Gibbs Suggests Court Pick Isn’t Imminent

Posted May 18, 2009 at 3:36pm

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday suggested a Supreme Court pick is not imminent, saying President Barack Obama has still not personally interviewed anyone for the job.

Gibbs said Obama expects to talk with his nominee before announcing the pick, and he indicated that the president will have more than one such meeting.

“He is going to interview people he thinks are qualified and pick the person he thinks is best qualified,— Gibbs said.

But it remains unclear whether the “interviews— are going to be substantive or pro forma sessions — and therefore whether there will be much in the way of deliberation after Obama talks to the candidates. An announcement had been expected as early as this week, but Gibbs’ remarks appear to point to a move by Obama no earlier than the end of the week.

Gibbs sought to wave reporters away from suggestions that the Tuesday visit to the White House by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) has anything to do with the Supreme Court.

Granholm has been mentioned as a potential choice, though she is generally not at the top of prognosticators’ lists. Granholm will be at the White House to participate in an event at which Obama is expected to announce a move to tighten automobile fuel efficiency standards.