Social issues may dominate Kagan debate

President Barack Obama‘s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court seat is elevating touchy social issues in an election year, just as the tea party is showing how volatile and unpredictable the political landscape has become. Any Supreme Court confirmation battle stirs a pot of issues important to conservative and liberal activists. Kagan can expect to be grilled about abortion, privacy, property rights, gun control and treatment of terrorist suspects. What’s different from last year’s rather smooth confirmation process for Sonia Sotomayor is that a national election is much closer, and the tea party has revealed a ferocity on
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Obama selects Kagan for Supreme Court

Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be nominated Monday to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, a person familiar with the president’s thinking says, positioning the high court to have three women justices for the first time. Obama plans to announce his choice at 10 a.m. in the East Room of the White House. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision, which came after a monthlong search, had not been made public. Kagan is known as sharp and politically savvy and has enjoyed a blazing legal career. She was the first female dean of Harvard Law School,
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Hillary on Supreme Court job: It ain’t me babe

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed speculation she was interested in being named to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying intended to keep her current position in the Obama administration. Clinton had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who has announced his retirement from the high court. When asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program aired on Sunday if she would continue serving as Secretary of State for the remainder of the Obama administration’s first term in office, Clinton replied, “I intend to … I think so.” “I do not and never have wanted
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Obama interviews Montana judge for Supreme Court slot

President Barack Obama has accelerated his search for his next Supreme Court nominee, meeting in the Oval Office with one of the candidates, federal judge Sidney Thomas of Montana, a person familiar with the conversation says. Obama’s meeting with Thomas on Thursday was his first known formal interview for the upcoming vacancy on the court. He is holding conversations with other candidates, and it is not clear whether he has already had other personal meetings with contenders. Vice President Joe Biden interviewed Thomas at the White House in a separate meeting Thursday, said the person familiar with the conversations, who
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Will Hawaii gov. sign civil union bill?

Hawaii is a step closer to joining a small group of other states in allowing same-sex civil unions. In a move that still needs the governor’s signature to become law, the House of Representatives Thursday night approved a measure that has drawn some of the state’s biggest protest rallies. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle hasn’t said whether she’ll reject it or sign it into law but her office said later that she will carefully review the bill. The House voted 31-20 in favor of the legislation, which had been stalled but was unexpectedly revived on the last day of this year’s
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Obama talking to potential Supreme Court nominees

Pushing forward with one of his most consequential decisions, President Barack Obama has begun informal talks with potential nominees for the Supreme Court. And now he is reaching out to the senators who will control the confirmation fight ahead. Obama was to meet Wednesday with the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate, along with leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as he launches a period of political protocol that comes with each high court nomination. The White House says the point is for Obama to get advice from the senators on how to proceed and even ideas of people
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Battle lines drawn over liberal court pick

California law professor Goodwin Liu will be a test case of President Barack Obama’s ability to win confirmation for a liberal appeals court nominee. Round One is Friday, when Liu — nominated for a San Francisco-based appeals court — appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to face Republicans staunchly opposed to his liberal views. The nomination also will test Republican muscle to block Obama’s court picks, now that Democrats no longer have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes. Republicans have marked Liu as a liberal judicial activist. Democrats describe the former Rhodes Scholar, former Supreme Court clerk and assistant dean
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Obama says ‘nada’ to Clinton for Supreme Court

President Barack Obama‘s White House moved quickly Monday to quash speculation that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be his latest nominee the Supreme Court. “The President thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as Secretary of State and wants her to remain in that position,” White House Spokesman Ben LaBolt told The Washington Post. Clinton’s name surfaced on the news talk show circuit when Senators Orin Hatch and Patrick Leahey said they had heard Clinton was under consideration to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. White House sources say Obama never even considered Clinton for the Supreme Court
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Hillary Clinton on list for Supreme Court nod

Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court? Don’t laugh. Sen Orrin Hatch of Utah says he’s heard the Secretary of State’s name mentioned as a potential nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. “I heard Sen. Hillary Clinton’s name today and that would be an interesting person in the mix,” Hatch said on the “Today” show. Hatch says that while he “likes” Clinton, he’s not sure he would support her for the court. Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared with Hatch on the morning news program and said he would support Clinton, adding “I think she’s
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Republicans promise fight to keep libs off Supreme Court

Republicans are promising a “whale of a fight” during the congressional election campaign if President Barack Obama picks too liberal a nominee to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Eleven days before his 90th birthday, Stevens said Friday he would step down when the court finishes its work for the summer, in hopes that a replacement could be confirmed well before the next term begins in October. Obama said he would quickly name a successor in the mold of Stevens, who he said was a voice for ordinary people rather than powerful interests. A White House official said
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