Supreme Court Nominations

Obama Mulls Supreme Court Pick, Hasn't Yet Chosen Potential 'Leader,' Aide Says


As President Barack Obama considers who to nominate for an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, a senior adviser tells the Associated Press that he is looking to choose the person best able to assume, sooner or later, the influential leadership role of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

“You can’t replace someone’s 34 years on the court, but you are mindful of the fact that he was a leader on the court, and you want someone who can provide that kind of spark and leadership—if not immediately, then over time,” says David Axelrod. “So he’s thinking about that.”

While Axelrod says the president hasn’t yet made a decision, the AP says he seems to be considering a short list of four candidates: U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Merrick Garland of the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; Judge Sidney Thomas of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Judge Diane Wood of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Observers anticipate that Obama’s selection could be announced at any time.

Related coverage:

Above the Law: “SCOTUS Speculation: Could It Be Wood? Ten reasons Obama might appoint Diane Wood.”

Associated Press: “Justice Stevens: push for nominees’ views improper”

Salt Lake Tribune: “Obama, Hatch talk about Supreme Court choices in private chat”

SCOTUSblog: “The Last Justice from the Greatest Generation”

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