By Greg Grisolano
Count Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill among those who could potentially fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
While McCaskill’s name does not appear on a list of six candidates being reported by The Associated Press, her name is being reported on CNN and elsewhere as having come under consideration.
The junior senator from Missouri worked as a prosecutor before winning her Senate seat in the 2006 election. She is also known as a staunch supporter of President Obama.
A representative from McCaskill’s office declined to comment on the CNN and other reports.
“While it’s extremely flattering and an honor to be mentioned as a potential candidate for one of the highest offices in the land for a lifetime appointment, Claire really isn’t talking about it at all,” said McCaskill spokeswoman Maria Speiser.
The Associated Press reports that Obama is considering “a diverse list” dominated by women and Hispanics to fill retiring Justice David Souter’s seat.
Six names were confirmed as being under review by Obama, and are made up of three judges, two members of his administration and one governor, by sources speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Among those Obama is considering are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Appeals Court Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood. California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno is also under review by Obama.
More candidates may be added to the list as the president’s review is expected to intensify soon, with a decision expected by or near the end of May.
In a May 5 blog post on U.S. News and World Reports Web site, columnist Mary Kate Cary made a case for McCaskill based on her “working-woman’s background.”
“My vote goes to Claire McCaskill because of her work experience both as a waitress and a prosecutor, her life as a single mom, and her family responsibilities taking care of both young children and an aging parent,” Cary wrote. “I also like the fact that unlike the majority of the current Supreme Court justices, she graduated from a state university rather than an Ivy League law school. Sends a good message to all those hard-working women at law schools around the country.”
The president is widely expected to choose a woman for a Supreme Court that has nine members, but with only one of them a woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Obama also is under pressure from some Latino officials to name the nation’s first Hispanic justice. Moreno and Sotomayor are Hispanic.
Obama is likely before month’s end to name a nominee to replace Souter, who is retiring when the court term ends this summer. He is part of the court’s liberal wing, and his replacement by the new Democratic president is not expected to change the high court’s ideological balance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sen. Claire McCaskill will likely play a role in the decision even if she herself is not nominated for the post. She is one of three Senate Democrats, along with Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who have been asked to vet and gauge Senate support for the nominees, according to Roll Call, a Washington-based newspaper dedicated to covering Capitol Hill.
By Greg Grisolano
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