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Possible US Supreme Court candidates

These are the names that conservatives in Washington believe are under consideration at the White House.

Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Currently: Third Circuit Court of Appeals; Philadelphia
Age: 54
Bio: Former federal prosecutor, assistant solicitor general, deputy assistant attorney general, and US attorney for New Jersey. Appointed to appeals court by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Discussion: Staunch conservative is nicknamed ''Scalito'' because his opinions closely mirror those of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, although his demeanor is said to be more polished.

Edith Clement
Currently: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; New Orleans
Age: 57
Bio: Law clerk in US District Court before entering private practice in New Orleans. Nominated by George H.W. Bush to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991.
Discussion: Authored a 2003 opinion that reduced damages awarded to the estates of a woman and her 3-year-old daughter killed in an accident with a truck. A pain and suffering award was also eliminated because there was no evidence the daughter was aware of the impending collision.

Emilio Garza
Currently: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; New Orleans
Age: 57
Bio: After graduating from Notre Dame, served three years in the Marines. Earned law degree from University of Texas Law School. Worked as a corporate litigator and Texas state judge before being appointed a US District Court judge by President Reagan and elevated to appeals court by George H.W. Bush.
Discussion: Mexican-American. Staunch conservative. Wrote two opinions following the Supreme Court's abortion precedents but arguing that they were wrong and that states should be free to restrict abortion under the Constitution.

Alberto Gonzales
Currently: US Attorney General; Washington
Age: 49
Bio: Graduated from Harvard Law School. Worked for a corporate law firm in Houston until he caught the eye of a then-Governor Bush. Former Texas Supreme Court Justice and White House counsel to George W. Bush.
Discussion: Mexican-American. During his attorney general confirmation hearing, was attacked for helping formulate US policy on torture and detention in George W. Bush's first term. Conservative but reputed to harbor some moderate views, such as on affirmative action.

Edith H. Jones
Currently: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; New Orleans
Age: 55
Bio: Was in private practice in Houston for 11 years before President Reagan nominated her to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985.
Discussion: President Bush's father considered her for a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 1990 but instead nominated David H. Souter. A solid conservative, she has called the Supreme Court's reasoning in Roe v. Wade an ''exercise of raw judicial power.'' In a 2004 case, she argued a rare insect could not be protected by the Endangered Species Act because such a move would exceed Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce.

J. Michael Luttig
Currently: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; Richmond
Age: 50
Bio: Clerked for then-judge Antonin Scalia and former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger after graduating from Virginia School of Law. He worked in the White House Counsel's office and Justice Department under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who named him to the appeals court in 1991. His father was murdered in front of his mother by a carjacker in 1994.
Discussion: Staunch conservative intellectual known for his vigorously reasoned opinions in the mold of Scalia. Very popular among conservatives and sharply opposed by liberals.

John Roberts Jr.
Currently: Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Age: 50
Bio: Clerked for Rehnquist after Harvard Law School. Served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Nomination to appeals court in 1992 stalled by Democrats. Joined a corporate law firm and argued two dozen cases before the Supreme Court. Appointed to the appeals court by George W. Bush in 2003.
Discussion: Brief judicial history means there is little guidance on how he would rule. He signed on many conservative briefs, including arguing for overturning Roe v. Wade, but it is unclear the extent to which they represent his personal views.

Larry Thompson
Currently: Vice president and general counsel for PepsiCo; Purchase, N.Y.
Age: 59
Bio: Graduated from University of Michigan Law School. Became federal prosecutor. Served as deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft in the Justice Department. Was considered a leading candidate to succeed him, but chose not to give up high-paying job in private sector.
Discussion: An African- American conservative well-liked by colleagues in Justice Department. Close friend of Justice Clarence Thomas. Strong law-and-order history but has never served as a judge and has left little paper trail to reveal his views on social issues.

Michael McConnell
Currently: Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; Denver
Age: 50
Bio: Graduated from University of Chicago Law School, where he later became a professor. Clerked for former Supreme Court justice William J. Brennan and held several positions in the Reagan administration. As an an academic, he specialized in the First Amendment, opposing an amendment that would ban flag burning but taking a hard line against any government action that was hostile to religion.
Discussion: A respected conservative legal scholar, he enjoys bipartisan support in the academic community.
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