Possible nominees who have been mentioned as being on a theoretical short list include Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general who represents the government before the Supreme Court; Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Diane Wood, a federal judge in Chicago who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time future President Barack Obama was teaching constitutional law there.
Everything Obama has done the past 100 days indicates that his government is a permanent campaign for president. Careful attention has been played to battleground states in the presidential race. His first appointment, therefore, will be made based on political considerations. That tells me that he is likely to pick the first Hispanic to sit on the Supreme Court. With Sotamayor, he gets both a Hispanic and a woman. My betting is on her.