Obama Calls Bipartisan Meeting to Discuss SCOTUS Vacancy

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

After Justice John Paul Stevens announced Friday he will step down this coming summer from the Supreme Court, President Obama vowed to quickly nominate his replacement.

Now the president has invited Senate leaders from both parties to discuss the coming vacancy at the White House next Wednesday morning, according to a White House statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will attend the meeting, along with Sens. Patrick Leahy and Jeff Sessions, the top Democrat and Republican respectively on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Obama has hailed Stevens, who largely votes with the court's liberal wing, as an "impartial guardian of the law."

The president is seriously considering ten potential replacements for Stevens, according to the Associated Press. At least six were judges Mr. Obama considered last year when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to replace retired Justice David Souter.

Among these reportedly being considered are former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, federal appeals court judges Diane Wood, Merrick Garland and Sidney Thomas, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.


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