Two UVA alumnae in the mix for Supreme Court

news-scnomineesWith the imminent retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter, Washington is abuzz with rumors of who President Obama might choose to be the next to sit on America's highest court. With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg having expressed in January that she's "lonely" without another woman justice among the nine, much of the talk has centered on female candidates, including two alumnae of the University of Virginia. Both Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano–- who graduated from UVA Law School in 1983–- and MetLife chief litigation counsel Teresa Wynn Roseborough–- who earned her B.A. from UVA in 1980–- have emerged in multiple media reports as possible candidates for the vacancy. Neither Napolitano, 51, nor Roseborough, 50, have any judicial experience, but both have held prominent legal positions in government. Napolitano is a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General of Arizona, while Roseborough was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department under President Clinton.
–photos courtesy of the UVA School of Law/MetLife


There Are Three UVA-Alumnae-In the mix-for-Supreme Court.They are as follows:Janet Napolitano,Teresa Wynn Roseborough and the highly distinguished Chief Justice of The State of Georgia Supreme Court, Leah Ward Sears.All three of these brilliant UVA grads are very well quailified to serve on the nations highest court.However Justice Sears is the only one of all the females candidates being considered for Justice Souter's seat that has an JD and LL.M degree.Justice Sears obatained her B.S. from Cornell University in 1976,and her JD.from Emory University School of Law in 1980 and she received and LL.M from the highly acclaimed University of Virginia School of Law in 1995. A JD is the normal Law degree,the Juris Doctor. An is a Master of Laws,whch can be taken after getting the JD in some speciality for more depth.Very few practicing attorney's have an LL.M and you don't actually need one to practice any particular type of Law. More importantly none of the present nine(9) U.S. Supreme Court Justices have the LL.M degree. Justices Breyer,Ginsburg,and Kennedy have LL.B degrees and the other six Justices have JD's.The appointment of a Supreme Court Jurist is the most important appointment that President Obama will make in his Presidency.But Obama will have to make a political calculation and it has Hispanic written all over this upcoming appointment. With the potential of Millions of Hispanic voters in the very near future will Obama make his decision soley with that prospect in mind ?

I trust Obama to make the best decision for all of us. So grateful this decision is being made by him and not by McCain.

I think President Obama should appoint U Va law school's Prof. Dan Ortiz, a brilliant lawyer who recently argued and won a case before the US Supreme Court. True he's not a woman but he's a very nice person, always willing to accomodate--maybe he might not object to going in drag.

Perhaps he could find a gay hispanic quadarplegic blind person with a degree in african american studies. If they were also a member of peta and a transgender then we would have all the bases covered.

Or we could just find someone who has studied constituional law and seems to to have both the backbone and common sense to preserve its tenents.

Obama should definitely appoint a woman, but given the difficulty getting appointees nominated Napolitano should probably stay put.
Ms. Roseborough sounds promising, and though liberal, Republicans may be less willing to go after her given that she's African American and a woman -- already having enough problems with their shrinking party given their increasingly unpopular positions on social issues.

Interesting bio:

Charlottesville's own Dahlia Lithwick interviewed today on NPR did not mention the two UVA grads but did say her personal favorite was Diane Wood. Ms. Lithwick and Chris Wilson, in an article titled " "Choose Your Own Supreme Court Justice Out of our Top 20 " at, do include Roseborough and Napalitano.

interview with Ms. Lithwick on NPR:

"Souter's Successor Will Likely Be A Woman"

The need to pick a woman, a hispanic, etc. isn't a need. It's a shrewd political move, IMO. Why not just go with the most qualified person? If it's a woman, then so be it. If it's a man, so be it. And so on.

The identity politics played is sickening sometimes.