," he added.