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Political Wire shares some news about Intrade futures and says that Sonomayor is still in the lead…

Intrade has opened betting markets for the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice with Sonia Sotomayor currently the favored candidate at a 28% chance. Elena Kagan has a 23% chance of becoming the next justice, followed by Diane Wood and Kimberly Wardlaw.

I’ve never heard of Wardlaw before today, but as I said in my previous post…I think all the signs point to Kagan…

Well, I think you can count out Sotomayor, Garland and Granholm. The first because there’s been too much negative buzz about her in Dem circles, the second because he’s a man and the third because Granholm isn’t a natural born American citizen and she’s too political. […]

So my bet is on Kagan because of her background at Harvard law and her affiliation with the University of Chicago. Also, the administration has been hinting that this person would come from a non-traditional avenue, and while that might be a head fake, I think it would rule out Wood.

Still, there is buzz about Wood and the Election Law Blog details the reasons

2. The President has gone to his trusted circle (and those who can be vouched for from his trusted circle) whenever he can for sensitive positions. This explains Valerie Jarrett, Cass Sunstein, and others. When he’s gone outside his circle, as with the choice of Vice President Biden, there’s greater room for tension and mismatch. Judge Wood comes from the same University of Chicago circles, and she can be vouched for. She would not be a “stealth” Justice, as Justice Souter was.

3. Nominating Judge Woods gets a progressive judge on the Court using the Roberts/Alito playbook. If you choose someone who has a truly excellent reputation as a judge, it becomes very hard for opponents of that person to block the nomination on ideological grounds. If the real goal is getting a progressive leader on the Court, this is the easiest path.

So what say you? Predictions?

And is anybody willing to put some money behind it? :-)

2 COMMENTS

  1. I say, as I’ve said before, that Rick is right on point three: I wouldn’t appoint Diane Wood myself, but I would support her appointment in the circumstances. She’s been a very good judge here in the Seventh Circuit, she’s very smart, and while she’s certainly a liberal, she isn’t a loon. She’s the card on the top of this deck, in my view.

  2. I think several of Rick Hazen’s five points are unquestionably factors Obama is weighing.

    In particular, he is likely to see this appointment as one of two or even three he will make. Like any good pol, he’ll be weighing these appointments together (e.g., “I can appoint a woman and a Latino too” — and “My first appointment may be easier to make, since I now have as many Senators as I can expect, whereas after 2010, who knows?”).

    Also, Rick is right to point out that while the first may be easier in this sense, it’s also true that Obama has a full plate, his big priorities still need broad political support, and a court donneybrook will distract both him ad Congress from these. I’m not sure who this favors, but it’s real.

    I’d add one point of my own: I read into Obama’s words about “empathy” and understanding real-life experiences as prepping people for a change from the tendency to nominate sitting judges and/or law professors, because they have a paper trail that assures supporters of their ideological bona fides. The big problem with that is the fact that it also provokes opposition and adds to confirmation difficulties.

    This may be why both Granholm and Napolitano are on every short list.

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