Report: Obama meeting SCOTUS candidates

President Obama is actively interviewing potential replacements for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a new report.

Obama is meeting with five candidates and is seriously considering three of them for the nation’s highest court, NPR reported.

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The leading contenders reportedly include Merrick Garland and Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Paul Watford of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

More long-shot options include Jane Kelly of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis and U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of Washington, D.C.

Garland, 63, is the oldest judge Obama is considering and boasts a 19-year judicial paper trail for critics’ analysis. Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (R-Utah) helped secure the confirmation of Garland to the appeals court after a storied career as a prosecutor, NPR said.

Srinivasan, 49, is a former solicitor general’s office employee for both the second Bush and Obama administrations who could become the first Supreme Court nominee of South Asian descent. He was unanimously confirmed to D.C.’s appeals court by the Seante 97-0 in 2013.

NPR said Watford, 48, was confirmed to his post by a 61-34 Senate vote in 2012, including support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Scalia died unexpectedly last month, setting off an election year battle after Republicans said the next president should fill his seat, vowing to block any Obama nominee.

Obama and his supporters have argued that a constitutional obligation exists for filling Supreme Court vacancies as quickly as possible.