Obama's Short List for Justice Stevens' Replacement

Tony Mauro writes at Law.com that Obama is ready with a short list of replacement candidates if Justice John Paul Stevens retires. Who's on it?

The list includes Solicitor General Elena Kagan, appeals court Judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Janet Napolitano? Ugh, I hope not.

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    Kagan (none / 0) (#1)
    by Tony on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:11:38 PM EST
    Jeffrey Toobin was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross earlier this week and said that he believes Elena Kagan will be the pick.

    Napolitano?! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:19:01 PM EST
    Oh my. I would expect her confirmation process to follow the path Harriet Miers' took.

    Three women. Interesting. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:38:17 PM EST

    I distrust it, owing to the timing (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:28:54 PM EST
    of this leak, amid the possibility that Dems will cave to the anti-woman Stupak stipulations.

    Wait and see how the list expands anatomically after this hubbub is over.


    Agreed. Obama admins. is ok w/ (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:37:18 PM EST
    Stupak/Pitts but must float this list to appease pro choice women (few thought they may be at this point).

    My immediate thoughts, exactly... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:41:59 PM EST
    Anatomical expansion, indeed.

    So, as you remind us so often (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:15:21 PM EST
    we are being reminded to "Remember Roe v. Wade!"

    Yeh, right.  I'm not the one who forgets about it.


    No Brainer, IMO (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:37:03 PM EST
    No surprise, but then again I never bought into the notion bandied around here that Obama was a right wing misogynist, with an anti-choice agenda.

    Speechless. (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:43:42 PM EST
    Ms. Napolitano (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:55:31 PM EST
    was a disappointment during her first big test as Secretary of Homeland Security--the "underpants" bomber. But, the list of women is encouraging (if the 5/4 related to gender it would be a good thing), although I would hope that somewhere in the nominee's background would be public higher and/or professional education.  For example, a public Big Ten University or the University of California.

    She's got trial experience (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:57:36 PM EST
    and it may be a way to get her out of DHS.

    I have no idea if this is a serious choice, but it would encapsulate both a private and public reason to do so.


    she's a prosecutor (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:32:50 PM EST
    Why not give Alito two votes and save the extra salary? (sarcasm)

    Let's see if she completes the (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:38:19 PM EST
    border fence!  

    Yes (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:53:30 PM EST
    That's why I said she had trial experience - just like Sotomayor. And though many on this blog don't like prosecutors, that is not the norm - most people in America (especially most voters), do.

    And as I said, I don't think she's a serious name out there, but it wouldn't be a random choice.  I think we are going to see more and more judges appointed who have courtroom experience and/or who have been elected officials.


    Yeah (3.50 / 2) (#25)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:52:00 PM EST
    The Giuliani generation moved the country to the right. The haves want their hired thugs to protect themselves from the ever growing have nots. Certainly tough on crime mentality has become the norm here since the great exodus from dkos.

    Reading comprehension (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:55:04 PM EST
    While most people around here don't like prosecutors - voters (of both parties) do - they always have. This is not a new phenomenon, as much as you would like to imagine it is.  You can like it or not, but that's reality.

    Reading Comprehension? (1.00 / 1) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:59:29 PM EST
    Prosecutor love is a relatively new phenomenon at TL, since the primaries to be exact.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:44:34 PM EST
    That explains most people in America - especially as all I said about the people around here is that they don't like prosecutors.

    But as usual, you'll try to bring it back to the primaries.

    I await your comment, so you can have the last word.  I hope it makes you feel special.


    Most people (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 08:35:22 PM EST
    will "like" any thug as long as they're convinced that they're being protected from worse thugs.

    All you have to do is scare the hell out of people often enough.


    The problem with Democratic prosecutors (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 04:49:24 PM EST
    is that they often become prosecutors as stepping stones for political office.....I heard Susan Estrich say on a t.v. show that she personally told Elliott Spitzer, who I think she taught at Harvard, that the best way to advance politically as a Democrat was to become a prosecutor.....

    So, for the political version of Democratic prosecutors, they are looking for scalps.....to show how tough on crime they are....Justice is not the primary concern.....

    This happens to even the best.  Bill and Ricky Ray Rector.....

    We need to get the Democrats to stop parrotting right wingers on crime.....As it stands, the Republicans are actually sounding better on crime--because they don't want to pay the costs of incarcerating the vast numbers that we do.....


    Yea, conservatives don't wanna pay (none / 0) (#32)
    by TheRefugee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:35:57 PM EST
    for incarceration...they'd just as soon go straight from courtroom to death chamber.

    Don't confuse their "fiscal responsibility" for compassion.


    True, but if the result is (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:45:20 PM EST
    fewer people in jail on excessive sentences, that'd be just fine...

    Conservatives (none / 0) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:56:02 PM EST
    love excessive sentencing, as long as they aren't on the receiving end. They prefer to cut costs by serving bologna and putting inmates in tent jails,

    That pitch (none / 0) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:47:32 PM EST
    was left hanging over the plate for you, and you hammered it.

    They'll probably continue (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 08:43:55 PM EST
    to parrot the 'thugs as long as the media-nurtured perception exists that we're all in danger of being gunned down - raped - abducted - 24ed - sacrificed by Satanists etc every time we step out our front doors.

    Of the lawyers they dont like (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 08:19:58 PM EST
    they like - or think they like - prosecutors the most. This week, anyway.

    As most voters do too. (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 10:21:00 AM EST
    Will Naplitano's ill-advised (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 12:59:47 PM EST
    initial public remarks re Christmas Day terrorist attempt doom her nomination?

    Honestly (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 01:03:06 PM EST
    I don't see her as a real choice, but if she was nominated, my guess is that those statements (among others) would definitely disqualify her (at least from getting any Republican votes).  It would be a nomination fight that would definitely not be worth having, IMO.

    I basically know few federal judges who (none / 0) (#20)
    by masslib on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:06:47 PM EST
    could be up for such an appointment, would love if you and Jeralyn ever gave us your dream list and told us why.

    Sorry, J... (none / 0) (#21)
    by masslib on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:07:13 PM EST
    I thought BTD wrote this.

    What is good about Kagan?` (none / 0) (#22)
    by womanwarrior on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 02:47:07 PM EST
    Can anyone educate me why Kagan would be a good choice?  She doesn't look at all progressive in the positions taken by the SG so far.  Can you tell us more about Wood and Garland?  Thanks.

    Here's a synopsis (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:02:28 PM EST
    Here. It also includes other names that could be considered.

    Obviously, just this person's opinion, but a good read.


    As the linked commentary says, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 03:15:13 PM EST
    by Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSBlog, Judge Diane Wood is the most progressive choice from the conventional list.  The dream choice, however, would be Stanford Law School Prof. Pamela Karlan, who is a genuine progressive legal intellectual powerhouse, and about 50 years old.

    Would LOVE to see her on the SC (none / 0) (#40)
    by Spamlet on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 02:19:51 AM EST
    Diane Wood (none / 0) (#43)
    by bill price on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 12:41:17 PM EST
    Pam Karlan would be a great pick. But she'd actually be pretty risky to send over to the Senate, in terms of confirmability.

    Any of the others would be confirmed, so the question is whether one is more reliably progressive than the others. There the answer is clear: Diane Wood. Garland is a moderate in every sense. Kagan has spent a career NOT making decisions that might harm her some way in the future. Wood has a long record of standing up for individual liberties. And she's a master strategist, used to bring conservatives over to her position (she's on a court with Judge Posner now). If the Court loses Stevens, Wood is the replacement all progressives should get behind.


    C'mon Barack... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 07:52:39 AM EST
    this is your chance at a legacy...healthcare & bailouts & Afghanistan is but a legacy of corporatocracy and grift and blood...but if you nominate Ron Kuby, you'll be remembered for something positive forever....a true civil liberties voice on the court.