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White House vetting additional judges for Supreme Court

By Daniel Uria   |   March 5, 2016 at 12:33 PM

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- The White House is vetting at least two additional federal appellate judges to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, media outlets are reporting.

CNN reported associates of appellate judges Sri Srinivasan and Merrick Garland are being interviewed as part of the vetting process.

Srinivasan was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2012. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2013 in addition to fellow potential Supreme Court nominee Jane Kelly. Srinivasan also contributed to the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act as Obama's principal deputy solicitor general.

Garland was appointed by former President Bill Clinton as chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and confirmed in 1997. He has been mentioned for consideration in past Supreme Court vacancies.

Obama sent a list of names to the F.B.I. for background checks, but law enforcement say the process could take between 10 and 14 days.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not comment on who was being considered. He told the New York Times the president would spend time reviewing the candidates based on their legal credentials, judicial temperament and life experience.

"I know that there have been some sleepless nights on the part of his legal team," Earnest said of the president.

Federal trial Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has also been mentioned as a potential candidate dating back to February. Jackson is related by marriage to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who endorsed her nomination to district court in 2012.

"Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji's intellect, for her character, for her integrity is unequivocal," he said at her nomination hearing. "She's an amazing person, and I favorably recommend her consideration."

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