White House sources have confirmed a six-person short list of potential Supreme Court nominees being considered by President Obama to replace retiring Justice David Souter. According to the Associated Press, the short list includes five women: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, and US Appeals Court judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood. One man, California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, is also reportedly under consideration.
It is unclear whether this list, which has been widely published, includes all of President Obama’s final candidates. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday that “the president does take some heart in knowing that in all of the lists that have been seen and produced, there hasn’t yet been one produced with the totality of names which are being considered,” reported the New York Times.
It has been widely speculated that President Obama will choose a woman nominee for the seat. Women’s rights activists are also advocating for a woman nominee. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the only woman seated on the Court. Former justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired in 2005.