hite House counsel Bob Bauer prepared material for the
president on each candidate, including academic writings, briefs, and speeches,
according to the White House. Obama interviewed several candidates in person,
including Judge Merrick Garland on April 16; Judge Sidney Thomas on April 29,
and Judge Diane Wood on May 4.
He interviewed Kagan on April 30. That meeting came three
days after Vice President Joe Biden had breakfast with Kagan at his official
Obama and Biden discussed the candidates during their weekly
lunch last Tuesday, and continued talking while the vice president was
Obama made the final decision yesterday, and at 8 p.m. last
night he called Kagan to inform her that she had been selected. He then called
This morning, Obama called and spoke with Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; and Senator Patrick Leahy,
a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also
tried to reach Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican and the ranking
member of the Judiciary Committee.
Several hours later, Obama walked into the East Room of the White House, with Biden on his right and Kagan on his left, to make the announcement public.
"While we can't presume to replace Justice Stevens' wisdom or experience," Obama said. "I have selected a nominee who I believe embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law, and who can ultimately provide that same kind of leadership on the court: our solicitor general and my friend, Elena Kagan.
Matt Viser can be
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About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.