Federal Politics

Published — May 1, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

The political donation histories of Obama’s potential new justices

Introduction

When word leaked Thursday night that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire after this court term ends, it took about 30 seconds for every major news outlet and political pundit to put together a list of who President Obama might nominate to replace Souter. Naturally, we were curious as to the political contribution histories of some of the top prospects, so we ran their names through the subscription-only CQMoneyLine donor database to see what came out.

The early buzz has been swirling around Sonia Sotomayor, who would become the first Hispanic-American on the court and would be only the third woman ever to serve on the court. She had no donations recorded under her name.

Another frontrunner is Kim McLane Wardlaw, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She last donated in July 1995, giving $1,000 to President Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign. The next month, Clinton nominated her as a federal judge. Her other donations are all to Democrats, including $500 to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in 1994. Bingaman — still a senator — would vote on her confirmation, if she is nominated. Like Sotomayor, Wardlaw would be the first Hispanic-American on the Supreme Court.

Kathleen Sullivan, who was formerly the head of Stanford’s law school, donated the maximum amount of $2,300 to both Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential committees. She also donated to Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign ($1,000), Clinton’s first Senate run ($250), and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) 2008 re-election ($1,000). Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary committee and will play an enormous role in any nomination effort.

Leah Ward Sears, who is the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, has only two political donations to her name — both to President Obama’s election efforts last year totaling $550.

Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford University, has nine contributions, all to Democrats. Interestingly, before donating $1,000 to President Obama’s efforts, she gave $2,000 to primary rival (and now-Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Solicitor General, had 15 donations listed under her name, all to Democrats. These include $1,500 to Sen. John Kerry’s 2002 re-election and $1,000 to Al Gore for his presidential campaign. She also maxed out in contributions to Obama’s presidential fund. All these donations came during her tenure at Harvard Law School, where she was both a professor and dean.

Rounding out the top names is Diane P. Wood, who donated $750 to Clinton’s first White House run. She now sits on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.