Supreme Court expert reveals 5 potential picks to replace Scalia

Supreme court scaliaSupreme Court handoutU.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black after his death.

Tom Goldstein, a co-founder of the influential SCOTUSblog, has revealed five potential picks for replacing Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.

Goldstein uses two specific criteria to pick the candidates for this list. First, they must serve on a federal court of appeals. Second, they must have received unanimous Republican support during their confirmation process.

These are Goldstein’s picks:

  • Gregg Costa — Fifth circuit. Two Republican senators from Texas wrote a letter to Obama suggesting that he nominate Costa for his former seat, on the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  • Jane Kelly — Eighth circuit. She received support during nomination from Charles Grassley, the Republican chair of the judiciary committee.
  • Cheryl Ann Krause — Third circuit. She was a law clerk for two Republican appointees.
  • Raymond Lohier — Succeeded Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit.
  • Sri Srinivasan — DC circuit. He was previously the deputy solicitor general in the Department of Justice.

Apart from these five picks, Goldstein has also floated Ketanji Brown Jackson — who is reportedly being vetted by the Obama administration — as a potential pick. Jackson sits on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and she’s related to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) through marriage. Ryan offered his “unequivocal support” for Jackson during her confirmation in 2012.

The Obama administration was also vetting Brian Sandoval, the Republican governor of Nevada, until Sandoval took his name out of consideration last week.

Apart from Goldstein’s top five, he also named three 11th circuit judges, Adalberto
Jordan, Jill Pryor, and Robin Rosenbaum as possible but less likely candidates.

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