Who Is Obama Considering For The Court?
The “big three,” as USA Today calls them, are:
Solicitor General Elena Kagan: As dean of the Harvard Law School she lamented the presence of military recruiters on campus, because she didn’t like their policies of discrimination against gays, but realized the school would lose funding if they were booted.
“This action causes me deep distress,” Kagan wrote that morning in October 2003. “I abhor the military’s discriminatory recruitment policy.” It is, she said, “a profound wrong — a moral injustice of the first order.”
Conservatives would make her opposition to the federal rule that recruiters be allowed on campus or lose aid an issue, even though she’s stated that as Solicitor General, her job would be to defend the statute, especially given that the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in its favor.
Merrick Garland, who supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh: He’s a federal appeals court judge about whom Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said could be confirmed “virtually unanimously.”
Garland landed clerkships with federal appeals court Judge Henry Friendly in New York and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in Washington. He worked at the Justice Department from 1979 to 1981 before joining Arnold & Porter.
Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1995 that the Supreme Court members he most admired were Chief Justice John Marshall and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Garland promised to try to be “as brief and pithy” as Holmes.
One of Garland’s notable rulings was striking down enemy combatant status in 2008 for a Chinese man who was held at Guantanamo prison.
Garland’s opinion mocked the government’s contention that it had enough evidence because of allegations in three documents.
“The fact that the government has ‘said it thrice’ does not make an allegation true,” Garland wrote, referencing a 19th century poem by Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark.”
Federal Judge Diane Wood taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Barack Obama taught there. The right wing will attack her for a controversial ruling in Scheidler v National Organization for Women on using RICO laws against abortion protesters. The Supreme Court disagreed with her position that RICO could be applied in 2003 with only John Paul Stevens dissenting. Even though the issue was application of the RICO law, and not a woman’s right to choose, abortion opponents are alright citing this as an “extreme” view on abortion.
Former Georgia chief justice Leah Ward Sears; Montana-based federal Judge Sidney Thomas; and former Yale law school dean Harold Koh…Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was the former governor of Arizona, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
And there could be a wild card, such as Judge Ann Claire Williams, the first African-American appellate judge in the federal Seventh Circuit.
President Reagan first appointed Williams to the federal bench in 1985, making her the first African American woman to serve as a district judge in the Seventh Circuit.
She was elevated to the appellate court under President Clinton, becoming the first black judge to serve on that court and the third African American woman appointed to any federal appellate court in the nation.
Prior to joining the bench, Williams was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Before attending law school, according to her résumé, she taught third grade in the Detroit public schools.Click here for reuse options!
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