The National Law Journal reports that officials from the White House held a conference call with leaders of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities Thursday night to discuss President Obama’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Several Asian Americans have been mentioned in the media as possible nominees including Sri Srinivasan from the U.S. Court of Appeals from the DC Circuit, Denny Chin of the Second Circuit and Jacquelyn Nguyen of the Ninth Circuit.
The meeting was off the record, according to an invitation. Tina Tchen who is an assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff for the First Lady, reportedly led the call.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the media earlier this week that the President would engage outside groups about his decision.
“This meeting is consistent with this administration’s engagement with various constituent groups,” said Tina Matsuoka, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Concern, however, is growing that the man many thought to be among the favorites for the nomination may no longer be under serious consideration.
The Times of India reports that Srinivasan’s possible nomination has been complicated by Republican opposition.
Republicans have been vocal in stating that they would block any nominee put forth by President Obama and that he should let the next President make the nomination instead.
Because Republicans control the Senate, they could effectively delay any nomination hearings until after the election.
As a result, a name now prominently mentioned as being strongly considered for a nomination is Jane Kelly, a federal appellate judge in Iowa.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is chaired by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa. Grassley is in a tough reelection fight and might be reluctant to block the nomination of a fellow Iowan.