Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Following a thorough vetting process that drew down the number of potential Supreme Court nominees to four, President Barack Obama ultimately settled on his decision to nominate Sonia Sotomayor at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, senior administration officials said.

In the most detailed briefing to date about the process of filling the forthcoming Court vacancy, two high-ranking White House aides said on Tuesday that the president's decision on who should replace Justice David Souter came down to Solicitor General Elana Kagan, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge Diane Wood, and Sotomayor.

The president personally knew the first three, having appointed two to their current posts and worked with Wood in Chicago. He had never met Sotomayor before.

But after the two spent an hour together discussing judicial philosophy in the Oval Office last Thursday, he ultimately settled on the judge from the second district court of appeals. That meeting was part of a seven-hour visit Sotomayor made to the White House -- without, remarkably, being caught by any members of the press corps. The president had expressed an inclination as to his choice on Friday but took the weekend to think about it.

"The President went through a very rigorous process, considered a large number of candidates," said a senior White House aide. "Volumes of material were produced about each of the candidate and ultimately the president met with four of them and met with Judge Sotomayor.... who certainly brought to this a strong orientation of what he was looking for."

In the roughly half-hour briefing describing the nomination process, two administration officials laid out three distinct characteristics that the president had looked for in a judge: "deep experience in the law," someone who "shared his view of the appropriate role of the court and of judging," and "someone who would bring some real life experience to the court."

"When he applied all those three standards," the official concluded, "it was very, very clear to him who that nominee should be."

Sounds like the President made the right decision and they did check her taxes so that gives the Rethugs less ammunition to hold up her appointment...although we know that they will anyways. Congrats to Judge Sotomayor. Girl Power!!