- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

President Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of key senators next week at the White House to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy that will be created when Justice John Paul Stevens retires at the end of this term.

Mr. Obama will hear April 21 from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, who is Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, the panel’s ranking Republican.

Before his nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, Mr. Obama also made a point of soliciting Republican opinion with the goal of trying to develop an early consensus on a nominee and make good on his promise of bipartisanship.

The White House reportedly has assembled a short list of about 10 candidates for the high court, including Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Diane Wood of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

After a special election this year ended Senate Democrats’ supermajority, Republicans, now with 41 votes, have the option of a filibuster, depending on whom Mr. Obama picks.

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