The competition is getting stiffer. For weeks, the three frontrunners have been Kagan and appeals court judges Merrick Garland and Diane Wood. But when it came time for what appears to be his first formal interview of a potential SCOTUS pick, Obama sat down with Judge Sidney Thomas, a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thomas has been on Obama’s reported shortlist for weeks, but he hasn’t been given nearly as much attention as Kagan, Garland, and Wood.
If you haven’t heard, empathy is now a bad word. It was a key requirement during the president’s first SCOTUS search last summer, but this time around, Obama seems to be avoiding it. This week, he said he wants a nominee who has “a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.” That’s clearly a much different standard than empathy, right?
Governors unite! Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm told CNN she thinks it’s smart for President Obama to consider nominating a non-judge to the high court. Granholm, who has never been a judge, is herself getting buzz as a potential SCOTUS contender. She also mentioned former Arizona governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The public, however, disagrees with Granholm.
And California Senator Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats just don’t want Obama to rock the boat.