While Senate Republicans have said they will not consider any jurist the president nominates for the nation’s highest court, Obama sent out an email to supporters declaring he was prepared to do so. Late last week Obama had narrowed the list of potential nominees to three federal appeals judges: Sri Srinivasan, Merrick Garland and Paul Watford.
Both Srinivasan and Garland sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, while Watford sits on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Today, I will announce the person whom I believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court,” he said in the email. ” As president, it is both my constitutional duty to nominate a justice and one of the most important decisions that I — or any president — will make.”
The president said his nominee will meet his “three principles” for selecting a justice. Any justice “should possess an independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law”; should “recognize the limits of the judiciary’s role and “a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook.”