President Obama’s short list of potential nominees holds fewer than 10 names, according to ABC News. They include former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Sears and U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, ABC reported, along with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood, and DC Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.
Former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Sears. (Publicity photo)
Sears was known for her strong stands on gay issues during her tenure on the Georgia Supreme Court, from which she retired in June 2009. Her legal opinions, including voting with the majority to overturn Georgia’s sodomy law and her opposition to the process by which Georgia’s constitution was amended to ban gay marriage, made her the target of conservatives who tried unsuccessfully to unseat her.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s opposition to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban was a key issue for opponents when she was confirmed to the Obama administration post last year, and will surface again should she be nominated to the high court, the Wall Street Journal reported.
As dean of the Harvard Law School, in 2005, Kagan joined an amicus brief that argued that law schools like Harvard should be able to bar military recruiters, because the military does not follow the gay-inclusive non-discrimination policy the schools required of private employers who wished to recruit on their campuses.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is “a profound wrong — a moral injustice of the first order,” Kagan wrote in an email to law school students and faculty at the time, according to the Wall Street Journal.
During the confirmation process for Kagan to become attorney general, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked her in writing if she believed the U.S. Constitution guaranteed gay couples the right to marry.
“There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” Kagan said, according to the Journal.
Last year, the Christian Coalition of America called Kagan “dangerous to America.”