Vetting closed, Obama closer to naming Supreme Court nominee

Posted at 5:59 AM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 06:06:09-04

President Barack Obama’s team has finished the critical work of vetting potential candidates for the Supreme Court nomination, and a decision by the President could be announced as early as Wednesday, several sources tell CNN.

The formal process of scrubbing candidates’ records and backgrounds is complete, according to sources familiar with the process.

“The groundwork has been methodical and is done,” one of the sources told CNN on Tuesday.

That leaves only Obama to make a final determination of whom to select to replace Antonin Scalia, who died last month.

While Wednesday was likely the day, according to several sources, all stressed it was not definite.

News that Obama’s team had finished its work was first reported by Reuters.

The list of names has been winnowed to a select few federal appellate judges, all of whom have been interviewed by the President. Sri Srinivasan and Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit are considered to be atop the list.

Paul Watford, who serves on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California, is also considered to be in the running. He was seen in California on Tuesday.

Obama told CNN in an interview that aired this week that he was seeking a “consensus candidate” for the high court. Part of the White House strategy in selecting a nominee will involve pointing to the candidate’s past Republican support in an attempt to paint opposing senators as politically driven.