President Obama is expected to select a nominee for the Supreme Court any day now.
It’s been about 25 days since Stevens – a native Chicagoan and die-hard Cubs fan – announced his plans to retire from the Highest Court this summer.
Wood, a former law school colleague of the president's, has been considered a front-runner all along, though other Chicagoans have been mentioned. She interviewed with Obama for last year's court opening and was said to have impressed the president. He ultimately chose Sonia Sotomayor, making her the first Hispanic to serve on the high court upon her confirmation by the Senate.
Wood joined the University of Chicago law faculty in 1981, served as associate dean from 1989 through 1992 and still lectures there. Obama, who is from Chicago, taught constitutional law at the same law school and his tenure overlapped with Wood's.
Wood, 59, has served on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since her 1995 nomination by President Bill Clinton.
She is known for sparring well and being a persuasive force with conservative jurists, which could be a huge selling point for the president. Obama is eager to choose someone he thinks will not just interpret the law fairly but also help form a winning majority on a court that is often split down the middle.
But Wood has also drawn fire from conservatives for rulings that put her on the side of abortion-rights activists. She once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who in 1973 wrote the decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the United States.
Other candidates President Obama is considering include federal appeals court judge Ann Williams, former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow.
It is not known whether any of them have also met personally with the president.
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