Who could be up for next Supreme Court vacancy?

Speculation about a new Supreme Court justice is notoriously inaccurate, especially before an election and when there is no court vacancy. But here are a few key figures in the law who, because of their backgrounds and ages, could be in the mix:

For McCain:

•Paul Clement, 42, former U.S. solicitor general, now teaches at Georgetown University law school.

• Deborah Cook, 56, Akron-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

•Maureen Mahoney, 54, Washington lawyer with an active Supreme Court practice.

• Michael McConnell, 53, Salt Lake City-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

•Diane Sykes, 51, Milwaukee-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

•Larry Thompson, 62, former deputy U.S. attorney general, now vice president and general counsel for PepsiCo.

For Obama:

•Elena Kagan, 48, dean of Harvard law school.

•Harold Hongju Koh, 54, dean of Yale law school.

•Deval Patrick, 52, former assistant U.S. attorney general, now Massachusetts governor.

• Sonia Sotomayor, 54, judge on the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

•Cass Sunstein, 54, Harvard law professor.

•Diane Wood, 58, Chicago-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

By Joan Biskupic

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