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Supreme Court Nominee May Be Announced This Week; Newsweek Bets on a Woman

Posted May 4, 2010 6:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President Obama could announce his U.S. Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens as early as this week.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that Obama was close to a decision, CBS News reports in a story noted by The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. Asked if Gibbs would rule out an announcement this week, he replied, “No.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek says Obama will likely choose a nominee who is a woman. He has privately told friends and aides that he would like to add more gender diversity to the court, which currently has two women justices, including his nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, the magazine says.

“If he leaves office with three, or maybe even four, women on the Supreme Court bench, Obama will cement his place in history as a powerful guardian of the interests of American women,” Newsweek says.

Which woman will he choose? “Signs continue to point to Solicitor General Elena Kagan,” the story says.

Newsweek explains why others on the rumored short list may not get the nod. Janet Napolitano is too valuable as head of Homeland Security. Judge Diane Wood of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in controversial abortion cases, a paper trail that sets up a confirmation fight. And Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit may have to wait for another day.

“An emerging conventional wisdom on Garland, who would be the least-controversial pick because of his reputation as a centrist, is that Obama should keep him in his back pocket for another time when the Democrats won't have as big majority in the Senate,” Newsweek says.

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