Here are a look at some of the leading possibilities to be Obama's third nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Politico:
D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan is perhaps the most attractive potential Supreme Court nominee for Obama if the goal is to put pressure on McConnell to allow a Senate confirmation vote. Nominated by Obama in June 2012, Srinivasan was confirmed in May 2013 by a unanimous, 97-0 vote.
Democrats believe that unambiguous verdict on Srinivasan could make it awkward for McConnell to block a vote on his nomination.
A nomination of Srinivasan, 48, to the high court would make history: he was born in India and would be the first Indian-American Supreme Court justice.
Srinivasan is widely viewed as a moderate. He clerked for Republican-appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In a speech last October, Srinivasan seemed to relish maintaining stability in the law. He suggested that fears he and three other Obama appointees would dramatically change the balance in the D.C. Circuit were overwrought.
Watford is an Obama appointee on the 9th Circuit and has been repeatedly mentioned as a potential Obama Supreme Court nominee. He was confirmed in 2012, by a 61-34 vote.
Watford, who’s in his late 40s, spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. Regarded as a moderate appointee, he was also a clerk to influential 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His list of judicial rulings is still fairly short, which can be an advantage in confirmation battles. Watford is African-American.
Patricia Ann Millett
Millett, 52, sits on the D.C. Circuit and is part of a slate of three nominees Obama put forward for that court in 2013. Those nominations triggered Republican threats of a filibuster and led Democrats to deploy the so-called nuclear option, changing Senate rules to prevent filibusters on judicial nominees below the Supreme Court level.
After considerable parliamentary maneuvering, Millett was confirmed by a 56-38 vote in
Millett spent more than a decade as a Supreme Court litigator in the Solicitor General’s office at the Justice Department. She later chaired Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice along with Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSBlog, and sometimes contributed to that site.
Garland is a politically savvy Clinton appointee on the D.C. Circuit who has long been discussed as a potential Supreme Court nominee. He’s well respected by lawyers and lawmakers in both parties.
However, Garland’s now 63, making him a decade older than a typical Supreme Court nominee in the modern era.
Loretta Lynch, 56, has served as Obama’s attorney general for less than a year, after her nomination got caught up in partisan wrangling in the Senate. Senators on both sides agreed that the disputes had little to do with her and she doesn’t seem to have engendered the same anger from the GOP that her predecessor, Eric Holder, produced.
Lynch did stints as the top federal prosecutor in the Brooklyn-based Eastern District of New York during the Clinton administration and under Obama. Nominating her could complicate her efforts to run the Justice Department since all her decisions as attorney general could be seen as opportunities to either advance or set back her nomination. She would also make history as the first African-American woman nominated to the Supreme Court.
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