Just days following an anonymous source revealing the White House was considering five candidates for nomination to the High Court, another source has disclosed President Obama has shortened the potential nominee list to three judges.
Likely nominees remaining are judges Sri Srinivasan, Merrick Garland and Paul Watford.
Although no formal announcement has been scheduled, President Obama is expected to indicate his top choice ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.
Both Garland and Srinivasan are seated on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit where Garland also holds duties as Chief Judge; Watford serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.
No explanation was given for the elimination of consideration for judges Jane Kelly and Ketanji Brown Jackson, both of whom were circulated as possible replacements to fill the seat on the High Court vacated by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February at a luxury resort ranch in southwest Texas.
GOP leadership — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) — maintain no nominee will be considered and no hearings will be held.
Dismissing criticism from the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill, Republicans in Congress contend the next president should make the next selection for the Supreme Court.
[Reuters] [Photo courtesy Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call]