The White House is sending mixed signals on its next Supreme Court nominee. According to staff of Republican Judiciary members who have been briefed by the White House, they were encouraged by the message. “We weren’t hearing any names, but were told that we’d be happy with the pick, that it would be someone we could easily rally behind,” says a Republican staffer of a Judiciary committee member.
But that isn’t the only story coming off Capitol Hill. According to Senate leadership sources present at a meeting last Thursday between White House staff involved in the Supreme Court nomination process and senior Senate staff, the message was quite different. “We were told that regardless of the pick, it was important for us to get behind him or her,” says someone who attended the meeting. “It wasn’t stated, but the message we got was that there is a very good chance this is not going to be a pick that we particularly like.”
According to White House sources, several more names will be floated in the press in the next couple of days, and there is an expectation that a nominee will be brought forward sooner rather than later.