President Obama's "short list" of seven names to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia reads like a who's who of people Christians and conservatives alike would not want anywhere near the high court.
Several news outlets began reporting the list, which was likely purposely leaked by the White House to begin the public vetting process, Monday afternoon. It includes:
Sri Srinivasan, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia circuits;
Merrick Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit;
Attorney General Loretta Lynch;
Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who is now a Georgetown law professor;
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson;
Solicitor General Don Verrilli; and
Former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Last summer, Holder said he wasn't interested in serving on the high court. Congressional Republicans have been highly critical of Lynch and Johnson for their far-left ideologies while serving in their current Cabinet positions.
Garland was actually a front-runner to replace former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, and it is widely held that he is a "fall back candidate" should the preferred candidate fail to be confirmed by the Senate. The chief judge of the D.C. Appeals Court is viewed as a judicial moderate who says his hero was John Marshall.
Srinivasan is a popular pick, so far, in the media. He was unanimously appointed to the D.C. Appeals Court, and doesn't have much of a paper trail. When sworn into office, however, he placed his hand on Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, and would be expected to serve as a liberal voice on the high court, if confirmed.
Obama has pledged to appoint a replacement for Scalia, while Republicans have said the president's successor should be allowed to name a replacement after the 2016 general election. The battle could turn into a major campaign issue for presidential and congressional candidates alike.
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