New Name on High Court Short List: Sidney Thomas

Obama CBS

President Barack Obama's candidates for the Supreme Court include a new name, federal appeals court judge Sidney Thomas of Montana, and at least six others who were considered contenders when Obama chose his first high court nominee last year, The Associated Press has learned.

Among the others under consideration are former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, federal appeals court judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The president is seriously reviewing about 10 people as a potential nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring this summer.

Wood, Garland and Kagan are considered by most to be the most serious contenders so far but a senior administration official told the Associated Press that the president's consideration is not just centered on them. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcements have been made about the people Obama is considering for the court.

Meanwhile, there is one name the White House is ruling out -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Supreme Court.

The idea emerged Monday when Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that he'd heard Clinton's name mentioned in connection with the upcoming vacancy on the court.

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters later Monday that Obama has no intention of changing Clinton's job title.

Said Gibbs: "The president is going to keep her as his secretary of state."

More Coverage of John Paul Stevens' Retirement:
Photo Gallery: Who Will Replace Justice Stevens?
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Retiring
Jan Crawford: Obama Wants No Fight Over Supreme Court Pick
The Fight for Stevens' Spot
Justice Stevens' Legacy: Fiercely Independent
Obama Praises John Paul Stevens, Seeks Nominee With Similar Qualities
Obama on Justice Stevens' Retirement
Photos: A Historical Look Back at Stevens
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