Wednesday SCOTUS Roundup

As President Obama continues his focus on healthcare this week, one can't help but keep up on the surrounding who he will pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.

Here are a few quick developments from Wednesday.

  • Obama will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) about the vacancy on Wednesday in the Oval Office.



  • On "Morning Joe," MSNBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie said White House officials say no list anywhere has included all of the contenders the White House is considering, which seems amazing to me. HMMMMM. The White House is proud of that, Guthrie said.



  • The dominant SCOTUS story line - that Obama should pick a nominee who is a woman and or Hispanic - took a hit in a new Gallup poll. The poll, released Wednesday, found that American's don't really care about a woman or a minority being nominated. Check out this chart:




  • Sessions, who will lead the Republican questioning of Obama's nominees during the confirmation hearings, outlined his criteria for the nominee in a Washington Post op-ed. He sums up what might make him object early on:


"But if the president nominates an individual who will allow personal preferences and political views to corrupt his or her decision making, he will put before the public a central question: Are we willing to trade America's heritage of a fair and neutral judiciary -- anchored in the rule of written law that applies equally to all people -- for a high court composed of robed politicians who apply the law differently based on their personal feelings toward a particular person or issue?"


  • And on top of all that, former Harvard Law prof Cass Sunstein, who was on initial lists of possible nominees but has since been left off several, gets a flattering write up in the Wall Street Journal. Sunstein, who is considered a preeminent Constitutional scholar, was confirmed as the White House regulatory czar by the Senate on Tuesday rather easily. The WSJ article focuses on Sunstein's somewhat business friendly views on regulations and makes no mention of whether he is under consideration for the SCOTUS post. But, if what Guthrie said is right, I wouldn't rule him out, and Obama might be interested in people that are easily confirmed by the Senate...


jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com