Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Short lists of candidates for Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court

AZBlueMeanie (Blog for Arizona) makes the case for a rapid nomination and confirmation to fill the 9th seat on the Supreme Court.

Senator McConnell and the GOP’s naked partisan obstruction is unprecedented. From 1796 to 1988—at least 14 Justices have been confirmed during election years. Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution affirmatively commands that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate . . . judges of the Supreme Court.” Section 2 also provides “The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate . . .” — something Senator McConnell will prevent by not allowing the Senate to recess until Inauguration Day in January 2017.

There is no legitimate constitutional basis to deny President Obama’s nominee a speedy hearing and appointment to the court. The vacancy should be filled before the court begins its next 2016-2017 term on the first Monday in October.

With that, let's look at possibilities. Here is a short list from Politico cited by AZBlueMeanie.

Sri Srinivasan. 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.

Paul Watford. 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.

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 December 2013.

Merrick Garland. 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.

Loretta Lynch. 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.

Here is another, partially overlapping, list from the NY Times.

Merrick Garland. See above.

Srikanth Srinivasan. See above.

Paul Watford. See above. Also note that Watford is African-American.

Kamala D. Harris. AGE 51. CURRENT ROLE Attorney general, State of California. BACKGROUND Black and Indian- American woman. Born in California. Attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. A longtime state prosecutor. DISCUSSION Ms. Harris would diversify the Supreme Court, but she is already running to succeed Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat who is retiring this year.

Adalberto J. Jordan. AGE 54. CURRENT ROLE Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. BACKGROUND Hispanic man. Born in Cuba. Attended University of Miami School of Law. Clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a Reagan appointee. A former federal prosecutor. Appointed to Federal District Court by President Bill Clinton in 1999 and elevated to the appellate court by Mr. Obama in 2012. Confirmed 94 to 5, with 41 Republicans voting in favor. DISCUSSION Judge Jordan would be the second Hispanic and first Cuban-American justice on the Supreme Court. The White House may calculate that a decision by Republicans to block him could have political consequences in places with sizable Latino voting populations — including his home state of Florida ...

Jane L. Kelly. AGE 51.CURRENT ROLE Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. BACKGROUND White woman. Born in Indiana. Attended Harvard Law School. Clerked for Judge David R. Hansen of the Eighth Circuit, a Reagan appointee. A longtime public defender in Iowa. Confirmed 96 to 0 in 2013. DISCUSSION Judge Kelly’s ascent to the appeals court was strongly supported by the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, a Republican. ...

Let the betting begin.

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