Below are my top 10 contenders for the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Souter's retirement. Take a look and then vote for your top prediction. Or let me know who I forgot in the comments.
Michigan's governor is bright, has a ton of experience in politics, and has the Harvard Law School connection. It's hers to lose.
Christine O. Gregoire:
Another female governor from Democratic state (Washington) but she's not as experienced in the law as Granholm. Long, longshot.
Obama's Solicitor General may be too liberal, and might not have enough experience, to be considered seriously this time around. But after some seasoning before Court she might get to go behind the bench down the road.Pamela S. Karlan:
Brilliant Stanford Law Professor would be first openly gay Justice. Is the president ready for that fight at this time? And, if so, doesn't Sullivan (see below) get first nod?
Leah Ward Sears:
(Emory University )
The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Georgia is the first black woman ever in that role—will get a close look but I'm not sure she is as brilliant intellectually as some of these competitors.
Morning line favorite on 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has faded a bit as possibility after scrutiny of firefighter-affirmative action decision, questions about working style.
Former Stanford Law School Dean, first amendment expert, and she shares Harvard Law School tie with the President. She is probably on short list and she should be.
(Harv. Law Record)
Would be odds-on-favorite if president were not predisposed to selecting a woman or minority nominee for more balance on the Court. Check back on him for next appointment or one after that.
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge is probably on the shortest of short lists. An Hispanic female, with decent track record, she doesn't bring the same baggage that Judge Sotomayor carries.
7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge is smart, seasoned and comes with only minor baggage (already tagged by conservative groups). But she's a sitting federal judge and the White House keeps talking about "diversity" of experience.
Andrew Cohen is CBS News' Chief Legal Analyst and Legal Editor. CourtWatch is his new blog with analysis and commentary on breaking legal news and events. For columns on legal issues before the beginning of this blog, click here.
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