Daniel Foster at NRO lays out what most people feel are the most probable picks by President Obama for the upcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court:
Merrick Garland – a former federal prosecutor and current D.C. Circuit appeals judge. A Clinton appointee, Garland is well-liked by Democrats and even some Republicans in the Senate.
Elena Kagan – The first-female Solicitor General and probably first-runner-up for the Sotomayor seat, Kagan has a record of the kind of cagey jurisprudence that is ideal for a tough confirmation battle. She is well-respected by just about everybody on both sides, but lacks the paper trail that would reveal just how far to the left she’d sit.
Diane Wood – Another Clinton appointee, considered the heaviest liberal counterweight to the conservative Chicago Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dominated by Richard A. Posner. Wood was a colleague of President Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.
Pamela Karlan – A professor at Stanford Law School, Karlan is a longshot once was described by the New York Times as a “snarky. . . Antonin Scalia for the left.” Karlan is openly gay, and an outspoken liberal.
As Foster says, Pamela Karlan is probably the least likely of the 4 listed to be nominated, but still a possibility. Since it is a liberal seat that’s being filled, the current balance won’t change. From what I’ve read, the least liberal of the bunch is Garland, and, as Foster implies, is the one with the most reasonable chance of confirmation of the four. If he’s the nominee, I’d imagine that the GOP won’t put up that much of a fight. If, however, any of the other three should be nominated, expect a fight. Also expect the usual charges of sexism to be thrown out there during that fight.