The Short List of Supreme Court Candidates

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, History of Supreme Court Nominations, Law Journal Library, U.S. Supreme Court
Shannon Sabo

Despite protests from Republican presidential candidates and Senate leaders, President Obama has made it clear that he intends to nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away suddenly on February 13. Based on reports from several news sources, including USA Today, Newsweek, PBS, and CNN, here is a short list of candidates who could receive the nomination.

Sri Srinivasan

Padmanabhan Srikanth Srinivasan, who once clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, appeared on all four of the lists compiled by the above news outlets. He's only 48 years old, and in 2013 was unanimously confirmed for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He's known as a business-friendly moderate, and he would be the first Indian-American Justice. Review his published articles in HeinOnline, which cover a multitude of topics, here. His cases before the D.C. Circuit Court can be found by searching case law* powered by Fastcase in HeinOnline:

*Case law search tool available to Fastcase Premium subscribers.

Loretta Lynch

As the current U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch just endured a lengthy confirmation process, which should streamline her vetting for the Supreme Court. Lynch is a black woman with prosecutorial experience, and some speculate that her appointment would weigh favorably among black voters, and possibly increase voter turnout for this demographic. Lynch is a graduate of Yale Law School and authored this article; access some of her activity as U.S. Attorney General using case law in HeinOnline, powered by Fastcase.

Paul Watford

Paul J. Watford also appeared on all four lists of potential candidates.  He's an African-American judge currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who previously clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and he authored these articles, also available in HeinOnline. Check out some of the cases Watford has decided here.

Patricia Millett

She's currently serving on the same court as Sri Srinivasan, and Patricia Millett is reported to have bipartisan support, making it difficult for Republicans to oppose her appointment. She's an experienced litigator and has argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court many times. She is only 52 years old, and has previously written for SCOTUSblog, in addition to several law review articles, which can be found in HeinOnline. Access some of her cases before the D.C. Circuit Court here.

Jacqueline Nguyen

Jacqueline Nguyen is the first Vietnamese-American woman named to the state court in California, and has been a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2012. If appointed to the Supreme Court, she would be the first Asian-American Justice. She's authored several cases, available via Fastcase in HeinOnline.

Next Steps

HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated contains constitutional documents for all of the countries of the world.  In Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, it is clearly stated that the President:

"...shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for..."

It is clear that President Obama will be able to make the nomination. What remains to be seen is how long the decision-making process will take, and then whether the Senate, by simple majority vote, will grant its consent to allow the appointee to be the next Supreme Court Justice.

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