Related Newswires Articles on the Supreme Court – Washington Post


Obama Consulting Biden Frequently On Supreme Court Nominee
By Michael A. Fletcher | Washington Post Staff Writer

“The president is basically taking advantage of my experiences by asking me nuanced questions about both individuals and timing,” Biden said in an interview Friday. “We’ve gone through specific nominees, which we’re burrowing in on.”

A former head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden chaired half a dozen Supreme Court confirmation hearings and voted on every sitting justice with the exception of John Paul Stevens. His feel for the personalities, complexities and sensitivities of the process has been forged during some of the most explosive confirmation battles, including those of Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Robert H. Bork, the conservative legal scholar who was rejected by the Senate.

Although Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leading the search, which is being run through the White House counsel’s office, Biden and the president have gone over lists of potential nominees, discussed the best ways to approach senators about a prospective pick, and talked about when it would be best to announce a choice.

Supreme Court Prospect Has Unlikely Ally
By Krissah Thompson | Washington Post Staff Writer

One day in the early 1990s, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas telephoned Leah Ward Sears to introduce himself. She was a rising star in Georgia’s legal community, a relatively liberal black woman on the state’s conservative Supreme Court. Thomas had read about political attacks against Sears and called to say he didn’t like it.

“It affected her that he would take the time to comfort her in that situation,” said Bernard Taylor, an Atlanta lawyer and longtime friend of Sears, now chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and a potential nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter. “They’re still friends.”

Many years after that phone call, the friendship that has endured makes for one of the more intriguing subplots of President Obama’s upcoming decision. In naming Souter’s replacement, Obama is likely to choose a liberal jurist. Some in the civil rights community are hoping that person will be an African American, such as Sears, to soothe the lingering bitterness over the appointment of Thomas, a conservative who is the court’s only black justice.

Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor Likely to Be on Obama’s Supreme Court Shortlist
from Wash Post – World News by Keith B. Richburg

George M. Pavia remembers being instantly impressed with the young woman he hired for his law firm in 1984. Sonia Sotomayor had graduated summa cum laude at Princeton, edited the Yale Law Journal in law school and had courtroom experience in the Manhattan prosecutor’s office.

Small, Seasoned Group Helps Obama Manage Supreme Court Selection
By Scott Wilson and Robert Barnes | Washington Post Staff Writers

President Obama’s first selection of a Supreme Court justice is being managed by a small group of senior advisers, and the process will last at least into next week before producing a candidate who the administration hopes will inject real-world experience into the nation’s highest court.

Administration officials said this process will be careful and deliberative, even though preparations to fill a possible Supreme Court vacancy began even before Obama took office. The advisers are gathering recommendations from congressional leaders and determining what criteria will count most in narrowing the field of candidates to replace Justice David H. Souter, whose retirement creates the first of perhaps three vacancies before the end of Obama’s term.

The selection of a small and very senior group of administration officials to help manage the nomination is designed, in part, to avoid the kinds of leaks that angered several Cabinet nominees during Obama’s transition. It departs from a decision-making process that on other important issues has involved a wider range of people inside and outside the West Wing, although the circle will grow once a choice is made and the center of gravity moves to Capitol Hill.

In Court Pick, Obama Seeks to Be Bold but Not Provocative
By Scott Wilson and Robert Barnes | Washington Post Staff Writers

As President Obama searches for a replacement for Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, those who know him best think he is looking for a rare combination: a pragmatic barrier-breaker who will be a distinguished jurist and whose nomination will cool the partisan warfare that has marked recent confirmation battles.

White House officials say Obama regards the Supreme Court nomination as a seminal decision that will help put a stamp on his presidency. His first months in office have been marked by a willingness to act boldly on domestic and international issues, and he may be expected to bring that same kind of ambition to filling the Souter vacancy — up to a point.

In private conversations and public comments, Obama has made clear that he wants a justice whose intellect, life experience and temperament will shape the court’s future.

“He’s less eager to send a message than to send a great justice,” said White House senior adviser David Axelrod. “The people he’s considering have something in common. They’re rigorous and well qualified. But they all offer different qualities beyond that. He’ll make a decision at the end of the process as to what combination of qualities he favors. He’s not working off a set of specs.”

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: A Presentation on International Law

The Blum Center for Developing Economies Presents:

“International Law”

A presentation by US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, followed by a conversation with Dean Christopher Edley, UC Berkeley School of Law.

Stephen Breyer, born in San Francisco in 1938, is a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard Law School. He taught law for many years at Harvard and has also worked as a Supreme Court law clerk, a Justice Department lawyer, an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1990 he was appointed an appellate court judge by President Carter. In 1994 he was appointed a Supreme Court Justice by President Clinton.

Sponsors: Blum Center for Developing Economies, International House


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