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.