The White House is signaling
that President Obama is "very close
" to a decision on who he
will nominate to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.
When the White House released the short list, liberals responded by
stating their case for Diane Wood and their case against Elena Kagan,
who has drawn fire from the left for some of her more conservative
positions. But now pundits, perhaps operating on some combination of
leaks and reading the tea leaves, are declaring that Kagan appears very
likely to be the next pick. Here's what they're saying -- and one
- Mike Allen: Kagan to Be Announced Monday
Politico's Allen carries great weight in
Washington for his hyper-connectivity to White House sources, so people
are taking his declaration seriously.
for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for
it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The
pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s
otherwise. Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime
post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless
advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief
Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy
into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller
on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning
editions. For now, aides say POTUS hasn’t decided, to their knowledge.
- White House Already 'Circulating Pro-Kagan
Talking Points' Salon's Mike Madden sees "a fairly
visible public relations strategy designed to protect Kagan from
criticism before the nomination." Most recently, "White House officials
started circulating a set of talking points pushing back on the
criticism [about Kagan's hiring record at Harvard], sending it out to
various groups allied with the administration."
- Obama Loves
Kagan Salon's Alex Pareene sighs, "most
reports indicate that the solicitor general [Kagan] is the front-runner.
She is, after all, a big fan of expanded executive power, and
presidents love that in a Supreme Court justice. If you're a Wood fan,
I'd say prepare to be disappointed. At least that way you might get a
- Poll of 5,000 SCOTUS-Watchers Says Kagan
FantasySCOTUS.net's Josh Blackman explains, "We
have invited our nearly 5,000 members–who represent some of the closest
and most ardent Court watchers–to weigh in on the vacancy, rank the
candidates on the short list, and give their views on the potential
nominees." The results? Elana Kagan got 51 percent of votes, over double
that of Diane Wood, who got 25 percent.
- Dissent: It's Diane Wood
Legal blog Above the Law's David Lat makes the unusual case. "We’re going to go out
on a limb and make a crazy prediction: President Obama is going to
nominate Judge Diane Wood, of the Seventh Circuit, to the Supreme
Court," he writes, listening and explaining ten reasons for Wood's
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.