Who could replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia if Republicans don’t block all of President Obama’s nominees, as appears likely? Here are 10 possibilities:
Sri Srinivasan: The 48-year-old federal appeals court judge was confirmed unanimously in 2013 for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — a traditional steppingstone to the Supreme Court. He would be the court’s first Indian-American justice.
Patricia Millett: Srinivasan’s 52-year-old colleague on the D.C. Circuit is popular in both parties and is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate. She argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court as an advocate.
Merrick Garland: At 63, Garland is older than most nominees, since presidents want their choices to stick around for decades on the bench. He is a moderate who serves as chief judge on the D.C. Circuit court and could be a compromise choice.
Kamala Harris: California’s attorney general, 51, could be another leading candidate. She has the added luster of holding political office, a life experience that is sorely lacking on the Supreme Court. She’s currently running for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Jacqueline Nguyen: The Asian-American judge, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, has been mentioned frequently in the initial hours after Scalia’s death. At 50, she is the perfect age for a nominee.
Amy Klobuchar: If the Senate would be less inclined to block one of its own, the senior senator from Minnesota, 55, might be someone Obama would consider.
Sheldon Whitehouse: See “Senate” above. Whitehouse, 60, the junior senator from Rhode Island, is a former attorney general of Rhode Island and U.S. attorney with strong credentials.
Cory Booker: The third in a triumverate of senators who could be chosen if Obama wants to put Republican senators on the spot by threatening to block one of their own. Booker, 46, the former Newark, N.J., mayor, has been in the Senate since 2013.
Paul Watford: A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Watford, 48, is another Obama nominee with a potentially stellar future. Some court-watchers expect the African-American judge to be Obama’s first choice.
Jane Kelly: She is a 51-year-old judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit who was a career public defender. From Iowa, she has enjoyed the prior support of Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee.