The Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin reports that the much-rumored retirements of both Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has sparked an internal debate among Democrats:
Democrats gearing up for a possible Supreme Court vacancy are divided over whether President Barack Obama should appoint a prominent liberal voice while their party still commands a large Senate majority, or go with someone less likely to stoke Republican opposition….
The White House considered Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor's rise from Bronx, N.Y., through the Ivy League and onto the federal bench as a potent symbol of American social mobility.
Some liberals lamented that she lacked the provocative philosophical profile that Republican administrations have sought in some of their most important judicial nominees, such as Justice Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee who has popularized a conservative approach to legal interpretation….
Other allies of the president say picking a "Scalia of the left" would be a mistake. A candidate with a sharp liberal record "is such an attractive target for a fight, it could screw up the whole summer," tying up the Senate and further handicapping the Democrats' agenda, said a Democrat familiar with the White House's thinking on judicial nominees.
Read the whole thing here.