Obama's Potential Supreme Court Nominees

CRITICS SAY:
-- She has already announced her retirement.
-- She has a flaw on her record. Sears was fined for violating campaign contribution laws during her 2004 re-election effort. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she paid $3,100 in fines but the mark on her record could be a problem during the vetting process.
-- While open to appointment to the federal bench, she has said her dream job would be to serve as president of a small college.
-- In 1996, she dissented from a decision that upheld a law banning the solicitation of sodomy even in a non-commercial context. Sears called the result of the decision "pathetic and disgraceful." (Fulton Daily Report)

Kim McLane Wardlaw, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Kim McLane Wardlaw

BIO: Age: 54. Graduate of UCLA School of Law. Nominated by President Clinton. Close adviser to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. Played roles in campaigns of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Bill Clinton. Emma Coleman Jordan from Georgetown law was her boss in Clinton's Justice Department and served as a lawyer for Anita Hill.

SUPPORTERS SAY:
-- She would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
-- Her experience with political campaigns would be an asset.

CRITICS SAY:
-- She sits on the bench that ruled on a controversial case currently before the Supreme Court. Found that Arizona middle school officials violated a student's rights by strip-searching her on suspicions that she was doing prescription strength ibuprofen.
-- Last week joined the majority in another decision by the full court of the 9th Circuit, this one allowing two women to sue former officials with the Alaska governor's office, despite the state's sovereign immunity defense, for damages related to claims of sexual harassment, gender pay disparity and retaliation.

Margaret McKeown, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Margaret McKeown

BIO: Age: 58. Grew up in Wyoming. Graduate of University of Wyoming and Georgetown University School of Law. Appointed to 9th Circuit by President Clinton and confirmed in 1998. Worked as a partner in private practice in Seattle and Washington, D.C., representing corporate clients like Boeing.

SUPPORTERS SAY:
-- It's a plus that she's had experience working for both the government and the private sector.

CRITICS SAY:
-- She wrote a controversial opinion in 2007 that was seen as deferring to the Bush Administration in a lawsuit by an Islamic charity claiming it was illegally wiretapped.

Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts

Deval Patrick

BIO: Age: 52. Went from home on the South Side of Chicago to elite schools, graduating from Harvard Law. Head of Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department under Clinton. Served as executive VP and general counsel for Coca-Cola Co. Elected first African-American governor of Massachusetts in Nov. 2006.

SUPPORTERS SAY:
-- Compelling life story make his record of accomplishment even more inspiring.
-- Experience as an elected official and in the corporate world would be an asset.
-- He has argued before the Supreme Court, winning an impressive victory in a 1997 voting rights case when he was head of the Civil Rights Division.

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