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Some possible nominees had easy Senate path before

•  National News     updated  2009/05/24 09:09


Some of the people President Barack Obama is considering for the Supreme Court got significant support from Republicans when they were last before the Senate seeking jobs in the judiciary or executive branches of government.


But a yes vote then doesn't necessarily mean a yes vote now.

"I'd say the stakes are higher for the Supreme Court," said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Obama will soon nominate a successor to Justice David Souter, who has announced he will retire next month. The people Obama is considering include Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Appeals Court Judges Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, according to officials familiar with the president's thinking.

Of that list, all but Granholm have been voted on before by the Senate and all have been confirmed with Republican votes. Wood and Napolitano got votes from every Republican in the chamber when they came before the Senate.

Wood sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on an unanimous vote, and her nomination for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago cleared the Senate without an objection as part of a package of nominees the Senate confirmed in 1995 before heading out for the Fourth of July holiday.




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