On Sunday, Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died of an apparent heart attack, leaving a vacancy in the nation’s highest court. While Republicans have called on President Obama to forgo his Constitutional duty to nominate a replacement and have threatened to block anyone he picks, Tom Goldstein of the influential SCOTUSblog thinks Attorney General Loretta Lynch could be the answer to the challenges the Obama Administration will face.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who is fifty-six, is a very serious possibility. She is known and admired within the administration. At some point in the process, she likely would have to recuse from her current position, but the Department of Justice could proceed to function with an acting head. Her history as a career prosecutor makes it very difficult to paint her as excessively liberal.
…The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order. There is some imperative to move quickly, because each passing week strengthens the intuitive appeal of the Republican argument that it is too close to the election to confirm the nominee. Conversely, a nomination that is announced quickly allows Democrats to press the bumper sticker point that Republicans would leave the Supreme Court unable to resolve many close cases for essentially “a year.”
I think the administration would relish the prospect of Republicans either refusing to give Lynch a vote or seeming to treat her unfairly in the confirmation process. Either eventuality would motivate both black and women voters.
Goldstein also mentions other possible Black female candidates, like California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and Danielle Gray, an administration lawyer, before concluding President Obama will likely pick Lynch, who he predicts will eventually get voted down along party lines.