- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama interviewed federal judge Diane Wood of Chicago on Tuesday for an upcoming opening on the Supreme Court, a person familiar with the conversation told the Associated Press. She is the fourth candidate for the job known to have had face-to-face talks with the president.

Wood met with the president in the Oval Office and also interviewed separately with Vice President Joe Biden. The source familiar with those sessions spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the privacy of Obama’s deliberations.

The president appears to be homing in on a decision. He has done sit-down interviews in recent days with at least three other finalists: Solicitor General Elena Kagan and federal appeals court judges Merrick Garland, who serves in the District of Columbia, and Sidney Thomas, who is based in Montana.

It is not known if those are the only people whom Obama has talked to in person about the job.

Any day now, Obama is expected to announce his choice to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, who is retiring this summer.

The nominee would then face confirmation in the Senate.

Wood has been considered a front-runner since Stevens announced last month that he would be stepping down. She interviewed with Obama last year when he was considering successors for Justice David Souter and was said to have impressed the president.

He ultimately chose another nominee, federal judge Sonia Sotomayor, making her the first Hispanic to serve on the high court upon her confirmation.

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