Gay Advocates, Black Caucus Eye Supreme Court Vacancy
Linder, who currently serves on the Oregon Supreme Court where, in 2004, the court unanimously struck down efforts to legalize same-sex marriage even though one of its justices, Rives Kistler, was openly gay, is considered "fair-minded".
Sullivan, a Stanford Law School dean and a leading scholar in constitutional law, have conservatives wondering whether she "...might bring an agenda to the highest court."
"There have been 110 Supreme Court judges and 106 of them have been straight, white men," said Denis Dison, vice president of the Victory Fund. "So it's high time to look outside those institutions that produced Supreme Court justices in the past and find someone with different life experiences and different perspectives."
"No one should be barred because of their sexual orientation," he told ABCNews.com.
Obama has said his appointee would make the court more "diverse" and that he was looking for a justice with "empathy" -- something that conservatives fear might mean having a gay agenda.
Along with Linder and Sullivan, U.S. Representative Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, is getting strong support from within the Congressional Black Caucus.
Scott, 62, is not a sitting judge, but he serves on the House Judiciary Committee and is considered an expert on Constitutional law. Scott received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from Boston College. He practiced law in Newport News until running for Congress in 1992.
According to the Washington political magazine The Hill, Scott's name was mentioned during a Congressional Black Caucus brainstorming session focusing on the vacant Supreme Court spot. Spokesmen for the caucus and Scott's office declined to comment on the speculation.
President Barack Obama is expected to fill the seat of retiring Justice David H. Souter before the Supreme Court resumes work in October. This next justice would be the first appointed by a Democrat in 15 years and could be the first in a series of justices chosen by Obama. Souter is 69 years old and younger than four sitting justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens, who was born in 1920.
Related NowPublic News: Choosing Souter's Supreme Court Successor, What Obama Wants
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