Under the Dome

N.C. may weigh heavily in Supreme Court pick

May 5, 2009 

At least four potential picks for the U.S. Supreme Court have North Carolina ties.

Although President Obama has not compiled a short list for the replacement for retiring Justice David Souter, that hasn't stopped observers from speculating.

Here are four names that have surfaced in the guessing game:

Patricia Timmons-Goodson. North Carolinaties: earned bachelor's and law degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill. Qualification: justice on the N.C. Supreme Court since 2006, former prosecutor and District Court judge. Mentioned by: ScotusBlog.

Teresa Wynn Roseborough. North Carolina ties: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill law school in 1986, edited the N.C. Law Review. Qualification: former deputy assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton. Mentioned by: Huffington Post.

Johnnie B. Rawlinson. North Carolina ties: Earned bachelor's degree at N.C. A&T State University. Qualification: judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, since 2000. Mentioned by: The Associated Press.

Virginia Seitz. North Carolina ties: Earned bachelor's degree from Duke University. Qualification: Has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mentioned by: Legal Times

Obama's mama's book

A book by S. Ann Dunham, the mother of President Barack Obama, will be published in December by Duke University Press.

The book is based on Dunham's 1992 dissertation in anthropology for the University of Hawaii. Dunham died in 1995.

Over 14 years, she conducted research about the rural metalworking craftsmen of Java. At the request of Dunham's daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng, two anthropologists -- Alice G. Dewey, Dunham's graduate adviser, and Nancy I. Cooper, a fellow graduate student -- have revised and edited the dissertation, which is called "Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia."

"It is a great privilege for Duke University Press to be publishing this remarkable work by Ann Dunham," Ken Wissoker, editorial director of Duke University Press, said in a news release. "Her global perspective and obvious respect for other people's intelligence and self-direction [are] a model we all can learn from. Her children clearly have."

Burr's dream justice

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr gave a brief description of his ideal Supreme Court candidate.

"I look forward to working with President Obama to find a highly qualified nominee who respects the Constitution and does not believe in legislating from the bench," he said in a statement to Dome.

Burr voted for Chief Justice John G. Roberts in 2005 and Justice Samuel A.Alito Jr. in 2006. He gave a neutral statement on Harriet Miers' failed nomination, saying he would "carefully review" her qualifications.

Doles fondly recall Kemp

Former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole fondly remembered Jack Kemp.

Speaking with her husband, Bob Dole, at a lecture at the University of Kansas on Sunday, Dole told 500 to 1,000 students that the former congressman was full of energy and enthusiasm when he helped her campaign in North Carolina.

"Jack believed in what he was doing with all his heart," she said, according to the Topeka Capital Journal.

Kemp, a former congressman who was Bob Dole's vice presidential pick, died of cancer Saturday. In October, Kemp campaigned with Sen. Richard Burr on a bus tour for Elizabeth Dole's re-election in five mountain counties.

She also said she was disappointed with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties and with the recent raucous tone in Washington.

"You feel like it's almost combat now," she said, according to KTKA-TV. "I do think we have to work hard at getting that civility back."

By staff writers Ryan Teague Beckwith and Jane Stancill

ryan.teague.beckwith@newsobserver.com or 919-812-4955

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