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Court Battle Could Upend President Obama's Agenda

Publication Date: 
April 02, 2010
Josh Gerstein

Professors Pamela Karlan and Kathleen Sullivan are mentioned as potential candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court if Justice John Paul Stevens chooses to retire this year. Josh Gerstein of Politico filed this story:

The White House’s aggressive drive to recalibrate its message and emphasize the issues it thinks will resonate best with voters could be upended if — as is widely expected — John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court’s senior justice, decides it is time to retire.

The retirement of the court’s 89-year-old liberal stalwart would confront President Barack Obama with a difficult and highly partisan confirmation battle that could drag on for months at a time when the White House wants to focus on selling the administration’s historic health care legislation and efforts to turn around the economy.


As they did last year, some in the press have speculated that Obama could decide to choose the first openly gay justice, such as Stanford law professors Kathleen Sullivan or Pam Karlan. A new “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll found 55% of Americans supportive of the idea of an openly gay justice, but few observers expect Sullivan or Karlan to be Obama’s choice.