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Spotlight On Potential High Court Nominee

Publication Date: 
March 18, 2010
Daily Journal
Lawrence Hurley

Lecturer Thomas Goldstein and Professor Michael McConnell are quoted in the Daily Journal on possible effects of 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane P. Wood's decision in the UC Hasting's nondiscrimination policy case. Lawrence Hurley reports:

A case the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up over a Christian group's challenge to UC Hastings College of the Law's nondiscrimination policy for student groups could end up influencing the political debate over a possible vacancy on the court this summer.

In many ways, the case puts 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane P. Wood, one of the leading contenders for the eventual opening, in the same position that then-2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor was in last year over her role in a case before the court last term.

Rumors have been circulating that Justice John Paul Stevens, the longest serving of the current justices, might resign at the end of the term since it emerged last summer that he'd only hired one clerk for next term.


In an e-mail, Supreme Court advocate and commentator Tom Goldstein of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington said Wood's opinion "would go into the equation" when the White House is selecting a nominee, but he noted that she has written several other opinions on such issues as abortion that would likely get more attention from conservatives.


Michael McConnell, the Stanford Law School professor arguing the case for the Christian group said he isn't sure how much the 7th Circuit case will figure in the high court's consideration of the issue.

"It is hard to say, but I am preparing for anything," he said.