John Paul Stevens
Let the real scary part of the “all Democrats all the time” begin:
Factors in his decision no doubt include the election of President Obama, who would be more likely to appoint a successor attuned to the principles Souter has followed as a moderate-to-liberal member of the court’s more liberal bloc over the past two decades.
The problem, of course, is that Souter could be one of three appointments Obama might have the opportunity to make within his 4 years in the White House. Apparently neither Stevens or Ginsburg plan on retiring after this term, but Stevens is 89 for heaven sake and Ginsburg just got over a bout with cancer.
Rumor has it that Obama wants to appoint a woman (I guess “best qualified for the job” is just too much to ask):
Possible nominees who have been mentioned as being on a theoretical short list include Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general who represents the government before the Supreme Court; Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Diane Wood, a federal judge in Chicago who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time future President Barack Obama was teaching constitutional law there.
Just looking at the list, Sotomayor would be the diversity daily double winner and don’t anyone think that won’t enter into the conversation when nominees are being discussed.
UPDATE: George Stephanopoulos thinks Sotomayor is a ‘heavy favorite’.
UPDATE II: MichaelW hopes if he chooses from that list that his choice is Kagan. Here’s why.