And then there were three. At least that’s what we’re being told.

Sources close to the current process in which President Barack Obama is choosing a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia say the commander-in-chief has whittled his list down to three potential candidates.

Reportedly, the list is composed of three appellate court judges:

  • Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Sri Srinivasan,  serves US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Paul Watford, serves on US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Garland, 63, is an appointee of President Bill Clinton, having previously worked in the Justice Department as a clerk to late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. His experience falls into both government and private practice.

Srinivasan, 49, has been one of the most talked about potential candidates from the beginning of the process.  He worked for the solicitor general’s office for seven years: five under President George W. Bush, two under President Obama. He was confirmed 97-0 to the DC court, an impressive feat.

Watford, 48, would be the third African-American to serve on the high court if nominated. Prior to serving on the court of appeals, he was a clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In his time as a judge, he’s earned a reputation as a “smart and careful jurist,” according to Nina Totenberg of NPR.

The nomination of a new court justice will more than likely remain up for debate until after President Obama has left office.

A strong push-back and opposition from Senate Republican leaders is harnessed by the fact they believe that Obama’s successor should pick Scalia’s replacement. A notion most notably led by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, who say they will not hold any hearings or schedule any vote before the presidential election in Fall of 2016.

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