Supreme Court Nominations

SCOTUSblog founder mulls another possible nominee; this state AG won't be on the list

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Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

President Barack Obama will be considering politics when he makes a U.S. Supreme Court pick, according to SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein.

That’s because the Republicans will certainly refuse to confirm Obama’s nominee, whether it’s through a filibuster or a vote, Goldstein writes at SCOTUSblog.

Goldstein has been considering possible nominees. At first, he thought Obama would nominate Judge Paul Watford of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then Goldstein thought Obama would likely nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Now Goldstein says his thinking has evolved, and he believes U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of Washington, D.C., could get the nomination. Jackson is a former federal public defender and BigLaw appellate litigator, according to this March 2013 story by The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, written after her unanimous confirmation.

Goldstein believes that the nation’s first black president will want to choose a black nominee, and nominating a woman will further Obama’s legacy. Because he needs to move quickly, Obama will want to choose someone who has recently been vetted.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Black voters are important to a Democratic win in November, and Democratic women will also be important, Goldstein says. And Jackson has “impeccable” credentials as a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.

“It is easy to see a political dynamic,” Goldstein writes, “in which candidate Hillary Clinton talks eagerly and often about Judge Brown Jackson in the run-up to the 2016 election, to great effect.”

Another often-mentioned possibility for a Supreme Court nomination has taken herself out of the running, the Los Angeles Times reports. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that she is flattered about the speculation, but she has no interest in the job because she is running for the U.S. Senate.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

Typo in fourth paragraph corrected at 9:05 a.m.

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