SCOTUS Expert: Loretta Lynch Is Obama’s ‘Most Likely Candidate’ to Replace Scalia
Tom Goldstein, a respected Supreme Court analyst and publisher of the influential SCOTUSblog, predicted Monday that President Barack Obama was most likely to nominate his Attorney General Loretta Lynch to the Supreme Court.
Goldstein’s post came after he first suggested African-American Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford would be the likely nominee, since Democrats could use Republican opposition to his appointment to galvanize black voters. However, “the fact that Lynch is a woman gives her nomination a very significant advantage,” he argues.
“I think the President personally will be very tempted to appoint a black Justice to the Court, rather than a second Hispanic,” Goldstein writes. “His historical legacy rests materially on advancing black participation and success in American politics. The role Thurgood Marshall previously played in that effort is inescapable. The President likely sees value in providing a counterpoint to the Court’s only black Justice, the very conservative Clarence Thomas.”
“She is known and admired within the administration,” he continued. “At some point in the process, she likely would have to recuse from her current position, but the Department of Justice could proceed to function with an acting head. Her history as a career prosecutor makes it very difficult to paint her as excessively liberal.”
“At this point I think that Attorney General Lynch is the most likely candidate,” he concludes. “I think the administration is likely to nominate her, that the Senate will initially refuse to proceed with the nomination but ultimately accede after delaying the process significantly, and then vote her down on party lines.”
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