Supreme Court Nominations

Another 7th Circuit Judge Is on Obama’s Short List


Another judge from the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is on the so-called short list of potential nominees to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

She’s Ann Claire Williams, an African-American who was nominated to the federal trial bench by President Reagan and elevated to the 7th Circuit by President Clinton, according to stories in Legal Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Williams is a former music and third-grade teacher in Detroit who became an assistant U.S. attorney after attending the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Meanwhile, President Obama said yesterday that he is looking for a nominee who will interpret the Constitution to account for women’s rights, Legal Times and the New York Times report. Speaking in response to a question about abortion rights, Obama said the Constitution protects women’s “privacy and their bodily integrity.” At the same time, he said he has no litmus test for the issue.

Obama said he hopes to select a nominee by May 26, the same day he announced the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

According to the New York Times, the potential nominees on the short list include Solicitor General Elena Kagan and four federal appeals judges: Williams, Merrick Garland, Diane Wood and Sidney Thomas.

Others on the short list are Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow, former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears and California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno.

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