In any case, make no mistake. The President isn't talking about "empathy" in the abstract; in truth, he's seeking someone with a lot of "empathy" for a left-wing policy agenda:
Looking for a nominee who is concerned about whether people “can make a living and care for their families” means he is seeking a judge who will side with unions or plaintiffs against businesses. Nominating a jurist who worries about whether people “feel safe in their homes” means finding a person who will greet with skepticism the claims of law enforcement in search and seizure (or national security) cases. And selecting a judge pledged to make people feel “welcome in their own nation” means naming a justice with the politically correct views on hot button social issues ranging from gay marriage to affirmative action to immigration to removing faith from the public square.
Read it here.