How Obama Can Reshape the Judiciary
Posted at 2:15 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2012
Lawrence Hurley looks at how a Supreme Court retirement in President Obama’s second term can reshape the outcomes in certain cases even if the ideological makeup of the court remains unchanged.
“So far this term, the justices have decided to hear two Clean Water Act cases and two property rights cases that have environmental implications. Potential candidates for an Obama nomination might include Jacqueline Nguyen and Mary Murguia, both judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, or even California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D).”
“Many think Obama is most likely to appoint a woman to replace Ginsburg, as otherwise there would be only two women justices left. However, the fact that he already appointed two women might give him cover to appoint a man, especially if the nominee were African-American or Asian-American. Paul Watford, an African-American recently appointed to the 9th Circuit, could fit the bill, some court watchers say.”
“Obama will also have a greater opportunity in his second term to shape the federal judiciary as a whole by appointing more appeals court and district court judges. Liberals have complained that the Obama administration did not put enough emphasis on judicial nominations during the first term. As a result, there are currently 82 unfilled vacancies.”