WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia, despite Senate Republican leaders indicating that person will not get a vote this year.
So who could this be?
There’s always a short-list of potential justices that court experts and watchers have in their heads; Obama will be cognizant that he is replacing a conservative icon and that might temper his choices, leading him to try to find someone that at least some Republicans in Congress might find acceptable.
Here’s a few of the names getting attention Saturday night who could join Obama’s other two nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Any list begins with Sri Srinivasan, 48, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — a traditional launching pad for Supreme Court nominees.
Obama first nominated him to the post in 2012, and the Senate confirmed him, 97-0, in May 2013, including votes in support from GOP presidential contenders Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Srinivasan, an Indian-American, was a high school basketball star in Kansas before attending Stanford University, which he graduated from in 1989.
He was Obama’s principal deputy solicitor general, most notably working on the successful fight against the Defense of Marriage Act.
Srinivasan also has experience on the other side of the aisle, serving as an assistant to the solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration and as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was once a partner in the law firm O’Melveny & Myers.
Jane Kelly, who, like Obama, is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School, is another person who fits the mold of a younger justice.
And like Srinivasan, she is an Obama appointee who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to an appeals court position, in this case, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, serving out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
She was an assistant public defender for the federal courts in Iowa, and her nomination to the appeallate court was accelerated by Sen. Chuck Grassley, anIowa Republican and now the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She was confirmed 96-0 in April 2013.
Merrick Garland is older than Srinivasan and Kelly but has often been mentioned when there is an opening. Garland is the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, nominated by President Bill Clinton. He is thought of as a moderate.
Amy Klobuchar would be an unusual pick. The senior senator from Minnesota, she was a prosecutor in Minneapolis before entering politics. She is on the Senate Judiciary panel, which could give her some personal connections that would help.