Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

The List Of Potential Nominees For President Obama's Final Supreme Court Appointment

comments
PHOTO: REX Shutterstock.
Over the weekend, President Obama announced that he plans to pick a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

That was after Republican leaders in the Senate made it clear that they would block any candidate put forward by the president, regardless of who they may be.

Names are already being floated around the political sphere of the internet. And while there is major doubt over whether the president could get the Senate to confirm a nominee before he leaves office, there's no doubt that a strong list of potential nominees exists.

Here are some of the people the White House might be mulling over:
Sri Srinivasan, D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals
The general consensus is that 48-year-old Sri Srinivasan is at the top of the list of potential nominees. He is considered a moderate and a strong choice if Obama wants to pressure Senator Mitch McConnell to allow a Senate confirmation vote.

Srinivasan is the son of immigrants: He was born in India and came with his family to the United States in the late 1960s after his parents took teaching jobs in Kansas. He clerked for conservative appeals court judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Sandra Day O’Connor. He served as chief deputy to the U.S. solicitor general.

Srinivasan was nominated by President Obama and confirmed to the federal bench by the Senate in May 2013 by a 97-0 vote.

If Srinivasan were nominated and confirmed, it would be historical — he would be the first Indian-American Supreme Court justice.
Merrick B. Garland, D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals
At 67 years old, Merrick Garland has already had his name on a Supreme Court nominee shortlist. Back in 2010, his name was frequently mentioned as a possible Obama nomination when Justice Paul Stevens retired. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.

Garland was a Bill Clinton nominee to the court of appeals. He's been seen as a judicial moderate, which might make him a good fit for the current political climate. The major strike against Garland is his age.
Patricia Ann Millett, D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals
Here's what makes Millett such a strong Supreme Court candidate: She's argued 32 cases at the high court. That makes her an insider, through and through.

Millett, 52, was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court in 2013, after Srinivasan. Her nomination by Obama was one of three nominations caught up in a Senate debate over the use of the filibuster. It actually took the Senate almost seven months to confirm her before finally voting yes, 56-38.

Millett is the wife of a Navy reservist and an advocate for military families.
Paul Watford, Ninth U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals
Paul Watford, 48, is another Obama favorite — who's also been mentioned as a possible contender in the past. Watford is considered a moderate, he's African-American, and he clerked for prominent conservative judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, as well as for liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

He has served as a federal prosecutor and he was confirmed to the court of appeals in 2012 by a vote of 61–34.
Jacqueline Nguyen, Ninth U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals
Nguyen was nominated by President Obama and confirmed in May 2012 by a unanimous vote. She has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California and in the U.S. attorney's office.

Nguyen, 51, was born in Vietnam. Her family fled to the U.S. when she was 10. They lived at a refugee camp in California before settling in Los Angeles, according to her appellate court nomination announcement from the White House.
Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General Of California:
Here's the thing that makes Kamala Harris stand apart from others on the list: She isn't an appellate judge. She's a politician. That could prove to be either an advantage or a disadvantage.

At 51 years old, Kamala Harris is the first African-American, Asian-American, and woman to hold the job of attorney general of Califonia. She worked as a deputy district attorney in California and, between 2000 and 2011, she was twice elected district attorney of San Francisco.

Harris' mother was a breast cancer researcher from India and her Jamaican father taught economics at Stanford, according to NPR.

She's already declared her intention to run for the Senate to replace Senator Barbara Boxer, who has announced her retirement at the end of her term in 2017.
SHARE
TWEET
EMAIL