The Volokh Conspiracy

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Which Supreme Court nominees from President Obama could be confirmed in Summer 2015?


A parlor game for Supreme Court junkies. Say that one of the Justices retires in Summer 2015 or thereabouts – health reasons would presumably be the only reason this would happen, but unfortunately that is always possible. Which Supreme Court nominees from President Obama could be confirmed then?

I take it the Republicans would look very bad if they just refuse to confirm any nominees at all for a year and a half. They know it; the President knows it; they know the President knows it. So some Democratic nominees from President Obama would likely go through – who do you think the President would be willing to nominate, and the Republicans would be willing to confirm?

UPDATE: Tony Mauro had something related to this in September, in the National Law Journal. An excerpt:

That political overlay makes the prediction game harder than usual, dependent on a number of variables, including timing, the nominee's race, gender and background – and most importantly, whom the nominee would replace….

An Obama nominee to replace [Justice] Ginsburg [if she chooses to retire] would be a woman, so the number of female justices would not drop to two out of nine.

D.C. Circuit Judge Millett, or U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., are frequently mentioned names. Klobuchar could benefit from the tradition – sometimes ignored – that senators confirm their own for other positions.