President Obama finally began interviewing potential replacements for Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court when he sat down with the U of C’s Diane Wood last Wednesday. Wood, who is a senior lecturer at the Law School and judge on the Seventh Circuit, has been on many media outlets’ shorts lists for the appointment.
Wood cancelled her Tuesday civil procedures class to attend a Wednesday conference in Washington in honor of former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The keynote speaker was Solicitor General, and former University of Chicago Law School lecturer, Elena Kagan, another of the handful of women who are likely candidates for Obama’s pick.
Obama knows Wood from his days teaching at the Law School. Wood has taught for 14 years and was formerly an associate dean. Wood was nominated to her current position in 1995 by President Clinton.
Obama has told the press he is looking for someone with “intellectual firepower,” presumably to provide a counterbalance to conservatives Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The moderate-to-liberal Wood currently serves with U of C senior lecturers Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, both Reagan appointees.