The Obama Administration and (Future) Feeder Judges

As Jonathan notes below, Harvard Law professor David Barron, former Acting AAG of the Office of Legal Counsel, has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

It’s interesting that the Obama Administration seems to have nominated recently an unusual number of feeder-type candidates to the circuit courts — that is, the kind of nominees who if confirmed could end up as feeder judges to the Supremes, and perhaps Supreme Court short-listers themselves someday. Of the last four nominees to the circuit courts, three are former Supreme Court clerks: Barron clerked for Justice Stevens, Michelle Friedland (nominated to the 9th Circuit) clerked for Justice O’Connor, and John Owens (also nominated to the 9th Circuit) clerked for Justice Ginsburg. And the three circuit nominees before that were for the DC Circuit, which is almost an auto-feeder court.