Following the surprise retirement of Chief Justice Sean Wheeler, multiple potential nominees for his position are angling to gain the leverage needed to become President Mellark’s nominee for the position.
As of today, the President has not met with any potential nominees, nor has he mentioned or hinted as to who is under consideration. As such, those interested in the position are scrambling to put themselves in just the right lighting to become the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
That being said, these potential nominees may not even realize that they may end up in an associate justice position. Panem law permits the promotion of a current justice of the Supreme Court to head the Court, which in turn would open up an associate position.
Let’s see who’s interested and who’s being speculated about.
Cecelia Paylor: Recently appointed by President Mellark as his national security advisor, it is no secret that Paylor would vie for this position. Paylor has previously served as Attorney General, heading up the Department of Justice. She has extensive experience with the court. However, she lacks judicial experience and her views are very opposed to what President Mellark may wish to have on the Court.
Odds: 12/1 for Chief Justice, 9/1 for Associate Justice
Governor Cynthia Thompson: As the current governor of District 5, Cynthia Thompson has a very expansive resume. Thompson is a former Second Lady of Panem and First Lady of District 5, in addition to serving as the Governor herself. She also served as campaign chair for Secretary of State Celine Oswald’s failed presidential campaign against future President Rick Canth. Prior to all of this, however, she served as Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, working out of District 5. Her tenure as Chief Judge lasted until her resignation before her husband’s first run for governor, amounting to a total of six years on the bench. She presided over many cases that became landmark decisions, particularly that of Steinhagen v. Paylor, which determined that the powers of executive orders by the President were much too broad and overreaching and thus limited the executive branch’s powers. Governor Thompson was approached about the topic of being nominated, and she stated that she would “of course consider it- if the President determines that I’m the most suitable nominee for Chief Justice, I’ll of course consider it. Do I expect to be nominated? Absolutely not.” Though she may be passed over for Chief Justice, if an Associate Justice position were to suddenly open up, she’d be the automatic favorite for the spot.
Odds: 2/1 for Chief Justice, 1/3 for Associate Justice
Senator Hanley Trent: A senator from the President’s home district and a personal friend of the Everdeen-Mellark family, Senator Hanley Trent has made it known privately that he is interested in the Chief Justice position. Before being elected senator, Trent served as District Attorney for the Capitol of District 12, Attorney General of District 12, and as Deputy Attorney General in Karina Erickson’s Justice Department. Trent has extensive experience with the Supreme Court, having appeared before the Court no less than twenty times over the course of his career. However, like Paylor, Trent lacks judicial experience. Trent let it slip to a reporter earlier today that he’s “looking into” the position.
Odds: 8/1 for Chief Justice, 3/1 for Associate Justice
Associate Justice Francine Ashland Brewster: On every list there must be a frontrunner, and if there were one for this list, her name would be Francine Ashland Brewster. Justice Brewster has served eighteen years on the Supreme Court already and shows no signs of leaving. She has been a leading conservative voice on the court and wrote the historic dissent on the case of Oswald v. Canth, which virtually determined the next president of Panem. She also authored the majority opinion on the landmark cases of Morrison v. Everdeen, which upheld the acquisition of District 14, and Everdeen v. Panem, which determined that while federal elections cannot be postponed for any reason, district elections may be postponed. Brewster has been dubbed previously by political analysts as the “deputy chief justice” due to her outspokenness and many delivered opinions.
Odds: 1/2 for Chief Justice
Karina Erickson: The former Attorney General in the Everdeen administration, Erickson should be an immediate thought in the minds of many that are formulating a list for Chief and Associate Justice. Erickson’s time as Panem Attorney for District 13, Attorney General of District 13, and as President Everdeen’s Attorney General leaves her well qualified for the position. Many point to her lack of judicial experience, but most names under consideration also face this issue. Championing Erickson is Secretary Celine Oswald, a personal friend of Erickson’s. Though Erickson’s potential nomination for Chief Justice seems slim, an Associate nomination is not so unimaginable.
Odds: 5/1 for Chief Justice, even odds for Associate Justice