April 9th, 2010
07:03 PM ET

Obama gets second chance to put stamp on court

President Obama on Friday received his second opportunity to shape the U.S. Supreme Court when Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement.

The president named Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the court last year.

In replacing Stevens, Obama likely will nominate a candidate that would maintain the court's ideological balance of five conservative to four liberal-leaning judges.

Government sources said three candidates top an informal list at this early stage. They are Judge Diane Wood of the Illinois-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also met privately with Obama last May before Sotomayor's selection and remains in the mix, sources said.

Other possible contenders could be Cass Sunstein, 55, an old law school associate of Obama's and head of a key White House agency, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, 53, a longtime friend of the president's. Some insiders reportedly favor Patrick, but he's seeking re-election this fall to governorship.

The White House has quietly but actively prepared for weeks in anticipation of a vacancy, government sources said.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Corve DaCosta

    Hope there will be no drama with this position.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. surfsup

    Too bad Palin wasn't a lawyer for Obama could nominate her for Supreme Court! She knows more about the constitution than Obama (constitution professor of law). She knows more about american history and values and is so well read. What an excellent choice, and guess what it would shut up her mouth. All decisions after awhile in Supreme Court would be 8-1. Just a thought.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |