Leading candidates to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court

President Obama says he will name a replacement for the late Justice Anonin Scalia soon. It's probable that the Judiciary Committee wouldn't even bother to hold confirmation hearings, as Republicans have vowed to hold off on naming Scalia's replacement until the new president takes office.

But there's no Constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court nominee has to go through any confirmation process. The president could send a nominee directly to the floor of the Senate and demand a vote. Following are some names that have been floated in previous SCOTUS nominations,

The Hill:

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin floated the name of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sri Srinivasan as one possible nominee.

Srinivasan, an Indian immigrant, is a known quantity in the Obama administration and in theory is a confirmable candidate in a GOP-controlled Senate. The upper chamber confirmed him to the federal appeals court in 2013 by a vote of 97-0.

Of course, a battle over the Supreme Court nomination would be much tougher.

Srinivasan, 48, served as a deputy solicitor general in the Obama administration before being nominated to the D.C. Circuit. He also clerked for GOP-appointed Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Sandra Day O’Connor.

“Even in the malignant political atmosphere of the contemporary Senate, that margin might make him a safe pick for the Supreme Court,” Toobin wrote for The New Yorker in 2014. 

Other potential appointees suggested by Toobin that year were Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford, 46 — an African-American former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg —  First Circuit Judge David Barron, Eighth Circuit Judge Jane Kelly and D.C. Circuit Judge Patricia Ann Millett. 

Obama reportedly considered Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood, D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow for Justice John Paul Stevens’s vacancy in 2010. He ultimately filled the vacancy with then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan. 

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow suggested Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former Justice Department and Pentagon lawyer, as a Scalia replacement. 

“If I had to throw one scenario into the mix, this might be the kind of time when the president would choose a nominee who effectively has already been vetted, somebody who can kind of jump the line in terms of the United States Senate, somebody who has recently been through a rigorous confirmation process, somebody who, for example, is a Cabinet-level official in the Obama administration already,” Maddow said Saturday. 

Appointing a Cabinet-level official, however, would be non-traditional. And Johnson has come under fire from Republican lawmakers over the administration’s enforcement of immigration law. 

It’s also possible the president could name a replacement designed to drive the debate on the 2016 presidential campaign, rather than a confirmable candidate.

Srinivasan is probably the only acceptable candidate to some Republican Senators among the names mentioned above. But regardless of what the makeup of the Senate is after the 2016 election, it's probable that there won't be enough GOP supporters to confirm any nominee named by a Democratic president unless the Senate flips and Dems take control.

No doubt the president will make competence and temperment secondary considerations to the color of the skin and sex of a candidate. Obama is a slave to "diversity" and we shouldn't expect him to change now.

Is this the most important presidential election in history? Considering the stakes, it's hard to argue otherwise.

 

 

President Obama says he will name a replacement for the late Justice Anonin Scalia soon. It's probable that the Judiciary Committee wouldn't even bother to hold confirmation hearings, as Republicans have vowed to hold off on naming Scalia's replacement until the new president takes office.

But there's no Constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court nominee has to go through any confirmation process. The president could send a nominee directly to the floor of the Senate and demand a vote. Following are some names that have been floated in previous SCOTUS nominations,

The Hill:

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin floated the name of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sri Srinivasan as one possible nominee.

Srinivasan, an Indian immigrant, is a known quantity in the Obama administration and in theory is a confirmable candidate in a GOP-controlled Senate. The upper chamber confirmed him to the federal appeals court in 2013 by a vote of 97-0.

Of course, a battle over the Supreme Court nomination would be much tougher.

Srinivasan, 48, served as a deputy solicitor general in the Obama administration before being nominated to the D.C. Circuit. He also clerked for GOP-appointed Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Sandra Day O’Connor.

“Even in the malignant political atmosphere of the contemporary Senate, that margin might make him a safe pick for the Supreme Court,” Toobin wrote for The New Yorker in 2014. 

Other potential appointees suggested by Toobin that year were Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford, 46 — an African-American former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg —  First Circuit Judge David Barron, Eighth Circuit Judge Jane Kelly and D.C. Circuit Judge Patricia Ann Millett. 

Obama reportedly considered Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood, D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow for Justice John Paul Stevens’s vacancy in 2010. He ultimately filled the vacancy with then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan. 

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow suggested Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former Justice Department and Pentagon lawyer, as a Scalia replacement. 

“If I had to throw one scenario into the mix, this might be the kind of time when the president would choose a nominee who effectively has already been vetted, somebody who can kind of jump the line in terms of the United States Senate, somebody who has recently been through a rigorous confirmation process, somebody who, for example, is a Cabinet-level official in the Obama administration already,” Maddow said Saturday. 

Appointing a Cabinet-level official, however, would be non-traditional. And Johnson has come under fire from Republican lawmakers over the administration’s enforcement of immigration law. 

It’s also possible the president could name a replacement designed to drive the debate on the 2016 presidential campaign, rather than a confirmable candidate.

Srinivasan is probably the only acceptable candidate to some Republican Senators among the names mentioned above. But regardless of what the makeup of the Senate is after the 2016 election, it's probable that there won't be enough GOP supporters to confirm any nominee named by a Democratic president unless the Senate flips and Dems take control.

No doubt the president will make competence and temperment secondary considerations to the color of the skin and sex of a candidate. Obama is a slave to "diversity" and we shouldn't expect him to change now.

Is this the most important presidential election in history? Considering the stakes, it's hard to argue otherwise.